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Dealing Anxiety at Follow Up Scans
158 Posts
This morning I had my semi-annual follow up screening for breast cancer diagnosed in November of 2020.

I get a mammo and ultrasound bc of my high breast density. During the ultrasound I felt like the tech was marking a lot of things bc it was beep, beep, beep, beep….and the ultrasound took a long time. This was what it was like when I got diagnosed. I could feel a panicky feeling coming on. And then I stopped.

I started focusing on my breathing, I began countering the negative thoughts with other explanations - she could be marking cysts, it may be something that needs to be checked out, but then could check out fine. I comforted myself with thoughts of how thoroughly I was being checked - told myself it’s a good thing. How blessed am I to have this follow up and additional screening. I also thought “right now no one has said anything is wrong” I’m ok.

All this to say I’ve come a long way in the last two years in dealing with the ups and downs of life after cancer. A big part of it is the many stories and words of wisdom I’ve internalized from folks on this site. And the resources I’ve learned about on this forum (E.g., wellspring, can cope study, breast density etc)

Thank you! Wishing you all the best!
3 Replies

Nice to hear from you. I definitely can identify with this “scanxiety” that happens with follow up tests etc. Kudos to you for turning your thoughts around to something more positive and having that great inner dialogue with yourself. It is easier said than done sometimes, at least for me.

Take care


1580 Posts

good morning.

I could have written this post 2 weeks ago. every click, beep, click, beep she noted and I felt like I was ‘doomed’

after what seemed like an hour, she went to show the doctor. gawd….I figured I was finito, and mentally started planning time away from work & life again.

she came back and said you are ‘good to go’.
uhm…..really, AM I good to go? she said I could talk to the radiologist if I wanted, but he said it's all ‘good’. I know how busy they are, so away I went.

I was somewhat assured, but of course till I saw the report with my own eyes a week later, I was never totally comfortable.

once I knew I was indeed, ‘good to go’, I brought my tech a sweet treat for giving me the best, most thorough U/S I ever did have. ha ha ha

I was diagnosed in 2020….2 years ago I would have been/totally was a basket case when any exam went long.

thankful to you and all the folks here for helping me to develop my coping muscles. posting your experience demonstrated to me that I have acquired some skills also. thank you for articulating this so well.

continued good follow ups to you friend.
may we always be: ‘good to go’.


#scanxiety #copingskills #breastcancer #goodtogo

Cynthia Mac
4217 Posts

@chrys21 Good for you for doing that “mental work” - it can be really hard to get yourself back into the moment when those thoughts start their negative stampede!

@supersu - your story about “treating your tech” reminds me of my dad - every Christmas he took a small box of chocolates to his doctor’s support staff, and when he was in treatment his last year, he bought a HUGE box of chocolates for the staff on the chemo floor at his treatment centre. I’ll bet he dropped nearly $300 in chocolates that Christmas, between them, his doctor’s staff, and his oncologist’s staff. (But, you know, he never had trouble getting in to see his doctor!) 😏

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