Scan Anxiety

Today might be the day.
Today might be the day, my life could change again,
Today might be the day; it starts all over again,
In a different way,
Its hard to say,
May be worse,
Much more worse,
May be not.

You hold my hand,
And tell me,
It will be alright,
I accept reluctantly,
My fate, my share,
My vessel of anxiety,
In which I float every day.
Some days I see the surface,
And glance like a master,
Some days, I struggle.
I struggle to breathe
the breaths
that may be numbered
To take in gingerly
What may be pre-determined.

Today I might find out,
How many?
How many breaths?
How many days?
How many years?
My fate, my share!

Yes, take a look
One more time,
At my rebellious body,
With your fancy machine
Look!
Look closely!
Do you see ?
Bits of happiness on the film?
Or shreds of my mental peace?
Or perhaps all my feelings?
In black and white
While my life is grey forever?
Tell me what you see?
Tell me what is likely?
Tell me what cannot be ruled out?

What does it say today?
How many more?
Scans, days, moments,
Can you see what I have lost?
Can you see what I have gained?
Can you see it all?
Or perhaps repeat in six months,
A twisted sense of time
very long and very short.
Until another six months,
While I remain suspended
in my vessel of anxiety
in my vessel of hope.

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14 thoughts on “Scan Anxiety

  1. I was just writing about my own scanxiety: tomorrow is my first mammogram since I was diagnosed with breast cancer last October– and my 2nd mammogram ever in life. Will try to breathe my way through it….

  2. Uzma, while reading your touching poem I was reminded of how I feel sometimes. My mammogram is next week and I already feel the anxiety, but I am trying to relax and keep it together.

    I am hoping everything turns out OK for you. I only have positive thoughts for you. xoxo

  3. I had my first bone scan last week, one year since diagnosis, because I’ve been having a lot of back pain. I was very wound up (both parents died of cancer very young) … then the nurse called Friday morning to say everything was fine. Great!
    I went online to look at the report – and the diagnosis listed on the report was metastatic lesions to bone. I thought I might have a heart attack then and there. And of course my oncologist’s office was closed by that time. Turns out the person who made out the order for the bone scan didn’t ask the doctor for a diagnostic code (would have been breast cancer – back pain), but instead inserted a diagnostic code she knew would work for insurance (metastatic lesions to bone). Of course that has now made its way into all my records.
    I still don’t think I’ve recovered from the anxiety that put me through, as I am well aware of what metastatic breast cancer means. Even thinking about it is getting me upset. Talk about lingering scanxiety!

  4. Dear Uzma. I am in charge of an MRI Unit in the UK. With your permission, I would like to share this with my staff. I think it will help them understand what patients go through every time they come for MRI or CT. Praying for you. Cheryl

    1. Sure. If you can credit me, that would be nice. Thank you. That is my goal, to get medical personnel to understand the subjective experience of the patient.

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