Scanxiety and Xannie Days
There’s a phrase known to most people with cancer: scanxiety. It refers to the period just before you go in for your scans to see whether you’ve got new growths or are NED. (NED stands for “no evidence of disease” — not the annoying guy who sits next to your cubicle at work.) One of the worst things about cancer is the not-knowing. You undergo your treatment, and maybe it works, maybe you’re NED, but at any time you’re just one scan away from the revelation of recurrence.
Scanxiety is particularly intense among caregivers. It’s been a tough couple of days for Dena. She has a phrase for days like this, one I think she picked up from a friend of hers: Xannie Days. Meaning you eat Xanax like a five-year-old popping M&Ms, trying to crowd out the worst fears of what might turn up on that scan.
The waiting is the worst part of it. You’ve got too much time to think of all the alternatives.