An uncommon degree of anxiety

Last Tuesday I had a chest CT scan and tomorrow I have an appointment with Alice (Dr. Shaw) to go over the report.  Generally, Alice calls as soon as she reviews the films, but last week she was in Japan for the Xalkori launch.

I am experiencing a wicked case of scanxiety;  a term often used by cancer patients to describe the dread one feels in regard to scans.

Per the protocol for the LDK378 trial, I have CT scans of my chest and abdomen every six weeks. Usually, the whole process feels a bit routine and I don’t find myself too troubled as I wait for results.

I slept fitfully last night; twice roused from sleep by terrifying dreams. Between one and four in the morning, I couldn’t sleep at all. Today, I found my thoughts returning again and again to the scans.

I am trying to understand why I feel so anxious. Symptomatically, I have become aware of increasing shortness of breath. When I lay down at night the wheeze in my left upper lobe is quite audible.

This morning, I found a brief email in my inbox from Alice. She made no mention of the scans. I am currently in such a state, that I have interpreted that omission as a bad omen.

Hopefully, this is all a bit of nonsense on my part and I will return from the appointment bearing news of a reasonable report. For the moment, it is fingers crossed, ativan at the ready.

18 responses to “An uncommon degree of anxiety

  1. Maybe it’s the solar eclipse that’s got you jostled. Best wishes for good news.

  2. Sending you lots of love and peaceful, peaceful thoughts! Just know there are so many people sending you love, that hopefully it will help comfort you in your dreams…. xoxo m & k & l & c

  3. Joy Geiselman

    Will be thinking of you! Hope reports go well.

  4. I can totally relate to this. I’m sending you calm and yes, her omission means nothing. I hope you are sleeping well.

  5. cathe denz-polonsky

    what Melinda said! do you have company for the trip?

  6. Hoping for the best possible news.

  7. Hi Linnea- We always look forward to reading your updates. We are out here on the West coast with lots of positive energy and thoughts your way!!

    Kurt & Jamie

  8. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions while your superdoc oncologist is out of the country. She might not be able to see the scans until she gets back to Boston. Even if there’s something on the scans, it might just be an ordinary inflamation from an infection that can be handled with antibiotics; lets hope so. In any event, you know she’ll do everything superhumanly possible for you, and she’s got more cards in her hand to play if LDK378 peters out.

    Best hopes,


  9. cheryl shields

    Craig said it perfectly, so read his comment a million times. Please let me know if you want me to meet you at MGH for the appt. I can join you or wait in the reception area. (if you are going alone).
    I am praying, meditating and sending you thoughts of wellness and peace.

  10. Sharon Burrell

    Wish I could make it better for you. I think if you can get your mind on something else it might help the dreaded scanxiety – maybe listen to music on the ride in or get yourself a treat on the way. It’s SO hard this scanxiety!!! You have such an amazing mind and have such creative talent that your mind even works while you are asleep! I hope that you get great news today and that the dread lifts immediately and you can have as big a high as the lows you had last night!

  11. Praying! Let us know how everything turns out today! Hopefully there was no substantiation for all your worrying! (Not that worrying helps, but we all know that. Easier said than done, I know!)

  12. Linnea- everything crossed, including my eyes. Hang in there.
    Oodles of hope and love,

  13. Kathleen Gereghty

    Just adding my possitive energy flowing your way. Waiting sucks! It’s good to take that Atavan to reduce your anxiety. Less stress is always a good thing. You are in my thoughts.

  14. Linnea, my thoughts are with you friend. sending love

  15. Dear Linnea
    I acknowledge those feelings your having…I experience the same as each bit of time passes..and I hope that the same knowledge of your body that puts you in that place…will allow you the peace to move forward…we are ever aware of the gift of gratefulness for today!

  16. Hope the scanxiety soon fades – as it most likely will with a confirmation that everything is fine. Best of luck and fingers crossed.

  17. Waiting for results…ugh. It’s the pits! From reading your blog, I get a sense that you are a very smart woman, armed with a very smart oncologist. You are well prepared for what ever comes your way today.

  18. Thinking of you Linnea and keeping my fingers crossed.

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