Scanxiety! The fear is real!!

Managing Scanxiety
Managing Scanxiety

Everyone who has experienced the very daunting cancer journey will certainly back me up on the fear of Scanxiety is real! The shock and the fear on hearing the words you have cancer strikes fear into the very depths of your soul. Even if you are lucky enough to have early stage cancer and your treatment is successful or as they like to say you are in remission. Once you are a cancer warrior no matter how strong or how positive you are, the fear of recurrence always lurks in the back of your mind.

Cancer is so often diagnosed by some form of scan, mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, CT to name a few. Even when your treatment is complete and you enter into the realms of survivorship especially the first 5 years post cancer, scans become part of your life. Although you dislike having them they are so vital to make sure you remain healthy and cancer free.

My story of a bit of a surprise CT scan goes like this. I am almost 3 years down from my breast cancer diagnosis and bilateral mastectomy. I am lucky enough to have been extremely healthy and cancer free. June 2020 time for my 6 month check up, because of covid 19 my Oncologist requested I have my blood tests and she would review and get back to me.

So off I go thinking all is good, I have never had a problem with my bloods before. Monday night fairly late my phone rings and it is my Oncologist. She says how are you feeling and just by her tone I could hear that she was concerned. I say I am fine feeling strong and fit. She says I am concerned your liver and kidney enzymes are raised. It could possibly be because of your high vitamin d levels. My vitamin d levels had doubled from 58 last June to 122 now. I would like you to have a CT Scan of chest, abdomen and pelvis. Suddenly the lurking thoughts of recurrence are very real. I comfort myself, my breast cancer was early stage, low grade and a lazy slow growing cancer the chances of mets are slim. But still that fear lurks.

Finally the call back, my heart is racing. No sign of mets but a little cyst on your liver and a prominence on your superior vena cava. Certainly did not expect that. Turns out it was there on my previous CT from 2017 no change. But we need to monitor you. Repeat CT in 3 months.

I am eternally grateful for the incredible medical care that I do receive. It is so important for everyone not just cancer patients or warriors. If you have a health concern rather have it checked out. Early detection of any cancer or any other illness is so vital. Early detection saves lives and so much heartache. Always rather be safe than sorry.

I am a Personal Breast Cancer Navigator/ Coach and Speaker. Oncology Patient Navigation is the the individualized assistance given to patients to help overcome the challenges of the very daunting cancer journey, from diagnosis through treatment and into Survivorship. Visit to learn more on how I can help you. My passion is Survivorship and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and exercise from a physical and mental perspective.

Nicole Fuller
Author: Nicole Fuller

I am a former elite/springbok distance runner, Oncology Patient Navigator, Breast Cancer Exercise training specialist, speaker and Breast Cancer Survivor