Scanxiety

Today, a plane will take off in Toronto carrying radioactive isotopes destined for Saint John, New Brunswick.

At the same time, I will be in the car with my dad heading for the same destination.

Once we both arrive, the isotopes will be injected into my veins. I’ll sit in a dark room for close to an hour as they spread through my body. Nothing to read or do, as a stimulated brain can create a false image.

I’ll then lay on a PET scanning machine and move in and out of it slowly for around 30 minutes.

The radioactive isotopes will react with the sugar in my body so areas where there is metabolic activity will light up in an image. Any spots that light up are considered to be actively cancerous and growing.

Source: CENTRE JEAN PERRIN, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Last time I had a PET scan, in July 2011, I had a spot light up just above my heart. Cancer wrapped around the superior vena cava that pumps blood into my heart. Another spot was located under my right arm and removed in surgery shortly after.

Today, after six months of chemotherapy, I am desperately hoping there are no bright spots on that image. That would mean I am cancer-free and require no more treatment. If there is still evidence of activity, my doctors may decide on 4+ weeks of radiation, which would consist of direct a ray of radiation to my chest for 10 minutes, 5 days a week. Then there’s a possibility that it could be worse…

I have always been optimistic about this cancer thing, but I enter today’s scan considerably less optimistic. I recently noticed I still have visible veins on the left side of my chest. Previously, those colourful veins were a sign that the cancer was squeezing around that big vein that goes into my heart and restricting blood flow. I’m scared that is happening again.

I likely won’t get the results today. I meet with my oncologist tomorrow and then my radiologist on Friday. That means I should know the results of the scan tomorrow, then what the remainder of my treatment plan is by Friday. Hopefully.

The last five weeks since finishing chemo have been a little snippet of what going back to my “normal” life could be like. I am ready to go back to work, get a place of my own, travel, and spend more time with friends. Having to get radiation will likely put all of that on hold and have me feeling sick again. I’ve been preparing myself for radiation ever since my diagnosis, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready or willing. I would love so much to get news that this is all over starting today. But I’m uncharacteristically pessimistic about this one.

As a result, I am graciously collecting well wishes, good vibes, prayers, and healing chants from all my internet friends. You know where to send them. Thank you. I’ll let you know the results as soon as I know!

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Posted on January 30, 2012, in Cancer. Bookmark the permalink. 162 Comments.

  1. Good luck Susan, Ill say a prayer! :)

  2. SusanBytheSea (@OhSusannah63

    From one Susan in the Maritimes to another , my thoughts and well wishes and even prayers(if that’s how you roll), are with you today and Friday and always,Susan!You are fighting the good fight admirably and giving many others light and hope and you deserve the best results imaginable!Be well,live long and prosper…..

  3. We’ll be thinking of you today Susan and sending you lots of prayers and best wishes. We are looking forward to having you back to work, and know whatever the results, you will be healthy and back to your old routines before too long.

  4. You are in my prayers!

  5. Praying for you, Susan. Best wishes.

  6. You will be in my prayers today.

  7. Sending prayers and good wishes for wonderful news from your scans. So funny that the Internet links strangers like this….you will be in my thoughts all day!! Best Wishes and keep the faith.

  8. You have been included in my daily prayers for a while now. I always ask St. Peregrine, who is the patron saint of cancer to bless you. I know my prayers are heard.

  9. Sending you all the best internet vibes.

  10. All you need, coming at you.

  11. All my thoughts and prayers are sent for you this morning, Susan. I know we’re just two stangers on opposite ends of the internet, but I’ve got this strong feeling that you’re going to pull through.

  12. Thinking so many good thoughts, Susan!

  13. Send only good thoughts your way today! Best of luck!

  14. Wishing you all the best today and in the coming days. Let’s hope that cancer (the b*st*rd) has finally decided to leave you alone.

  15. Oh Susan, I will be thinking of you today! I don’t know much in the way of healing chants, but I will be sending all sorts of good vibes your way. Stay strong & good luck!

  16. Although we are strangers connected only by what you write, you are in my thoughts often. Best of luck today on your procedure. I hope all goes well!

  17. Sending as much love and happy thoughts as I can your way today. Sincerely hoping that you end up with good news.

  18. I’ll be praying that you are cancer-free. I wish you good news from your tests!

  19. I wish you peace during your procedure and throughout this week and freedom from this ugly disease. You’ll be in my thoughts!

  20. You’ve been in my prayers through your journey and I hope that the treatments have worked!! You’ve got more love and support than you’ll ever know there for you not only through the fight but through the new journey through life you’ll have after you kick this!! Rock it out chick!!

  21. You’re in my thoughts and prayers! Good luck and lots of good wishes to you!

  22. Hoping this news is of the great variety!

  23. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and have been cheering you on from Boston, MA. May you have the strength and patience to get through the day. Hoping for positive news!

  24. Good luck, Susan. We’ll all be thinking of you over here :-)

  25. Sending good thoughts your way!

  26. Sending best wishes and as much positive energy I can muster your way. Good luck.

  27. Sending vibes your way!

  28. Good luck Susan, I’m really hoping the results turn out the way you (and everyone else!) want <3

  29. Thinking of you today and hoping for the best news for you, Susan.

  30. Every ounce of positive energy I have is being sent your way today Susan! (I’m mentally picturing the Carebears with a rainbow shooting out of my stomach heading to Canada)

  31. Good luck Susan! Sending good wishes from the UK!

  32. i´ve been reading your blog for a short while now and never commented.
    But today is the day!
    Best wishes all the way from Brazil!

  33. Wishing you well.

  34. Sending all of my happiest and most healing thoughts your way, Susan! <3

  35. Truly wishing you all the best! Good vibes being sent your way always! Since discovering your blog, you have continually inspired me – you’ll get through this!!

  36. Sending you positive and optimistic thoughts! I hope your scan and all the waiting goes by quickly and you receive those good news results to put your anxiety at ease.

  37. I’ll be thinking about you today and sending you tons of positive vibes. GOOD LUCK.

  38. Sending prayers for the all clear.

  39. Thinking of you and sending all the very best wishes your way!!! I hope for an update with the best possible news soon!!! xoxo

  40. Sending good thoughts your way!

  41. Every single good vibe possible being sent to you from good old Cleveland Ohio!

  42. Passing along a few more good vibes and positive thoughts my friend. xoxo

  43. Praying for you! Whatever the outcome is, you WILL get through it. Sending good vibes your way.

  44. No matter what happens today, you’re still healthier than you were on June 22nd. It doesn’t take away how hard you’ve fought to get better. It doesn’t take away how much courage and strength you’ve shown in the last 6 months. And no matter what happens, whether you’re perfectly healthy, or other, I’ll still be here cheering you on. But just in case I’ll keep my fingers crossed extra tight until we hear the news.

  45. Sending happy thoughts and saying prayers. It will be good, just be positive and hang in there!!

  46. Thoughts are with you today – only positive and happy ones!!

  47. I was also (and still am) extremely nervous about this past PET CT. I just had mine on Friday and should expect results today or tomorrow (last time he called the day after the test)
    My stomach is in knots, and I’m sending good vibes to you too!!!

  48. May God bless you and keep you, Susan. I will be praying for your good health!

  49. I read every blog you write, Susan, but haven’t posted until now. Today I feel an overwhelming desire to reach out to you. Please add my vibes, prayers, good wishes, etc. to the mountain of others that are flowing your way from literally every corner of the globe at this very moment. XO

  50. Delurking to wish you luck! Fingers crossed for a scan free of bright spots.

  51. Sending you millions of good vibes from Alberta!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (those are the vibes!)
    :)

  52. Good Luck Susan! We all love you and will be praying for you!!!!!

  53. Best wishes Susan! I am praying for you!

  54. Thinking of you and hoping for the best!!

  55. I will be thinking of you and sending you positive vibes. Good luck and remember that you are strong!

  56. Thoughts and prayers.

  57. Keep a stiff upper lip girl. You got this thing. Just the amount of people inspired by you over the past few months make your suffering not in vain.

    I’m praying and will keep it up. You rock sister.

  58. In my prayers! Good luck.

  59. Keeping you in my thoughts today!

  60. You’ve been in my prayers since day one, I’m hoping the best for you girlie!

  61. I’ve been following your blog for a while now but never commented (too shy) but today I wanted you to know that you’re getting good thoughts and prayers from Chicago. Best of luck!

  62. Sending lots of well wishes your way – you deserve it!

  63. I am crossing my fingers, toes, arms and legs that you get good news by the end of the week! (I would cross my eyes for you too, but I have to get some work done today) :)

  64. Saying a prayer to St. Brother André. You are strong! Send positive, calming thoughts to all your body.

  65. Susan – I have been randomly following your blog throughout the past year. I have never left a comment before, but I just felt complelled to reach out to you today and let you know that I think you are an amazing young woman…I am sending good thoughts and prayers your way for a positive outcome….be strong and carry on girl.
    Gretchen

  66. Susan,

    I suppose this is the one circumstance under which it is appropriate to wish that you have no bright spots in your immediate future! A million, gadzillion good vibes coming your way at a million times the speed of light! May you wake up Saturday morning ready to start making your plans to resume to the normal life that most of the rest of us take for granted. Infinite, continuous, healing hugs for you!!

  67. Good luck, good luck, good luck!!

  68. Best of luck, Susan. I’ll be sending good vibes your way!

  69. My follow up scan was just a CT – I HATE the PET scans… they are so boring and take so long to get results. Sending a million good vibes your way and hoping with everything that this is IT for treatment.

  70. Very best wishes. Positive vibes being sent to you.

    I don’t check your blog frequently but (uncharacteristically) for me and probably (likely) creepy for you I think about you and your blog frequently. When you get a minute will you let me know how you got to be such a fantastic person. I;d like to be your kind of person!

  71. ALL MY LOVE, THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO YOU MY DEAR SUSAN!!!

  72. My thoughts are with you today. Thank you for such an honest and real post. I’m not going to say “you’ll be fine” or any other empty words, just know that there are a lot of people praying and thinking of you today and we are all hoping for a good outcome.

  73. I’m throwing you a metaphorical flotation device from FlowtationDevices that you can grab onto to keep your head above the water during this scary time! My thoughts are with you, and I’m hoping for the best!

  74. Sending you all the positive vibes I have today :)

  75. praying praying and more praying! for comfort, peace, healing, and more.
    <3

  76. Thinking of you Susan, and sending good, healthy, positive, NO BRIGHT SPOT wishes your way!!!!!

  77. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you this week hon! Hope to hear some good news soon. :)

  78. As I sweeten my tea with the Xagave I won from the great fundraising act, I am reminded of the well wishes my heart sent to you then. I double those well wishes today. I’m not much of a praying person but I pray for you that you receive only good news. Stay strong and as hard as it may be, stay as positive as possible. Remember there’s a chance it isn’t over but there’s just as much of a chance that it is! *hugs*

  79. Sending lots of good thoughts your way! :)

  80. Sending positive thoughts your way from Ontario!

  81. Thinking of you today! You will rock this girl!!

  82. Every possible good vibe in my body is hurtling your way right now, my dear. (As are Milhouse’s!)

  83. sending prayers up for you right now!!

  84. My prayers and well wishes are headed your way! I also just received some Air Canada points, maybe a trip to NB when you’re up for it is in order?

  85. Prayers and well wishes! You are stronger than you realize and will make it through whatever is thrown your way!

  86. Thinking of you, Susan, and sending the very best wishes and vibes to you.

  87. Good thoughts and tons of well wishes for you, Susan!

  88. Well wishes, good vibes, prayers, healing chants, clear scan dances all coming your way! Everything crossed. CLEAR SCAN BABY!

    [daily reader, silent until now]

  89. Good luck Sus!

  90. hugs and prayers.

    Carla

  91. thinking and praying for you today, my friend!

  92. Thinking of you and sending a million good vibes your way!

  93. Praying for God’s perfect healing.

  94. You’ve got my well wishes and prayers! Will be thinking of you.

  95. My prayers and good thoughts are with you today!!!

  96. All good thoughts and prayers coming your way. Hang in there.

  97. you’re definitely in my prayers this week, susan! i hope everything goes well & you have awesome news to share with us later this week!

  98. Positive thoughts (somehow, i just typed thongs?!!!) are coming your way, lady!!!!

  99. I’m here praying and good vibing! I hope everything goes well and I can’t wait to hear the good news! :-)

  100. I will just say that I am VERY much looking forward to celebrating your cancer-free victory when you come to Halifax. Thinking of you, my friend.

  101. Best of luck to you Susan. Hoping that all goes well with you today.

  102. Crossing all of my fingers & toes for you this week.

  103. Oh hugs! I hope that everything goes well. I’m praying that you are cancer free!

  104. You are definitely in my prayers. I also pray for you to have peace and strength. God will never let you down.

  105. I just sent some good vibes your way, and will do it again every time I think of you. Good luck!

  106. Sending good juju your way!

  107. sending positive thoughts your way!

  108. I have anxiety for you, Susan! You are in my prayers BIG time, girlfriend.

  109. thinking of you. hard.

  110. Susan, I am keeping you in my thoughts all day today. I hope you don’t feel too alone in there during your scan. You have many, many supporters rooting for you and hoping to hear good news soon!

  111. Hi Susan,

    I have never commented here before but I have been following your cancer story here for several months I want to say I am sending you strength, happy thoughts, and crossed fingers.

    I work in the field of blood cancer research and stories like yours are a huge source of motivation for researchers. I feel privileged to hear your thoughts thoughout your experience

  112. I will be thinking of you and sending good vibes! xo

  113. De-lurking from Melbourne Australia to send all good wishes and hopes your way. You deserve nothing less than really good news. Fingers and toes crossed. Jeanie xx

  114. You’ll be in my thoughts for the next few days!! I sincerely hope that your scan comes back clear and you can move on from the hardships you’ve experienced during the past year.

  115. Saw the facebook update. :) YAYYYYYYYYY!!!

  116. As I read your update, and saw the scan with the bright spots, I was oh so hoping it wasn’t a scan of your results…I got lost thinking about it…I continued to read… it wasn’t your scan…phew…there, hope does work; so Suzie I’m HOPING you get the best results ever!!! Charlene

  117. Definitely thinking of you! Saw on twitter that the doctor said it looks cleared up! So happy to hear that. :) Crossing fingers for no radiation.

  118. Sending you all my good vibes and prayers!!!!

  119. I give to you best wishes. I send to you prayers. may your week be filled with happy surprises each day, to friday.

  120. Sending you “well wishes, good vibes, prayers, and healing chants” but mainly keeping you in my thoughts and thinking of positive test results coming your way.

  121. I’m sending good thoughts, good vibes and prayers your way!

  122. Saying a prayer for you right now. You have such a beautiful spirit!

  123. You’re in my prayers. I can’t wait to hear good news :)

  124. Given I read your tweet and know the outcome…I am so so SO glad. What a blessing ,You are amazing!

  125. sending – have the pups sending also. i hope the scan results come out clean.

  126. Sending prayers, chants and good vibes your way!

  127. Susan- I have been reading your blog for some time – I have never commented before- BUT I want you to know how much I enjoy it !! You are in my thoughts and prayers – wishing you the best of luck with your scan- keep your chin up ~~~ Well wishes from Vermont !

  128. Best wishes from Melbourne, Australia. Xx

  129. Prayers and hugs for you.

  130. Sending you best wishes and prayers…

  131. Susan, I want you to know how much you have helped me, a reader since the blogosphere fundraiser, to gain perspective on what is health and what is important. I have no doubt that you will come out healthy and strong, brave and beautiful. Thank you your honesty and adorable puppy pics :)

    Pearl

  132. I’m really pulling for you Susan, one way or the other you will get through this, I know it.

  133. I am adding all my warm thoughts and prayers to those who have already shared their love in the comments. All my best Susan, you are stronger than this and you have so much love on your side. Good luck.

  134. I can’t believe I didn’t read this yesterday! Prayers and good karma and what ever else I can muster are headed out to Canada right now!

  135. I read your blog all the time, but never comment. You are really an inspiration. I will be praying for you today. Sending you lots of love and prayers.

  136. Prayers, good vibes, chant, yoga poses, running miles and all precious things being sent your way!

  137. Hi, I’ve never posted a comment on your blog, but I have read (and cried) about your recent experiences. I am sending you my biggest mental hug and lots of good thoughts. Thank you for writing about the things you write about.

  138. Hi Susan,
    We conversed via email a few times and although we have never met – I follow your story of courage with great admiration. Sending good vibes your way.

  139. Praying for you in a special way today, that your anxiety will be eased, your results will be reported to you quickly and that they will show that you are cancer free. If you do need radiation, you will get through it with flying colors because you are the strongest and most inspiring young women I know!

  140. Sending more prayers for you Susan. The power of prayer is amazing!

  141. Definitely thinking about you and hoping all went well! :)

  142. I got chills reading this – sending love and positive thoughts your way!

  143. 24Jesus went with the man. A huge crowd followed Jesus and pressed him on every side.

    25In the crowd was a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years. 26Although she had been under the care of many doctors and had spent all her money, she had not been helped at all. Actually, she had become worse. 27Since she had heard about Jesus, she came from behind in the crowd and touched his clothes. 28She said, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll get well.” 29Her bleeding stopped immediately. She felt cured from her illness.

    30At that moment Jesus felt power had gone out of him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

    31His disciples said to him, “How can you ask, ‘Who touched me,’ when you see the crowd pressing you on all sides?”

    32But he kept looking around to see the woman who had done this. 33The woman trembled with fear. She knew what had happened to her. So she quickly bowed in front of him and told him the whole truth.

    34Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace! Be cured from your illness.”

    Mark 5

    Be healed Susan, in Jesus name :)

  144. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  145. thinking, hoping, wishing, praying for good news on Friday!!

  146. My sister and I have been reading your blog for a few months now. I’m not one to usually leave a comment but I definitely want you to know that we are both sending prayers, positive thoughts, and lots of love your way.

    From a fellow NB’er :)

  147. Fingers crossed and well wishes headed your way.

  148. HUGE HUGS Susan!!!!!!!!!!! Sending as many good thoughts your way as I can – you are amazing!

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