Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CA-125xiety !

Recently there have been a number of articles written about "scanxiety".
You may read one written by an ovarian cancer survivor here.  Another was posted on Medscape aand titled Cancer 'Scanxiety' Is a Real (Terrifying) Thing. You may read it here.

In response to a tweet about that Medscape article I tweeted:

Well the past few days my CA-125xiety has kicked in.

This morning I went for the blood test so the results would be ready for my appointment with my gynecologic oncologist next week. Am I anxious? My brain says I shouldn't be nervous. I feel ok for the most part although I have been more fatigued recently. 

I've read many articles about screening using CA-125 and CT scans. One study reported last year in JAMA Oncology says, "CA-125 tests and CT scans are still routinely used for surveillance testing in patients with ovarian cancer, although their benefit has not been proven and their use may have significant implications for patients’ quality of life as well as costs".  I get it. My CA-125 result was in the normal range up a few points when I recurred in 2008. I shouldn't worry, yet I do. 

It is a funny feeling and hard to describe to one who has never been in this type of situation.  I am merrily going along in my new normal and then a sense of dread comes over me. I get anxious about finding the time to get things done. I hesitate making plans a year or two out. I start to rethink what brings me joy. What should I not be doing right now? What should be at the top of my priority list? Spending more time with family and friends goes back to the top of my list if other commitments were heading to the top.  I go on a cleaning out spree. I get rid of things I won't need if I recur. I get upset with people who "Sweat the small stuff".

I am uneasy because I know, maybe too much, about ovarian cancer. It is a sneaky disease. I know women who have gone years and out of the blue have a recurrence. Sure I can eat healthy and exercise but there is no magic pill that I can take to prevent my cancer from returning. How I wish there was.

It is difficult to get over this feeling. I try all those things that have helped me cope with this sense of apprehension in the past but I am not always successful. I will feel much better when the myQuest app sends me a notification that my results are ready to view. Good or bad at least then I will know.

Until then I will just try to enjoy each day.

Every Day is a Blessing! 

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