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...

Vol 2 - Nerve Study

Zap. Zap. Zap.

I am sitting here looking at my computer realizing months and months have passed and I am getting further behind on catching up and I really need to. It is fall break (yeah... it's October and I am writing about May). Maybe over this week I will finally get everything right back up to speed so that you can see that my roller coaster of a life is still as entertaining... for those reading and watching... maybe not as much living!!!

Travel back to May with me....

So, I just finished my mammogram and they told me I was fine - which is what I wanted to hear. With all the nervous system problems that I have been dealing with they sent me to a nerve study to rule out all the big issues. I mean in general these test are for ALS, MS, and other nerve illness that I was not worried about (as of yet), so these were doctors sending me as precautionary... yeah!!! Why not? I mean chemo was not the cause... it could not be the cause... really????

I have never seen doctors try not to blame so many things on cancer treatment than on the many things that cancer treatment caused. Stop the insanity already!

I am not sure how to describe a nerve study except for tiny electric shock session. I hear some people hate it and others do not mind it. I fell somewhere in the middle. The doctor was very nice, but a quiet. I swear I cannot tell if some of these doctors understand my obnoxious sense of humor. I think she was trying to figure out if I was joking or needed a mental health exam. I made so many jokes and goofy comments. How could I not? Here I am in the most unexpected of situations... again!

Dress comfortably... because you are going to be uncomfortable soon...

The room was like any other doctor's office room, but at the end was an electromyogram (EMG) machine, which measures electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction, needles, and some other odds and ends... yep... I was going to get stuck good today... there were LOTS of needles.

The doctor started of with the simpler of the two tests. She gently cleaned my skin and placed electrodes randomly on my body while I laid on my side. The wires ran to the computer and then I tighten my muscles while it recorded it. That was done over different parts of my body and then I flipped and did the other side. I think she may have used needles, but it was minor and I was in my happy place just thinking random happy thoughts... it was minor. I was uncomfortable, but it could be worse!

I could not see the computer, but she said the muscles showed up as wavy lines and I could hear noises as I contracted. The doctor was constantly pushing buttons and doing things while I was asked to do things, but in general I was pretty still and did very little for around thirty minutes or more.

Pretty painless... what's next...

So, besides measuring my muscles, with what seemed like the mild short needles it was time to actually put the needles into the muscle and zap them. Yep, let's see how fast the nerves could send electrical signals. And unlike the very minor feeling first part... the second part has a kick... or a punch... or a zap...

Even though I laid in the exact same positions, the next test used several electrodes attached into my muscle via a needle and taped down. A shock-emitting electrode was placed directly in it and a few electrical pulses are given to the nerve... zap... zap...

The computer records the speed, the conduction velocity, and then I flipped over and get to endure the pain again to compare the other side. Yeah!!!!

It takes a while to get all the needles in. Seriously, the doctor has to acupuncturistly put in each needle and then you sit there like a pin cushion while you get set up to be mildly electrocuted... taking around thirty minutes or more for each side.

Are they in yet????

After multiple zaps and jumps and muscle contortions... you are done. Some are mild and others make you come of the table... but in the end you step back and look at the space you were at and think wonder if it was bad or not?!?!?!

Feeling somewhat used and abused... but finished!

Up the Rollercoaster...

(Remember my last blog entry Vol 1 reference... the roller coaster of my childhood, the Mindbender... well, it's time to go up that hill now...)

What can I say about my nerve study? I was fine and my results normal. I expected that, but it was an adventure. How was this on my roller coaster adventure... well... Wheeeeeeee.... It is like a sharp pain of tingling discomfort!!!

Down the (first Mindbender) hill I go!!!!

- Batman
LP Cover Illustrations (1966)

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About happihare

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 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