Those of us with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) live our lives in three (3), six (6) or twelve (12) month increments. What does that mean? We receive a scan in one of those increments, which tells us how our cancer is behaving. Traditionally, the first pattern is every three months.
Adiba has this to say …
On my first line of treatment, I was lucky/blessed enough to “graduate” to six (6) month scans since I enjoyed two (2) years of stability. When progression (meaning my cancer mutated to get around that first line of treatment and started to grow again) occurred, I then changed treatments and started at the beginning again with quarterly scans.
Each time a scan comes up, we hold our breath. Making plans beyond this benchmark is nearly impossible. For those of us who have been planners for most of our lives and hold this position for our families and children as well, this can be excruciatingly awful.
Scanxiety is a real issue that most outside of the MBC Community don’t really, fully understand. I’ve been told by a variety of well meaning people how to handle scanxiety and none of them had the answer. There is no answer. There is just getting through it. There is just dealing with it in the best way possible and creating rituals and coping mechanisms for each period of time leading up to a scan and more information, potentially good or potentially life altering, again.
And now you know more about the rollercoaster of emotions every person living with MBC endures. The next time you hear a person talk about anxiety with an upcoming scan, give them a hug, give them chocolate, give them a massage, just don’t give them advice.