My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue with laughter and optimism on my journey...

MRI, is it almost over?!

Episode XII: Down in it... again


So, my other "day off" turned out not to be a day off. It turned out that I had to go participate in a MRI. While I have had MRIs in the past, of my knees, the breast MRI was quite different. Odd and different.


Walking up to the entrance for yet another test.


I arrived at the Women's & Children part of the hospital and completed my standard admitting procedure. It was 6:30 pm so it was empty. Note to self: if need to do anything at hospital go Monday in the evening. I then made my way over to the Imaging department and filled out more paperwork. At some point I will have it memorized, but I am not there yet. Thank goodness for calendars on phones.

The technician called me back and I put on two gowns. One opened front, the other back. Then I sat down and we small talked while she got all the stuff ready for my IV. Since I was going to be laying on my port, I couldn't use the port. Another IV, yeah! I will be over my IV fear soon. And that one didn't phase me like the others, so I guess a good thing. It even had a syringe attached to it, hanging from my arm. Gross, but almost tolerable now.

I knew that the test might be uncomfortable because of the port, but I kept telling myself you can do anything for 30 minutes. The MRI was the standard large magnetic loud machine, but for the breast you lay flat on your belly and dangle your breasts through two large square holes.

Similar to what I used, except I had square holes.


You lay in an odd semi-downward dog with knees bent position. Your face on a half doughnut shaped cushion and your feet are raised on a small pillow to alleviate back pain. It was interesting to get up onto the machine. Unfortunately, I had just had my port so it was a bit uncomfortable. I tried to adjust myself so the least amount of pressure was placed on my right chest. However, the more the technician made me move down, to place my boobs in the right location, the more I put pressure on it. I wore a very large surgical pad which somewhat helped with the discomfort.

I felt like a cow who's utters were being used as she got my breasts into position. Really, they were just hanging there and the lady was all about trying to make sure they were in the right spot. However at that point so many people have laid hands upon my breasts in the past two weeks I did not care.


Laying in an odd, but necessary position.


After I got into position, she placed earphone protection on my head and the table I was on moved into the MRI machine. It was enclosed, but my head was straight down so all I saw was the reflection of my own eyes. I closed mine and tried to focus on something good. There was music playing... for a minute or two. It ended when the loud clanging of the MRI started.

First it was like a giant woodpecker in my head, then an extremely loud base guitar, then the backing up of a very, very large van, then it went into loud sirens or fire alarms, and then I did not care cause I was sick of the noise. It would stop for very brief periods of time and then BAM it started again. I would jump ever so slightly, just because it was so friggin' loud.

While punk-style music is awesome, the noise was not, but just to share the idea of noise I tried to focus on some loud music in my head.

Then I tried to go to my happy place... it was too loud to go there. Eventually I was feeling the pain of the past week. My port hurt, I was sick of being poked on, I was ready to just call it quits. I thought about asking how much time remained. I started counting, but would just get annoyed and the noise was so loud that by 20 I stopped. I even went to the imagine if you moved your kids would be hurt scenario to try to remain still and quiet. It took everything I had to just not call out - enough.

Then just when I was in that place, that place where you don't think you can take one more minute, it ended. My thirty minutes of loud obnoxious noises, of crushing pain in my port, of tired veins from multiple IVs let to the just relief that maybe the tests are over for a short amount of time. I was so ready to leave I almost rushed out of the door once the IV was removed and my clothes were back on.


Another wrap for another IV.


Of course, I forgot for a brief moment that Chemo starts tomorrow. That dawned on me during the drive home. There was no breaks and wouldn't be for a long while.

In my head... 

By far that was the most annoying test I had completed. I have had MRIs in the past, so I know that it wasn't the MRI itself. Maybe it was the combination of all the test from the week, but I was worn down, tired, and really ready to quit. It could have been a number of issues.

The fact was it started at 6:30 in the evening after an already long day. The extreme loudness of the MRI, and I have bilateral hearing loss, was numbing. The requirement that I laid on the port, which was fresh from surgery. All of those things led to a mental, physical, and all-around assault of my being.

While it was trying, I finished the test and glad I did. Even though the last 5 minutes I almost quit. I left exhausted and ready to rest because I knew that I had to find more courage, humor, and ability to cope with my tomorrow.



Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. - Yoda


Episode Reference: Down in it - NIN song

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About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

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