Sunday, July 14, 2013

Scanxiety, Scangst, Fool’s Gold

“… Here comes the fear again
While I´m waiting for the scan
Trying to stay as calm as I can

Though I felt the pain again
In my chest and in my brain
I am sure it is growing again …”
Scanxiety (Waiting for the scan)

Only 3 months ago when my DX was Stage 1 Lung Cancer I thought ‘scanxiety’ was bad. But now Stage 4 with brain mets, scanxiety has evolved to full blown scangst and its scary. 

Only the cruel irony of lung cancer could schedule Monday’s  critical, life defining Brain MRI three days from the first anniversary of my first follow up scan after successful lung cancer surgery to remove a 8mm nodule from left upper lobe. Scan = NED (no evidence of disease) in medspeak … or in retrospect it was the ambiguity  of medical Fool's Gold.

Unfortunately the Maginot Line protocol of lung cancer kept everyone staring into lung junk every 4 months, while cancer metastasized to my brain. …

10 whole brain radiation treatments over 15 days in May successfully relieved the headaches and pain of brain metastasis clearing the way for 3 rounds of chemo over 9 weeks. …. Unfortunately headaches ‘unexpectedly returned’ and I get my first dance with Stage 4 scangst during Brain MRI on Monday … and it’s freaking me out.

Following Friday’s saline drip, my 'personal nurse navigator' suggested a distraction, “Pacific Rim”. Arriving a bit early we had time to play in the theater’s arcade, where Megan whupped me without mercy … no playing the cancer card with her.... and as a fan of Sons of Anarchy I was pleased to see Charlie Hunnman (Jax) playing the lead in a Hollywood flic along with Ron Perlman (Clay) playing a villain

I found the break was helping me to untangle myself from my own personal tentacles of scanxiety / scangst. Tomorrow is not in my hands but today is.

Even found myself whistling “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” … 
Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @
My Lung Cancer Odyssey @

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