17 Jan

For the past few nights I haven’t been sleeping that well. I’ve also been waking up in the middle of the night from nightmares; nothing specific and not really monster/death dreams, but you know the ones, when you’re late for something important but your feet are like lead and can’t move or no matter how fast you’re packing it can never get done? Yup, I wake up anxious, sweating, and not being able to catch my breath. There’s a term in the cancer world that’s been thrown around a lot but I can’t ever remember feeling it (although I’m positive I probably have felt it)…scanxiety. It. is. Real. So real in fact, that it was written about in Time Magazine in 2011 and mentioned again on last February (just a couple places among the many). Author Bruce Feiler refers to his scans as his ‘regular date with digital destiny’ to show whether his lung nodules had grown. He goes on to say, ‘Scans are like revolving doors, emotional roulette wheels that spin us around a few days and spit us out the other side.’ He’s right, my dreams and lack of sleep are from the emotional roulette of my upcoming scans only to end with some result which ‘starts the calendar again’ til the next one when you have metastatic disease. It is so strange because during my normal day I’m very conscious it’s time again and don’t feel super anxious about it, then night hits and the need to sleep hits, then…enough about that, by the end of the week I’ll be all done 🙂

In my quest for chasing joy this year I have started something different in my daily journaling life. I have started writing the absolute best part or parts about my day along with at least three things I’m grateful for. When I say the best part, I mean every single detail of why it was the best part of the day including full description of event(s), who I was with, what it was about, how it made me feel, etc. After reading back a week of events it did not fail to put a smile on my face. I would recommend this practice to everyone. One thing I am so grateful for and has been a part of some of my best events are friends. A beautiful thing this cancer life has opened my eyes to are the great people and great friends I am surrounded by; people who have stuck with me through not just cancer but divorce, raising teens, changing jobs, moving, etc. Friends who have not ceased to believe the best. I have met some of the greatest people and I don’t believe in coincidence. Friends are God’s special blessing and a really great friend is a soothing balm to the soul. If you remain heart and hand open and can be a good friend to those God has placed in your life you can still see the beauty of people and have hope despite this crazy world.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.’ ~H.Nouwen

I am unbelievably grateful to all those who I have crossed paths with for a lifetime or if even for a moment. We are all connected. Today I wear Fresh Sugar Lip treatment in sugar Berry. these are really pigmented lip balms that are super moisturizing. I chose this because it’s winter in Michigan and this helps keep lips moisturized and the color is perfect. Cheers!


14 Responses to “Scanxiety”

  1. Cynthia Weed January 17, 2018 at 6:18 pm #

    Thank you Anna. I look forward to your posts! Best Eishes for a great evening, and maybe even a good night’s sleep 😴🛏.

    • Anna January 17, 2018 at 6:19 pm #

      Thanks Cynthia, scan in the morning!

      • Julie January 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

        I pray your scans are clear!

    • Debbie January 17, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

      You don’t know me, but my sister goes to the same church as you. i think you spoke there a few years back. She told me about you because I am a thyroid cancer survivor. I looked you up and really appreciate how you express your life and heart. You are an encouragement and I will pray that your scans come back clear!

      • Anna January 17, 2018 at 6:31 pm #

        Thank you Debbie! Great to ‘meet’ other thrivers 😊

  2. Cindy January 17, 2018 at 7:52 pm #

    I shared this post with my dear friend who has 3 close people in her life who are battleing cancer, it helps us understand as much as possible with out being in your shoes, God be with you and your family, I am the stranger who sees your parents in church and I pray for them too.
    Sweet thoughts to you and extra prayers for a good night sleep ❤

    • Anna January 18, 2018 at 6:25 am #

      Thank you Cindy!

  3. Shelly Rizzo January 17, 2018 at 8:32 pm #

    Throughout my journey I too experienced those gripping moments of complete terror, sheer panic, and the inability to catch my breath. It is so real. Lord knows that what I was experiencing was so real and yet completely beyond my control. He also knew that I would not manage my way thru it alone. He had my back. I prayed. I begged. I’d fall to my knees. I would hear the words, “just breathe” play over and over in my mind. I’m fairly certain that there were occasions when it would repeat hundreds of times until calm consumed me and my breathing was restored. “Just breathe” remains my mantra and there are still times when that cancer crazy creeps back into my soul. I give all the glory to Christ for holding me up, carrying me when I am unable to manage thru moments, and reminding me to “just breathe.”

    • Anna January 18, 2018 at 6:24 am #

      Amen and thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Cynthia Weed January 19, 2018 at 10:30 am #

    Anna, good morning! Fingers crossed, have you received your results? Thinking of you 🌻🌺🌸🌷🌹🌼🌺🌻

  5. Julie January 19, 2018 at 5:53 pm #

    I pray your scans are clear!

  6. Grace January 20, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

    Love you so much, Anna! Standing with you in faith and hope…

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