Scan Success

If you have just been diagnosed with cancer, chances are you will have already had a scan or a couple to confirm diagnosis.

Scans are used to detect and monitor cancer and are used periodically throughout your treatment.

You may be required to have any of the following scans:

  • Ultrasound (It was this scan that initially showed a shadow on my liver)
  • CT
  • MRI
  • PET

They are an essential tool in diagnosis as well as determining how effective treatment has been, whether that is medical (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunology etc) and/or if you have chosen to take a more natural approach using nutrition, supplements and treatments such as hyperthermia and IVC.

Last week, I received the results from my latest CT scan. The anxiety and fear waiting for these can be utterly crippling, regardless of how positive you may approach your cancer battle.

(Sc)anxiety IS A THING.

Maybe you’re awaiting scan results right now?

I have had a few now and honestly thought I would be able to manage my feelings in regards to the impending results. However, as time drew nearer, I began to feel (and act) irritable, my usual upbeat manner all but diminished as the fear of what I would hear consumed me.

Am I doing enough to support my healing?

Am I deluded in thinking I can beat such an aggressive cancer?

What if I have missed something?

These questions and a LOT more went through my mind in the days running up to that phone call. The self doubt and fear was overwhelming.

I’m fortunate to have a lot of emotional support and everyone assured me that the results would be great, that I am a warrior and have done so much to help myself but I just couldn’t believe it. It had been a month since my last chemotherapy cycle and even for me, who would prefer to take the natural path as treatment, i was worried that without it, there would be a huge growth, especially as my cancer is classed as “poorly differientiated” which means fast growing.

I was informed early on that the gemcitabine and cistplatin, which are standard, first line treatment for bile duct cancer, has limited success. Like all chemotherapy treatments, they cause damage to healthy cells as well as the cancerous ones and also the organs, sometimes to such an extent that the patient dies from organ failure rather than the cancer itself. For someone who also has the heart condition Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, the damage chemotherapy may cause does play on my mind. Chemotherapy floods your body with free radicals which in turn, obliterates your immune system. The problem with this is you need a healthy immune system to help your body repair itself so it can help fight cancer.

Because of all this, I couldn’t WAIT to finish chemotherapy at the time but waiting for these results, I knew that the fear of my scan results showing a growth in my main tumour or metastasis elsewhere in my body would see me desperate to start back on it as soon as possible.

Maybe it was the blood tests I had prior to my last chemo cycle that showed an increase in my CA19-9 that had induced this fear….I haven’t been back for more since.

Eventually, the phone rang and the Dr informed me the scan showed mixed results. I shook so violently that I had to hold the phone in both hands.

There were more “spots” on my lung although this could also be down to having Covid in December

(Update: After a follow up phone call from my oncologist, they no longer think this is the case as i already had spots on the lung before i tested positive for Covid. They will continue to monitor these nodules)

BUT

My main tumour had SHRUNK by 2.5cm!!

Oh, the relief!!!!

This means that my main tumour is now 8cm. Still huge but it’s an overall reduction of 5.5cm in a matter of months.

Also, for the first time, there was a significant reduction in the enlarged lymph nodes.

How will I feel after the next scan? I’d like to think I will feel upbeat and positive but something tells me I will probably go through the same cycle of emotions as that’s exactly how it goes in this game called cancer.

And that’s fine. It’s normal.

Ebbs and flows.

How does waiting for scan results effect you?

Disclaimer. The content on this website is not intended for medical purposes. I have no medical training or background and posts are purely my experiences since recieving my cancer diagnosis. Information shared on this website is based on the research i have carried out. Always consult with a medical practitioner or other qualified health provider.