I have my annual mammogram tomorrow. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.
I think I’m probably less nervous now than I was a couple of years ago – it’s been well over 6 years now since I had cancer, and I know that the longer I go without getting cancer again, the less chance I have of getting cancer again.
I also know I’m doing all I can to reduce the chances of that happening again.
I feel those butterflies in my tummy, the memories come flooding back of the first time, and the result, and all that followed – that part wasn’t great. An overall feeling of dread I think you could call it. Much like going to the dentist when you’re 10 years old (I had a lot of fillings!).
The first study on “Scanxiety” came out in 2016. I don’t think that’s an official word yet, but it’s definitely on the “street” where the people are real. Apparently 83% of people have some experience of pre-scan anxiety (or scanxiety). And it's hardly surprizing. That one scan could kick off on an entirely “sh$tty year”, or give you another chance of freedom.
It’s nice to know that it’s entirely normal, and also pretty unavoidable. So here are my top 8 tips for dealing with Scanxiety:
Here's to peace in scanning!
*Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall mood and wellbeing in women who’ve completed treatment for breast cancer. I’m a certified MBSR teacher and will be running a course in Auckland next May,