Today I’m again boarding a flight to Denver, Colorado, for my bi-monthly scan and clinical trial check-in. Packing and traveling for my clinical trial is pretty routine after 2+ years. Despite the best effort of my conscious mind and having No Evidence of Disease for 28 months, some small part of me still gets nervous as scan time approaches. Even seasoned cancer survivors can sometimes experience scanxiety.
Perhaps spending March dealing with pneumonia prompted this feeling. I caught an upper respiratory virus shortly after my husband did. Since I could see his symptoms were similar to mine, and my symptoms started only a few days after my last clean scan, I wasn’t worried the severe goopy cough might be lung cancer progression. However, the goop got caught in my radiation-scarred lower lobe of my left lung, and set up residence. It took me two Z-paks of antibiotics and a couple of extra weeks to knock it out.
I suppose that reminder that my lungs are vulnerable could be enough to explain my edginess and need for more hugs. It’s not overwhelming, it just slows me down a bit. I just wish my rational mind and faith had learned by now how to silence the vague unease.
Fortunately, a new science fiction story idea popped into my head yesterday and is vigorously trying to elbow out an article I’m struggling to finish this week. I’ll try to capture the concept on my flight to my Denver clinical trial today, before it fades in the chemobrain fog. My mind will be productively preoccupied during this trip. Maybe if they work together, the two writing projects can throttle this low-level scanxiety.
Distraction is the better part of valor.