Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"Scanxiety" is a documented phenomenon experienced by cancer patients and survivors. The Community Dictionary defines it as:

"the tension which builds particulary amongst those who have or have had cancer as they move towards their regular check up scan, hyperscanxiety being the period as they await results!"

Luckily, I don't suffer from this phenomenon. Tuesday morning, we are driving to the surgery center for my colonoscopy and Mark casually asks me, "So, how are you feeling?" "I feel fine," I reply. "I don't feel nervous at all." 

And then it hits me... I, in fact, don't feel anything at all. My emotions are completely shut down. What I DO feel is tension in my jaw and knots in the muscles of my shoulders. I haven't slept well for a week. And it occurs to me that perhaps I am experiencing "scanxiety," it's just manifesting itself in a different way than it normally does.

I ask Mark, "And how are you feeling?"
His answer, "I don't feel anything either. I'm numb."  Scanxiety victim number two.

The staff at the surgery center are amazing. I don't even feel the IV as it is inserted into my rolling vein! I climb onto the table, they gently cover me with a warm blanket (that I know will be stripped from my body as soon as I am asleep!), I watch as two medications are injected into my IV, and that's the last thing I remember. I wake up in the recovery room to the sound of a sweet nurse, telling me that my colon is normal, handing me pictures of my insides, and telling me that the doctor will come see me soon. 

My colon is normal.  Did she just say that?  I drift back to sleep. 

A little later Mark and I arrive home.  He wraps me in a giant hug and we hold onto each other, so thankful for good news one more time! 

I feel like I can live again. At least for a couple more months until my next PET scan!


  1. Laura, this brought tears to my eyes this morning, the embrace after the scanxiety and the results. Love that you and Mark have shared all this together, that he is with you at every step, including the PET scans. I love you two... Love your normal colon, too!

  2. Such great news! Your honesty is such an inspiration.

  3. Oh Laura, I am so happy for you! How often are you tested?

  4. i'm so happy for your normal colon, i could kiss it! is that gross? i'm a nurse. what can i say. YAY! healthy colon. sometimes, numbness is coping. it's less traumatic for all involved than other ways of coping. :)