Scanxiety . . . How Do You Deal?

Life After Cancer — By on September 2, 2010 at 5:45 am

So one would think that after 9 years I would be used to followup visits and tests. I stupidly thought I would get to a point where I would be scanxiety free. In the beginning I went for visits every 3 months, then after 3 years I went every 6 months and then when at the 5 year mark I graduated to once a year. And that included an oncologist visit, breast surgeon visit and annual mammogram along with an annual breast MRI.

Three years ago I went through a scare involving a barbaric biopsy in the MRI machine which thankfully turned out to be benign. But my anxiety reached new heights. Then 2 years ago my father died of cancer and I feared for my own life even more. Its almost like the more time I have where I don’t have to go for that stuff makes it harder to go back.

I am sitting here wishing I didn’t have to go for my mammo in a few days. Tomorrow I will be going to Sloan for my checkup with the breast surgeon and then the mammo. I rescheduled this appointment back in March and had to wait all this time which is lunacy to me and yet I felt as if I committed a crime. Now I don’t want to go at all. Yes I know I am sounding like a whiny kid. I don’t want to think of my life in time to live between tests and appointments.

I need to create. I need to paint and sketch to help me with this fear. It always seems to help. So the next few days I will carve out time to do just that. Hoping it will quell some of my scanxiety. . .

What do you do to deal with scanxiety?

Cathy Bueti is the author of Breastless in the City. Visit her at

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