First of all: for all non cancer people and all the care givers… why do we get scanxiety?
You get into the hospital take a ticket and wait your turn,. after checking in you go underground, it gets cold. You seat in a room with people that are waiting to confirm if they have cancer or not, if it has come back, and if it has how bad it is this time.
Ok so now you are seated in a tiny room. Everyone is silent, and as messed up as you, but for some reason they think it’s a good idea to share all the worst stories someone has ever heard about cancer and recurrences. Now there’s no way you can avoid the thought (the thought you have tried to avoid all the week, if not month): in an imprecise amount of time you’ll be in a closed machine, with a plastic armour on your chest and face, unable to move, with a loud noise to constantly remind you what’s going on, claustrophobic yet?
What do you do?
Before the scan:
1) while you wait bring your headphones and listen to some cool music
2) Bring crossword puzzles, it will give you something to do
3) Do you knit? It’s time to start. You are a man? I don’t care, do it anyway!
4) try to list five things you love or you are grateful for
5) Express yourself. You will be dealing with technicians, not doctor or nurses. Their goal is to get you in the machine as fast as possible, have you not moving while in there and get you the hell out of there. Remind them you are a human being. I perfected my puppy eyes, I tell them I am scared of the machine, I tell them I have had cancer 3 times and I am in my thirties, I ask them to tell me when we are pass the middle of the exam ( which to date they never did but hey 🤷🏼♀️ ) … it’s my way to resist the system and still feel like a human being, find yours!
6) take some xanax! Ok maybe this should have been number one, but guys … it won’t work alone! You also need a lot of good thoughts!
7) think about your wonderwall. It might be a special place, a special moment, a special person. For me it’s the ocean, the sea, the waves. I am a yoga teacher in training so… I know it’s hard. Try harder.
8) when you are in the machine you’ll think about all the place the cancer might be this time I want you to visualize you kicking this thought and replacing it with number 5 or 7 you will need to do this 600 hundreds times.. fine, first of all it will keep you entratained and remember: a winner is nothing but a loser that never gave up, so when you fail, try again… and then try harder.
9) when in the machine try to think about something you know by heart: a mantra, a prayer, a song, and repeat it. Lose yourself in that.
10) once you are out I hope you live in a country where weed is legal and get some! If not … netflix, pizza and wine should do the trick! Relax and try to forget about it
I guess you have noticed a pattern here, it’s hard guys. It’s fucking hard. But I believe you can choose, you can choose to be tougher than all this crap and power through it. It’s the only way and you have to do it for yourself. Crying won’t help you, a mental breakdown won’t help you, complaining the whole day won’t help you. Fighting harder will make the trick, it will carry you through.
I don’t mean it will heal you, that’s a combination of treatments and luck, but you will live the best life possible under harsh circumstances… that is the best victory/revenge possible!
ALSO how about you give your friends facing treatment a real card? I am in love with these by Emily McDowell
I can’t wait to hear your tricks to deal with scans, and what care-givers think about this!