January 7, 2009
I had my MRI today. It was pretty uneventful after the biopsy, but what happened once I get home was "Post-worthy" so here we go.
I left work at about 12:30pm to make the 30 minute drive to get my Bilateral Breast MRI done. When I finally found the office (after driving around an additional 10 minutes trying to find the friggin' building) I went in and started filling out my plethora of paperwork. I got to a "Consent for Gadolinium" sheet and stopped.
"Excuse me," I asked the front desk clerk, "Am I having contrast today?"
"Well it would have been nice if someone would have mentioned that." I said in the nicest peeved voice I had. Okay now the nervousness sits in. I don't want an IV, I don't want to do this... But I had to do this so I could get well. But did I really???
"Yes, that's me."
"Follow me please"
I followed the radiology tech into the back and she gave me my instructions:
"You can change in here, please take off your shirt and bra and any other clothes that have metal on them. You can wear this gown, and if you need socks here they are. Then please remove all your jewelry, and you can put it with your purse in this locker. There is a lock and the key that you can keep with you. Please go to the bathroom cause you will be on my table for about 30 minutes and then you can meet me in exam room 1."
"Okay" I said and went through the whole list in my head as I did it. You really don't realize how much jewelry you wear until you are instructed to take it off...
1 naval ring
and dang it I forgot to take off my glasses!
After putting all my jewelry in my purse and then sporting the gorgeous blah grey gown and after pottying (of course) I walked to exam room 1 which had a chair to sit on and I thought, how are they going to give me my MRI while I was sitting on a chair? Then it hit me, dang it this is where they do the IV. I started to back up as the tech came behind me to usher me in the room and in the chair. She tested my veins on my right arm, then my left, tried a vein on my left, and after she put in the needle she decided that it the vein was too superficial and pulled it out. "You have GOT to be kidding me!" I thought. Then she tried my right arm again, and decided on my right wrist.
After sitting there for a few minutes, the tech lead me into the MRI room and I had to open my gown and lay face down on a board that had two holes in it for my breasts. Once on the board, the tech walked around to each side of my and positioned my breast through the holes... I once again wondered if I will have any modesty once this whole cancer thing is over.
She explained to me that they will do a few scans without contrast, then will proceed to inject the contrast (automatically with an auto-injector) and then do the rest of the scans. She told me that the machine is extremely loud and they give me headphones to wear to make it more comfortable. I could hear her through the headphones and she would explain what the machine was doing and she could hear me as well. I chose a soft rock station, laid on my stomach and turned my head to the left. She started to push me through the magnet (the large, thick tube).
My mom and my sister told me that I should close my eyes while in the tube. I am not normally claustrophobic and I have gone to tanning beds and pulled the bed as closed shut as I could possibly get it, but as they were pushing me into the tube, I decided to take the advice of others and shut my eyes.
The magnet started and it was loud, REALLY LOUD! I could hardly hear the music that was trying to comfort me. As the magnet started clunking, I swear I could feel the arteries in my neck throb a little harder and pull down. I also could feel a vibration in my legs. I don't know if that was from the MRI magnet or the sound of the clunking, but it was making it hard to concentrate on "Journey" singing t me through in my headphones. I laid there for a few minutes and the tech came through the speakers, "Okay we are ready for the contrast." Then I felt a coolness run up my arm. You know how before you get a shot, give blood, get an IV they rub your skin with an alcohol pad and it feels really cool? That is the way if felt but on the inside of my arm, not too uncomfortable. The tech told me that they would be starting the rest of the sequences that I would need to be very still. That is when my forehead itched, I felt like my nose was getting stuffy and I was afraid that I couldn't breath. I took a deep breath in and almost opened my eyes. "Keep them closed" I yelled at myself in my head...
I thought that my sister (who has MS) goes through this every 6 months to a year. She has 4 done, a brain, cervical spine, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. I don't know how she could stay in this tunnel for hours on end doing this. Well if she could do this, than I can do 30 minutes to save my ta-tas!! Just as Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" started to play, I thought how appropriate... Then it was done. The tech came in and unhooked my IV and said she was going to pull me out of the tube. That was when I opened my eyes...
Oh my God, I am glad I kept my eyes closed!! The tube was so close that I could not have hunched my back with out touching the top. My arms were touching the sides. I felt like I couldn't breath, then miraculously I was pulled out.
I got dressed and left with my previous mammogram films (by the request of my surgeon) and confirmed that my doctor would get the results by the time of my appointment of Friday.
Compared to my biopsy, pretty uneventful... Nobody almost passed out, no needles and no burning. Yeah!!!
When I got home that night, I had a package in the mail. Which was odd cause I had not ordered anything online in quite sometime (I very proud of myself for that). I saw that the return address was Texas and knew it was from on of my BabyCenter Mommies.
Side note: When I became pregnant with my 12 month old, I went online to BabyCenter.com to sign up for weekly emails to tell me how far along in my pregnancy I was. I noticed that they had a "Baby Board" full of women that were due the same week I was... SWEET!! So a group of about 30 of us went through pregnancy, birth and postpardum together. We had dwindled down to about 18, but we are all very close, communicate everyday online and a few of us have met a few times. It is a really great support group of women all over the US (and a few in Canada) that I feel really close too. Anyway....
I opened the package and it was a gift wrapped in iridescent paper that had pink breast cancer ribbons on it. I teared up reading the card.
"Just a little something to comfort you during your appointments and procedures! All our love, Your Bountiful Friends"
These women were so great. I just knew it was something special that I could hold in my hand during biopsies, surgeries, radiation and/or chemo. Maybe a pink scarf, or a pink shirt, I was sure it was something pink and breast cancer related.
Then I opened the wrapping and busted out laughing! I hadn't laughed this hard in a long, long time. I got... an authentic JORDAN KNIGHT doll!!!! Oh my God I laughed and laughed and laughed, it even had his rat-tail braid!!
To truly understand this, you need to know that I am a HUGE New Kids on the Block fan. I have been since I was 13 years old. I have loved Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight for over 20 years. I had the names of our children planned out. When NKOTB made their comeback I was at their concert, yes I was laughed at, but as all good New Kids fans know, we don't care what they say, we will "Hang Tough!!" It was the absolute BEST gift I could have possibly gotten, and best laugh I have had forever. Of course my husband didn't see the humor as much as me.
So, if you see me in the chemo / radiation chair, you will know me because I am the one holding Jordan Knight.