…”Yes, this is my 6th,” I answered the technician.
I have been waiting for this MRI for almost a year. After my mastectomy, I developed severe nerve pain in my legs. I have been prescribed several kinds of medication but none have worked. The only way for the doctors to see if I have any nerve damage or if something is pinching a nerve is with an MRI. Unfortunately I could not get an appointment until after my tissue expanders were removed as they had metal ports inside…and you cannot have ANY metal in an MRI machine. You can’t even wear nail polish as some contain fragments of metal. I didn’t know that fact until I was sitting in a hospital gown awaiting my turn and noticed that I still had “metallic looking” polish on my toes. Fu#k! I immediately started picking and rubbing my toes, cursing under my breath and panicking that the MRI machine would attract the metal polish….and pull my toe nails right off my feet! I got off as much as I could before being put into the machine. I lay barely breathing, waiting for the loud buzzing sound to start and to see if I still had toes attached to my feet. Fortunately my imagination got the best of me and I am happy to say that my toes are just fine!
Due to the metal ports that were in my tissue expanders I was not able to have an MRI until they were removed on February 11. After that surgery, I was put on a waiting list for the MRI. Finally, and with fingers and especially toes crossed, I am hoping that the scans I had will show what is causing all my nerve pain and my doctors can treat it. That would be soooooo nice, to not have to lie in bed with my legs aching from the shooting pains that radiate down my thighs and calves and to be able to sleep.
I have had MRI’s before as I have two herniated discs in my back and as a result I receive epidural steroid injections. Although a painful procedure, the injections provide me with a lot of relief. I wouldn’t have been able to get through my surgeries if I didn’t receive these injections.
I have also had an MRI when I was going through the diagnosis stage for breast cancer. When I woke up in the middle of the night last year with severe chest pains, I went into the bathroom and saw that I had blood oozing from my left nipple. I knew then, that something was very wrong. My family doctor sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound and then referred me to a surgeon. The surgeon took swabs of the bloody substance that continued to secrete from my nipple; sent me for an MRI of my breasts and then ultimately a biopsy. For several weeks I underwent a whirlwind of tests, examinations and appointments at several hospitals, with several doctors. The whole process started in March 2018…I was diagnosed April 30, 2018 and I had my mastectomy June 13, 2018. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and other times it feels like I’ve been dealing with cancer and all its ramifications FOREVER!
With more appointments for my back; hopefully a procedure to help the pain in my legs and at least two more surgeries on my chest it looks like this journey is far from complete. For over a year cancer has taken all my focus, all my energy and much of my spirit. I long for a day when breast cancer isn’t the first thing I think about when I rise and the last thing I think about before I lay down at night. I long for a day when I can say, “Yes, I had breast cancer. I not only survived, but I kicked its ass!”
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.