Just remember to breathe…


So today was the day….

The morning started with a 7:30 visit to the laboratory for a blood test before my scan.  I must say on the drive there I actually felt a little more nervous – it had been a while since I had blood taken and I couldn’t actually spot any decent visible veins on my left arm.  I was mentally preparing myself for the foot thing ****scream face**** 

Luckily the lab sister along with the assistance of 1 x very tight compression band found one lurking in my hand 🙂

Despite the success at the Lab, I arrived for the MRI feeling rather ill.  The stress of the last week coupled with the memories of mammograms, biopsies and scans 15 days short of one year ago, were a little too fresh for comfort… 

 Fortunately I didn’t have too much time to wallow.  Before I knew it I was sitting in a chair wearing a rather flattering ***NOT! ***navy blue gown while a nurse tried to locate yet another vein!  They needed to attach a line through which the contrast could be administered during the scan.  It was clearly my day – she found one in the crook of my arm with the assistance of another 1 x very, VERY tight compression band. 

All suited up I was ushered towards the scanning machine and then VERY quickly told that apparently I did not need to remove my gown completely………….. as I stood there in my panties ***slaps head***I tell you there really is an exhibitionist in me!

Now anyone who has ever had an MRI of the chest (boobs) will tell you that it’s not a particular comfortable position to be in, figuratively and literally!  You have to lie on your tummy with your chest (boobs) in this device which I can only describe as cup holders .  No jokes – they look exactly like grown up versions of the cup holders I have in my car.  I was then asked what my cup (no pun intended) 🙂 size was so they can adapt the holders: either by adding “padding” to make them smaller or to take “padding” out to make the holes bigger – and when I say padding I don’t mean lovely soft cushioning fabric – I mean a hard plastic insert which they try and soften with paper towels.  Even the consultant said to me – “these have definitely been designed by a man”. 

cup holder

So there I was with my boobs inserted like Macdonald shakes into the cup holders while lying comfortably…..NOT!!!…… (the headrests are definitely not made for anyone with a nose) with earplugs in my ears and a panic button in my hand (just in case) although I don’t quite know how you would actually know to panic when you couldn’t hear or see a thing!   

The radiographer communicated with me via a speaker inserted in my head (ok so maybe not quite in my head) but that’s the impression I got and the conversations went something like this:  The radiographer: “Mrs Elliott are you ok” Me: “des umm byn” – apparently she did understand whale…or alternatively she actually could understand what someone said while they lay on their stomach with two blocked nasal passages!

Then the scanning began which can only be compared to walking into a rave club…….completely sober.  There is this really loud “doof doof” base-like noise with an occasional screech thrown in for good measure followed by a loud vibration which makes you feel as though you are suspended in a wind tunnel…………..without the wind.  

At some point in the procedure the radiographer let me know that the contrast would be inserted into my vein, fortunately she did or I might have missed the burning pain in my arm…. EISH!

It may or may not surprise you to find that I have a mantra for MRI’s too!  Which was a really good thing today as this one took an hour to complete – time takes on a whole different dimension when you are suspended in the tunnel.

Apparently the implants also make it a little more difficult to get a clear picture……

We rushed off to the Dent Doctor just as soon as I was able to get myself out of my gown.  He was already looking at the images on his laptop when we arrived in his office – isn’t technology amazing!  But he was still waiting for the contrast images (apparently how the dye washes in and out of the cells indicates whether there is a malignancy present or not) and the radiographer’s report.  BUT he showed us the images anyway while he explained why he didn’t think there was anything to worry about……. ummmm yes I see the blurry grey line next to the blurry grey round thing……. apparently the absence of white bits was a positive thing although we were not to worry about THAT white bit on the side as that was just a blood vessel……..ummm….sure…… OK!   

We left the Cancer Centre feeling a little more at ease but the real relief hit an hour and a bit later when he called to say he had the final images and report and it was all DEFINITELY clear!

It felt like as though I was finally able to take my first full breath in over a week….. 🙂

“We experience moments absolutely free from worry.  These brief respites are called panic”. Cullen Hightower

Keep Calm


6 thoughts on “Just remember to breathe…

  1. Its amazing how your mind manages to block out bad memories – its not even a year ago yet and I’d forgotten about those hours before your diagnosis… Sitting and waiting in hospitals, where the minutes turn into hours and while everyone around you seems crazy – your life just stands still.

    Again, our Discovery angel stepped in yesterday, there aren’t word to thank her for working her magic and getting the authorization approved in half an hour. Just the thought of having to wait a “few more days” because the medical aid had not authorized was more than I could comprehend having to handle.

    Know there were lots of people waiting with baited breathe today… I know I felt like I’ve spent the last 5 days holding mine. Cannot describe the relief which washed over me when the Dent Doctor called and told me the fantastic news that “we were all clear”. I know there were tears in my eyes, and I sat at my desk for at least 5 minutes just staring at my computer while the gratitude washed over me. Thank you to everyone for the messages, calls, thoughts and prayers over the past few days… No words capture how much it truly means.

    Janine – you are truly amazing… xxx

    “Find that inner strength of will and determination within your heart and guts , to keep on fighting, to win everyday.”
    – Anon –

    “Sometimes there are no words. No clever quotes to sum up whats happened that day”
    – Anon –


  2. Gosh Janine it sounds like some kind of medi-evil torture. You have such strength of character. I admire your courage and determination. I cannot tell you how happy I am for you that you have the all-clear, again and this time hopefully no more hiccups! Love you xxxxx
    The important thing in life is not how many times you get knocked down but what you do when you are able to stand again!


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