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 that laughter and optimism on my journey...

Brain MRI... someone thinks something is there???

Episode CI - insane in the brain...


Can nothing ever be super easy or go smoothly? Since the computers where down at my last doctor's appointments I was unable to schedule anything. Not the Onc follow-up, MRI, or Neurologist appointments. The nurses told me the receptionist would call with those. So, I waited and finally got word about my MRI. However, that first call was only the beginning of what was a mess of appointments and phone calls and craziness...



Let the rescheduling begin...


My MRI Scheduling Debacle 2014:

Call 1:  Original call to let me know I have an MRI at the Cancer Center at 11 am on Tues. Yeah, I have a time!

Call 2:  Call to change appointment time because machine needs to be repaired on Tues morning, now appointment on 2 pm on Tues. Ok, I still have decent time!

Call 3:  Call to change MRI to Thurs at 12 pm due to not thinking the repairs will be done on time. Well, at least I am still at the location I want to be!

Call 4:  Missed call, but message left saying that appointment has been changed to Monday at 5:30 pm at Medical Mall. What the heck did they say?!?!?!

Call 5:  I return call asking about why they changed appointment times and location. Turns out they want to rush the MRI so they can have it for Neurologist appointment which has not been scheduled. Since they want it fast they had to move it to the Medical Mall which I despise... because of my last experience there... click here to re-read an earlier blog post about what happened.

I ask them to reschedule for the Cancer Center because I really do not want to go the other location. Then I proceed to do what could be construed as begging. Seems they will check and call me back. What the heck did they say again?!?!?!

Call 6:  They refuse to move MRI time and location. So, MRI at 5:30 pm on Monday at the Medical Mall. Well, crap... yuck!!!

Now that it was settled, I was now ready to hopefully endure a slightly better experience than what happened last year at the same location. However, I was still convinced that they would find little more than a tiny brain in my head. There cannot be a full normal sized brain in my head because I have such little ability to think lately. If there is an average brain someone better tell it to start working!!!


Normal MRI vs My MRI.


However, I knew I had to go. So, after doing my normal Monday routine I drove myself to the Medical Mall for a now extended version December Doctor Madness Month. I was suppose to be finished with medical appointments, but now I had more to go.

Whoever decided that evening MRI scans are a good thing is seriously delusional! The last thing I want to after a long day is go have a loud, confining brain MRI. To top it off MRI scans are my least favorite of the scans I have had. They suck!

So I prepared myself to hopefully try and relax during what was soon to be an hour of torture. I am seriously too tired and sore for this scan... can I postpone it... wait... I have already had it rescheduled too many times!


Picture Proof: 
I am too tired for this.


I signed in. I sat down. I was basically there by myself. I think one other person showed up in the imaging department. Of course, any one with half a brain would not be there in the evening. Therefore, I only have less than half a brain.

When I returned my paperwork I mentioned the late hour and they told me that they scan up until 8 pm. That just sounds way too late. Now my 5:30 appointment was sounding better.

Tonight when I was called back the procedures were completely different. Since it was after hours, the nurses were gone for the day. So, I would not have to endure their vein breaking procedure. Instead the technician would apply the contrast directly into my arm mid-scan. Meaning he would bring me out of the machine at some point before reinserting me for the last part of the scan.

Normally for my breast MRI scan I am put in a slight downward dog position with my boobs flopped out through a giant hole. Truly a scary sight... and one that is kind of funny. This time I was flat on my back, strapped in with an odd face mask. It was like I was confined yet unconfined since I could see out through it.


The brain MRI mask looks awfully familiar to me...


Of course my ears were plugged and covered for safety for the impending loud noises. Plus, the tech let me pick the music which was then set to a blaring volume. I was slowly inserted into the MRI machine... or what feels like a coffin.

Normally I am in a position that makes me basically unaware of how narrow the machine is. This time I can see nothing but the confining space of the tube that I am in. My arms are slightly strapped down and touching the edges of the machine. My head is restricted, but I can still see that only inches in front of me and around me are closed off. Next time someone cover my eyes!


Keep going... you're not all the way in the machine 
until you see nothing but the white of the machine.


I have never had a claustrophobic feeling before, but I did for a minute after I was placed inside the machine. I had to remind myself that there was a large room around that small machine. I had to close my eyes and remind myself to focus on the music because it was going to get all sorts of noisy in just a second.

The reason the MRI scan is so difficult and annoying is primarily due to the noises and the loudness of those noises. Even with the ear plugs, ear phones, and music going the MRI sounds are uniquely torturing. No matter how prepared I am for it, it is always wrenching.


If you are unfamiliar or really interested
click here for the Sounds of an MRI


So after about forty minutes into the scan, I was brought out of the machine and given an injection of contrast. While he did have to search for a vein the tech was far better than my last experience with a nurse who supposedly did IVs for a profession. I was so grateful that I avoided the whole IV experience. Maybe there is some benefits to the late night appointment.

The joy of the moment could not last, because I was shoved back into the machine to finish my last fifteen to twenty minutes of confined loud beeps, bangs, screeches, and other weird noises.


In my head...


The MRI was exactly as it should be... confining, noisy, and long. Seriously, they really need to find a way to get such great images without torturing the patient. The CT scan is super fast and super easy and super quiet. I have decided the MRI is like the CT scans loud obnoxious relative!

The best part of the night was that it was over. I was not bloodied or beaten. I may have a raging headache and be slightly exhausted, but it was over.


“Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...” 
- A.A. Milne


Episode Reference: Insane in the Brain, Cyprus Hill song
(there are some bad words,
you have been warned)

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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

1 comments:

  1. Hopefully your results will be completely clear! I'll continue to pray for you. Blessings, Bonnie

    ReplyDelete