May 19, 2015 - Journal Post #4
In my last posting I mentioned that I was going for an MRI. Well, on the 5th of May I had the test from Hell. Let me tell you about it.
As I was called to go back to the room where the procedure was going to be done, the first thing the Technologist asked me about was the ice pack and why did I have it. I explained what I was told, to which she just shook her head, stating, “I wish they would call us. How long ago did you have the neck surgery?”
I respond, “Almost 10 years.”
She replies, “Anything that is over 1 year will not have a problem in a MRI. If you put that ice pack on your neck, the machine will heat it to boiling and burn you.”
Needless to say I believed her and left the ice pack with my husband.
Back in the room, they insert an IV in my arm. This is the first time I learned I was going to have an MRI with and without contrast. (Love the way the keep the patient informed). I explain I have a multiple drug allergies and am hesitant to have an unknown injected into my arm. Against my better judgement, I agree.
As we approach the table where I am to lay face down I start to laugh to myself. There is this moveable device where you place you face so you don’t smother. Somewhat similar to what is used if you have ever had a massage. I am sure it is movable to accommodate the person’s body length. Next there are two holes separated by a padded bar where the “Ladies” will hang in all their glory. Finally, I am told my arms will be above my head, and in one hand they give me a “panic” button if I am having difficulty.
As I am getting myself situated, I am thinking to myself, “if men had to go through this, they would find another way to do it.” Next they give me a set of ear phones and ask what kind of music I would like. I respond with Native American flute music. Gee, they actually had it. Okay, way to go.
Finally, they roll me into the machine and tell me through the head phones that the machine is loud and that the whole procedure will be about 20 minutes. Alrighty, here we go.
The music is going and I am trying to meditate, when the first series of, for lack of better words, pictures begin. I have to laugh. The damn machine is so loud, you can’t hear the music. Oh, and the padded bar between the two holes? It digs into the sternum and then the end of it presses into the stomach. So much for meditation.
After about 8 to 10 minutes, the technician comes again through the head phones and says they are going to start the dye through the IV.
Do you recall the picture with Nicholas Gage, “Ghost Rider”, where he turns into this flaming bike rider? When the dye hit my arm, it felt as if it was on fire from the fingertips up to my neck. Well, if I could have leaped up off of the table, I would have been the deaf, flame throwing, MRI patient.
Remember the panic button they gave me to hold in my other hand? It got a workout. The tech comes out, holds my hands and tells me it’s going to be okay. I was thankful for her reassurance, but I knew she wasn’t going to stop the procedure. So, here I am practicing my breathing techniques, trying to listen to the music I can’t hear, and plotting the destruction of mankind with my new “flaming” arm.
You ask, “Did you make it?” Yes, I made it.
Finally, I am brought out of the hole and told to take my time getting up since the machine messes with your equilibrium. I ease over to a chair and sit. As the tech was cleaning up the area, she and I were chatting. I had the impulse to ask her how they check men for scrotal cancer. She says that they just lay on their backs to have it done. I’m thinking, “Not fair, they should have to lay face down, have a designated hole so they let their junk hang down, and then do the “Ghost Rider” routine.
Oh well, up next is the appointment with the doctor to discuss results, which occurred on the 10th of May, one day after my birthday. Nothing new on the MRI results as compared to the ultra sound and mammogram. This is good news. Surgery is scheduled for the 25th. Sometime after that there will be 6 weeks, 5 days a week, of radiation. Then I will be on a medication for 5 years. Still we have to have the pathology reports. I am choosing to be optimist and say we get it all with this surgery.
More after the surgery…
April 27, 2016 - Journal Post #3
Meanwhile, I have been home this last week with, of all things, the flu. My doctor put me on Tamiflu. Although I believe the Tamiflu helped from getting worse, we were awfully close to the 48 hour window, and it is taking me a bit longer to get over this dang stuff. The goal is to do all the things necessary to get well before the surgery.
While home, I received a call from the surgeon's office. The MRI is scheduled on the 5th of May and the appointment to discuss the results with the surgeon is on the 10th of May.
Continuation of my journal - "I have Breast Cancer and this is my "Journey" (first post April 16, 2016).
April 20, 2016 - Journal Post #2
Since I last wrote, many things have gone through my mind. In particular, I kept thinking about the saying, Life goes on. Although intellectually I understood it, the reality of it truly hit me with the diagnosis.
Yes, life does go on. I still have to wash the dishes, do the laundry, pay the bills, go to work. The reality of my life has not stopped. I still have to do those things. The only factor that has changed is I now have to include with those everyday things the battle that is before me. I can't put it in a box, and put it up on the shelf, and only bring it down every now and then and think about it. It has become a very real constant part of my life, and it is up to me to make the decision to either let it overwhelm or to embrace it and put it to good purpose. I have chosen to write and talk about it, to become a role model and a future support for others.
April 16, 2016
Hard to believe it has only been 25 days since I found the lump in my breast to the diagnosis of cancer. Call it a miracle or chance, but it all started with an itch on the upper right side of my chest...
- I know that it is not a death sentence, but will be a challenging journey.
- I know that I have a wonderful family, friends, and a team of medical people that will help and support me on this journey.
- I know that I want to share this journey with others, to help them and give them courage be they someone who is diagnosed with any cancer or have a family member who has cancer.
NOTE: You may have noticed the picture at the top. For whatever reason, that picture and the words give me courage, and I have adopted it as my own.