I’ve always said that the worst part of having tests done is the agonising wait for results. Once you have those results, you know where you stand, but that bit in-between is enough to give the coolest person in the world anxiety.
Recently, I’ve been suffering with pain in my hip and lower back. Unfortunately, it’s the same side as my prosthesis so of course, my immediate thought was ‘oh no – it’s back.’
The fear of recurrence is so real in cancer survivors. It’s been nearly 15 years since I was diagnosed and any little ache or pain instantly takes me back to that moment. The fact I was misdiagnosed three times probably does make it harder to trust that it’s nothing bad.
As a member of the Bone Cancer Research Trust Patient and Public Involvement Panel, I’ve recently taken part in conversations around long term chemo effects.
I’ve tried to emphasise the mental impact that the experience has as well as the physical, and it’s something I’ve heard from other cancer survivors too.
The trauma that cancer leaves you with can’t be understated and any situation that brings back memories of that time can be particularly hard to deal with.
I thought I’d put together this blog post together to let you know you’re not alone if you’re experiencing this, and to give you a few tips that have helped me.
My top 3 tips for scanxiety
Whether it’s getting stuck into work, taking a little break, or seeing friends and family, distractions can really help when you’re waiting for scan results. You’re not able to control when the results will come back and it’s difficult just to sit around waiting. Distractions always help me and they might just help you too.
Write it out
When you’re not distracting yourself, writing down how you’re feeling can help you to process your thoughts and understand why you’re feeling anxious right now. I love to journal as it’s so cathartic and whenever I’m worried about something, it really helps to get it all down on paper. Start with a prompt as simple as, ‘How are you feeling right now?’
Share how you’re feeling
Talking to someone you trust, or maybe even someone completely objective, can bring things down to a rational and logical level when your mind is running away with you. If you’re struggling to chat to friends and family, there are plenty of charities you can speak to instead. Try Shine Cancer Support or Bone Cancer Research Trust for wonderful people who know what they’re talking about.
Let me know if this helps at all,