Scanxiety is real

I’m very lucky. I only have my MRI once a year, which means I don’t usually have to think about it for most of the 10 months. But then, the next date starts approaching and generally two months prior the scan, the thoughts begin to eat me inside again.

My annual MRI is next week and I’m already turning into this anxious and paranoid person. I’m trying to be positive but it’s bloody difficult to prevent all these thoughts popping up in your head.


I’m imagining lying in the machine surrounded by all those loud noises for an excruciating hour.

I’m thinking how they’re going to struggle to find a vein to inject the dye … as they always do.

I’m visualising how I’ll feel and what will be on my mind.

And then the wait for the results.


I have a bit of a love and hate relationship with the MRI machine. I like what it does and how much it can show and help us diagnose. Despite the general view, I don’t find it claustrophobic and I think the noises are quite intriguing. Actually, if you find a pattern in the different sounds, it can help with meditation, which is something I did during my previous scans.

So, what do I hate about it. The circumstances. The bad news it gives and the anxiety it creates. And I do realise these are all just conceptual.

As everything in this world, it is as bad as we make it to be in our head. Fear is abstract. Anxiety is abstract. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real. Is it illogical and unhelpful? Yes!

So how do I prepare?

Be realistic. – I know I will be anxious and it won’t be a pleasant experience. But I’ve done it many times before and know what to expect.

Use affirmations. – My anxiety and fear are irrational and unhelpful. I cannot influence the outcome. If the results are positive then great, I can move on. If they are negative then I’m lucky to be surrounded by the best experts in their fields and I’ll be supported 100%.

Be hopeful and positive. – Because eventually everything is going to be ok. All I can do is live, take things as they come. Oh and meditate!

This article was inspired by Martino Sclavi’s blog and written with everyone undergoing similar experience on my mind.



6 thoughts on “Scanxiety is real

  1. Just had my latest MRI last Friday, sow the oncology nurse yesterday and thankfully no new growth on my GBM4 – I’ll be 6 years in October! To celebrate the 5 year I’ve set up charity, with 3 other c. 5 year GBM4 survivors. Last month we walked the 84 miles of Hadiran’s wall, non of it compared with scan anxiety!!
    Best of luck on your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Graydon!
      Happy to hear about your no-growth news.
      I have been following your journey online. Really impressive. You did such a great job, guys and raised so much awareness. I love your website and looking forward to hearing about your next adventures.


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