Preface. This is a story of hope.
Trivia. Here’s the question: What’s it called when you merge two words and create an entirely new word, but it’s related to the original 2 words? Example: Guess and Estimate becomes “guesstimate.” Well, it’s called a portmanteau. Following me? So, to all of our lovely newbies because I think most of us oldies know this word……….. everyone can relate to the horrible, crazy-filled, feelings of waiting for the results of a scan, right? So you’ve got your scan done and now you’ve got anxiety. Portmanteau? SCANXIETY. It’s such a perfect word.
History. In January 2013 I was as close to death as I’ve ever been. I had no close friends, no social media, no support group, no therapist – only a very loving family who was going through their own horrible, individual pain. I purchased pre-need funeral arrangements, but my fam didn’t know. What a weird industry the funeral business is. I started calling around and checking out various hospice facilities. I changed oncs simply to find someone closer to my house because I needed to quit commuting to MD Anderson Orlando, I was so hopeless and so convinced I was close to death. I didn’t care who my new local onc would be, after all anyone can prescribe hospice care and morphine for pain. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. My new onc and her radiology partner neither of whom who had ever really treated MpBC saved my life. By 9 months my scans revealed NO EVIDENCE OF CANCER ANYWHERE. Now, I have been in remission with not one millimeter of cancer anywhere in my body for 2 years, come this September.
Relevance. So, making this story relevant (and not too over loaded with chemo brain issues) …… SCANXIETY (as stated, for scan and anxiety). It may be a new term for newbies. But, we all get it during that awful period of time lasting a day to a week or so when we’re awaiting results from a scan. I have been plagued with out of control scanxiety for the past week. It ended today – the scanxiety ended. Nobody’s fault, just a part of the system. I had a PET/CT scan last week and today was “results day.” I’m usually pretty cool about this process but today due to usual stress and some crazy work related stuff my “scanxiety” was off the roof. I was close to out of my mind worried for some unclear reason more so than usual. My onc was totally calm and confident.
So, she walked into the room and the first thing I saw was a ONE PAGE REPORT. That can go either way —> good or bad. So my one paged results? “NO CANCER” None anywhere, no place at all. I CONTINUE TO BE CANCER FREE FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS NOW. I feel like the luckiest (albeit a bit crazy), luckiest cancer patient anywhere right now. I need a Super Woman sign that says “2 YEAR METASTASIS IN REMISSION SUPER WOMAN.” I feel motivated to talk to more women, do more advocacy work and give people something to hope for!
So, everyone………this is my story for the day. Overly long, overly drawn out, overly detailed, and hopefully not overly dull. Love to all of you and thank you in advance for your never ending support. [insert heart here if I knew how to do so]
I love you all and thank you in advance for all of your support!