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breast MRI (aka: the downward dog style dangling boob adventure)

Finally, it's MRI time! By the end of the week, I was finally getting my MRI. This test is the one I feel like will give me a better, and more detailed, glimpse into what is going on with my lymph nodes. It will also show if there is some missed lump lingering within the tissue of my boobs. It has been a while, but I completely remember how the breast MRI goes. It is one of those test that linger in your mind because they are so awkward, and for me, funny. If you read my posts back in 2013 , the MRI process hasn't changed. And I came in ready to "moo" some humor for the nurses (just keep reading). Here is the Standard (& Somewhat Boring) MRI with Contrast Process Fill out Paperwork Changed into gown Wait a Little Nurse starts an IV (for me, it can only be in my left arm due to Lymphedema) Placed on MRI table (face down, face & ankles supported by pillows, & given headphones with music - sometimes ear plugs too) MRI table goes into MRI machine Have the MRI
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blood, sweat, & money

This past week was going to be busy, but I know it is just the start of what is to come.  First up - Genetic Testing I had genetic testing done with my first go round with cancer in 2013. At that time, my BRCA (genetic testing to see if you have a greater chance for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer) came back negative. I suspect it will be negative again. (Addendum - my tests did come back negative again.) When I was 38, I signed a bunch of forms allowing the company who would process my test the ability to used my information for research and got the test at a discounted rate. So, I have a vague memory that it was expensive... it has been a long time... so a very distant vague memory... but it was in the thousands. And let's be honest - I tested negative for BRCA in 2013 and I am dealing with a whole new cancer in 2023. Tests are not always 100% right.  Now of course, my cancer is a new primary cancer so all the testing feels somewhat irrelevant. Right? Or at least, I do not f

i'm back in the cancer again

On Friday afternoon, I got the call... You've got cancer. I find myself again - sucked into the world of cancer. Surprise... it's back! I guess this was one way to get me back to update my blog! Yes, all those doctors who thought I was being a giant pain in their butt and didn't know what I was talking about when I push and argued to get the biopsy done... well, I get to say "I told you so." I wish it felt better to say, but I was really hoping for I told you I had that weird autoimmune issue (I was thinking lupus... but we will wait on that one). And for those who don't realize how hard I had to advocate to get the biopsy, check out my three blog entries before this one which has a detailed explanation of how I have had to deal with doctors all saying they didn't think I had anything wrong with me - and it was not cancer or breast cancer. It is also important because my self-advocacy and persistence may have actually saved my life. Let's get into what

time for some answers

We are finally near the end of the three part blog updating journey. Whew! I am so ready to find out what the heck is going on with my body. PART THREE If you read PART ONE or PART TWO of my recent experience, you will know I am crazy frustrated and slightly paranoid that my medical team is going to screw another thing up. So, I asked everyone when I went in for the biopsy that they were going to do a cancer screening (the original ER doctor was concerned about) and test for all the autoimmune things (the PET scan Radiologist, Ultrasound Radiologist, and my Oncologist thinks I have).  I am coming into this with a fresh start. I want to make sure that they test for everything the biopsy can because I really don't want to have to come back and do this again. All I know is something isn't right with me - and I hope this helps me figure out what it is. The Radiologist who did the biopsy was more informative than all the other doctors I have seen so far. She explained things more

better safe than sorry

Recap, if you read my  last post you know I had a CT scan that showed something looked off with my axillary lymph nodes on my left side (a bunch of lymph nodes in my mesenteric and iliac... and a few other abnormal things).  I even have a moral to this part of my health journey. Be your own health advocate - even when it's hard (I'm even bolding some of my moments where I had to stand up for myself with and against some of my own doctors)! PART TWO Get ready, a ton of things happened over the course of a few weeks... I call my Oncologist the next day after learning my CT scan results. My Oncologist saw the CT results and called me back the next night. She and I don't fully agree on everything in our conversation, and   I protest a bit saying better safe than sorry. Despite this, she wants me to wait a month before getting the PET scan. I don't really like the idea of waiting that long since I know I haven't felt great since April.  I did tell her that if I could f

wreck, boom, bang

Life... so much has happened in my life since the last blog post. However, I had to write for a few reasons, but for now, I am going to focus on a few recent events. Hopefully, my journey might be what inspires or encourages someone out there to be their own best health advocate.  It is kind of long, so I will share in a 3 Part journey. PART ONE You know you the best. And I had a sneaky feeling, something was off with me. I have had a few weird and annoying symptoms pop up around April this year. I fussed and complained to all my doctors. And in the back of my mind, I wondered. Maybe, just maybe, I was having some unconscious psychosomatic issues because I am right at the 10 year mark of finding my cancer. Was it all in my head? I didn't have long to ponder the problem long. Life hit. My daughter got injured at camp. My son finished grad school and moved back home. My dad got really sick (not sure how much he wants me to discuss - but it has been tough). Hospital trips. Doctor appo

So Long Lady Parts

I am very grateful hysterectomies have changed over the last few years. I do not have to undergo the invasive surgical procedures many women before me have endured, including longer recovery times. Now it is faster, safer, and easier to recover. Since I am always getting poked and prodded, it is comforting to think it will be easier and less painful. At this point, I have decided to get off my cancer medications, because I will have to get on a different kind after the hysterectomy, as I will be post-menopausal. I figure, I might as well get a few good weeks before having to take them again. What's a Robotic Hysterectomy (& Oophorectomy - ovaries removed)? During a robotic hysterectomy, your surgeon makes five small incisions in your abdomen to provide access for surgical tools. Through these incisions, your surgeon detaches your uterus, and for me, ovaries and fallopian tubes from surrounding tissues.   If you ever get a chance to watch one of th