Will My Cancer Return? The Never Ending Nightmare.

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cer, I never understood anxiety. Although I have known several people who have experienced anxiety, I have never truly taken the time to understand it knowing that God was the only cure anyone needed in times of feeling anxious. I’ve heard people in the past talking about different tactics they use to calm themselves such as meditation, yoga, speaking with a therapist, and medication. Amongst everything that I’ve heard, I still never fully grasped the full concept of anxiety.
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As life revealed itself by giving me cancer, forcing me to sit in the hospital for nearly forty days with no release date or diagnosis insight, to then follow that time with recurring hospital week-long visits, I finally got to know exactly what anxiety was all too well. The lonely days, the never-ending pain, the same atmosphere, and the inability to live were just a few things that tore into my soul the most.

It all started as a blur for me. I didn’t quite know how to explain the feelings I had after being diagnosed with cancer, as I patiently waited for my very first pet scan to better understand the severity of this disease. I honestly thought the feeling was simply fear in thinking that I could actually have a higher stage cancer and not be able to fight through the severity, which would completely explain this feeling at the moment. I cried, I panted, I prayed, I talked to myself, I spoke with God, I bit my fingernails, and lost a lot of sleep. Seeing that I was in the hospital, sleep was never a part of the plan with the constant interruptions that come with being hospitalized. Suddenly, this foreign feeling of fear made complete sense to me.

As time passed and I fought through each and every treatment, I prayed continuously that God would never dare to take me through hell on earth, chemotherapy, to not fully heal me and deliver me. I obsessed about this thought each and every day that I fought to survive. I just prayed, wished, hoped, dreamed, and constantly thought about the end result of my efforts for survival and that scared me tremendously.

As days went by and I drew closer to the conclusion of my chemotherapy treatment, I started to feel that same fear in wondering how my pet scan results would come back. I thought about this daily. I cried over this. I talked to my nurses and doctors daily about the number of patients they have seen fully make it through chemo successfully. I researched it at every chance that I got. I lost so much sleep thinking that this journey was finally about to come to an end… but what if it didn’t? What if my test results did not come back in the way that I wished? These never-ending thoughts scared me. I had to encapsulate my feelings to show bravery, faith, and belief as I mentally shrunk within my own mind daily feeling trapped by the fact that one test could ultimately make or break my life. I felt myself forming different personalities in my head. One personality was the fighter that knew she could conquer anything at any given point in life. The other personality was the realist; always having reality at the top of my mind. She was the much more dangerous personality of the two and she showed up often. She was someone that only I knew and I had to fight with her constantly to keep her intact. I was mentally fighting her while physically fighting the pain, agony, and sorrow of cancer. Once I heard the great news that I was cancer-free, this personality seemed to diminish by the day as life continued to show me why faith over fear should always be the way of living.

As months went by, life became more normal by the day. Although I found many challenges in my daily life, I was so happy to be alive. So much so that I didn’t mind putting forth the additional effort to work harder towards gaining the old-new me again. That was up until about late October. In late October 2017, I noticed that this feeling started rushing through my soul again. The feeling of fear, only this time it was much more prominent and it came with a vengeance. The fear hit me so hard, I realized that this was deeper than fear. This was scanxiety.

Scanxiety is having anxiety about upcoming scans or health-related tests. As I was quickly approaching my six-month follow-up pet scan appointment, I knew that this was exactly what I was experiencing.

I was now minutes away from my moment of truth. I was minutes away from my death sentence or freedom. I was minutes away from knowing if I could continue to live or if I would have to look death in the face again. My heart was racing; my breathing pattern had changed. I couldn’t look anyone in the eyes at that moment in time. Every sound was bothering me, every noise was making me anxious, and I was fighting back tears not knowing what the outcome of this visit would soon be. As much as I wanted to think positive, my mind and body just did not allow me to do anything more than worry. Worry about the fact that this time last year my life was changed forever with the devastating news and here I was nearly a year later, forced to face my fate, yet again.

My hands were trembling, tears would not stop falling, and I felt so alone when I truly desired the most support. I needed someone to hug me, to cry with me, to wipe my tears, help eliminate my fears, but the fact of the matter was nothing would make me feel better than hearing positive results that day. My soul was trembling. I felt like a newborn child lost in a world on my own, not knowing how to express my thoughts to anyone outside of writing them down. I needed God to soothe me, but for some reason, it seemed like even He was taking a break from me. Although this may have just been his way of telling me that He already had me covered, He sure in hell hadn’t shared that bit of detail with me to give me some peace of mind.

My heart was about to beat out of my chest as I got ready to take this drive of terror to the hospital. While I prayed for peace, my mind was just way too disruptive in that very moment to make that a reality. I truly needed help. I desperately needed good results that day. Trust this, my biggest fear was that if these results were not the results that I desired, I honestly did not believe that my mind, body, or soul had it in me to fight cancer a second time around, which only left me with one other option. I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired and could not fathom the thought of my cancer ever returning. As I exited my car for this appointment, I reminded myself one final time that He had not brought me this far to leave me now.

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