A survivor of terminal bowel cancer talks about dealing with ‘Scanxiety’

NLP master practitioner Tasha Thor-Straten, a survivor of terminal bowel cancer, discusses with the Red Trouser Day charity via Zoom methods and techniques for dealing with ‘Scanxiety’ – the fear and worry associated with hospital scans.

I just moved in with my partner, I’ve got two children, he’s got three children and everything was perfect. We’d literally been together for two months and I wasn’t unwell, I was fit and healthy. I was the kind of person that used to go to the gym ,I ate broccoli for breakfast you know a very diverse palette. I grew up in North London so all my friends were Greek and Turkish so I really looked after myself nutritionally and I believe that I  had quite a stress-free life.

But anyway I had  some blood in my stools over the last few months, but really out of sheer embarrassment I just couldn’t even pluck up the courage to mention it to the doctor. So I actually went to the GP twice and just talked about something completely different, but in the end it just got too bad so really between Christmas and New year 2016, it just got to the point where I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.

So I went to the docs and said ‘look you know this is happening’ , and I just happened to mention that my mum’s got ulcerative colitis, and based on that he said ‘oh that’s fine’, but actually as a precaution we’ll send you for a scan. And when I had my colonoscopy they found a massive tumour.

I then got the results, and I’ll show you the letter that I received, and it literally said ‘blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah I’ve explained to her that if there is evidence of both liver and lung metastasis, that is unlikely that we’ll be able to offer her any chance of a cure for her condition, and will be concentrating on slowing down the progression of the disease progression with chemotherapy … “

Watch the full video to hear Tasha’s story and her recommendations for dealing with ‘Scanxiety’.