Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Scanxiety

MUSIC: "Lean on Me"

I just checked Wikipedia and Webster's under the letter "S"........and just as I imagined, it was no where to be found.



You will find it though on most search engines and everyone who has cancer will experience it at some point SCANXIETY



it's the result of a

CT scan + anxiety





It's a normal feeling when you are expecting the results from a recent scan. You think and then you think some more, mostly about the worse possible scenario of just what your doctor will tell you.


Your head's in a whirl as you try to think of the possible results. Your anxiety levels are soaring and no doubt, your blood pressure levels have heightened. I am not the patient here, so I cannot personally relate to how one feels as they await their own report, but I can most definitely relate to how a caregiver feels each and every time when a scan report is about to be given.
My husband has had many scans, and I cannot say that after all of these, our anxiety levels have lessened over time. As I've said in an earlier post, I compare it everytime to similiar feelings as if you had a loved one undergoing life-threatening surgery, and you are awaiting the doctor's diagnosis. Each doctor though has his/her own way of relaying scan information. This is very important to remember!!! Some will present only the worse case scenarios, while others will include the negatives AND also focus on the "good" news as well. I strongly believe that this is the way every scan should be presented to patients whenever there may be positive results in their reports.
I'm referring to those results that may show increases of the cancer in some areas BUT also any decreases in other areas. Giving patients only negative results in this case scenario, does nothing to provide any sort of encouragement. Our experiences have shown that sometimes those areas of positive results, sometimes never get relayed to the patient. Some doctors no doubt don't want to paint that rosey picture for their patients, while others feel that by giving any encouraging results along with the negative ones, it is the best medicine available to boost a patient's spirits. Remember, positive attitude is everything!
Don't be afraid to ask your doctor to explain any areas of the report that you are having difficulty with. This is "your" time so don't feel rushed and never feel that you are imposing on the oncologist's time. Hopefully you have written your questions down beforehand, because if not, once you are in that office awaiting those test results, you probably will have forgotten them.
Always have someone with you on report days! It's good to have another set of ears there to listen to the report and also for moral support. If your caregiver is unable to go, then ask another friend or family member.......don't feel you have to "go it alone" and no one ever should.
One more very important note to pass along. ALWAYS ask for a copy of your scan to take home with you!
Good luck to all of you who are awaiting scan reports this week! Hang in there, YOU CAN DO IT! Keep positive and even if the results are not what you were hoping for, never give up. Keep searching, keep connecting with other patients and caregivers and learn everything that is out there about your type of cancer.
Becoming better informed is the key ingredient!
If you'd also like to chat with other patients/caregivers, don't forget to join us approximately 7:30pm ADT.....it's becoming a great support group that offers encouragement and inspiration to all!

6 comments:

Bill said...

I know that word all too well. Had another report last week and as I expected, my tumors are growing. I am presently on Torisel now for 3 treatsments. It tires me out but I'm willing to try anything.
I didn't know I could get a copy of my report. I will ask for one at my next dr's visit.
Thanks.

Mary Kay said...

My husband had a PET and CT scan on Tuesday and we will be meeting with the Dr tomorrow. Major Scanxiety! What a blessing and comfort to read your words.

Deb said...

Mary Kay...thanks for your comment. I'm glad that I could help to ease your anxiety a little. I'm sending only good wishes to your husband. If you'd like to join the chat, there's lots of support for both your husband as well as yourself from other patients and caregivers. Just wanted to let you both know, you are not alone along this journey.
Take care!

Mary said...

Hi Deb just one note - not all oncologists give out copies of reports.We have never received a copy of Joes and nor do we want them. They are shown to us and explained but we have chosen not to try get a copy of them. These reports are written for the medical professionals to interpert and we as lay people have to make sure we know what we are reading. Always make sure you have someone who knows how to read them explain them to you. It is the same as the internet. Sometimes this information is WAY over the head of us lay people.

www.donniereynolds.blogspot.com said...

I completely understand. Everytime my husband has scans, I am this way!!! People tell me that I need to be positive. It's not that you are being negative. It's fear!

Thanks for a great post
Robin

Deb said...

AS you say Mary, maybe receiving the scan reports is not for everyone, but in my husband's case it is a definite for us "everytime" to get a paper copy of the report. Why?
Because we can then compare the growth of some tumors to previous scans. If the oncologist says there has been an increase, then the patients may want to know just how much of an increase has happened. Is it a centimeter, a millimeter or just a portion of either. Some doctors are not very specific and also, we've discovered that for the most part, many oncologists, may focus on only the negatives of the report and not the positives. I use our paper copy and even the tiniest tidbit of good news, to pass along to my husband.
Deb