What's Really Bothering Me

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. I forgot to call him. I had been planning on calling him and had thought about it all weekend and in the distraction of Monday's MRI it slipped my mind. That is an example of what cancer can do if you let it. Now, I know I can call my dad today and say "I'm sorry dad, I was distracted" and ask him if he got his English muffins from Wolferman's yet. He will be fine and say "you have a lot on your mind honey" and leave it at that. I think this really hurt his feelings even if he does understand and it makes me sad to know it. I know that you are probably out here reading to get the answers that I just don't have yet about the MRI I had yesterday in my quest to get some pain relief from my returned sciatic pain. The experience was typical of a scan except MRIs are long and loud and confining. My daughter went with me as moral support and we laughed and joked while we sat in the waiting area. I was called back and they led us to a small waiting room which they wanted Maggie to wait in for me. I wanted her to come in with me and they said no, so I handed her my purse and rolled my eyes. She said "call if you need me to hold your hand for the IV mom". I smile at her and follow the tech to the room where we determine why I am there and important stuff like if I have an under-wire bra on. I inform them that this isn't my "first rodeo" and I have no metal on my body whatsoever. My only request is that I can remove my shoes for comfort. They say OK so I slip them off and ease back on to the table placing my head in the plastic thingy and my shoulders resting against it. They place a wedge pillow under my legs and my knees drop open in the frog position. The tech informs me that they don't want me to move at all and although I know this I just say OK. She hands me my call light...or "panic button" and covers me with a blanket. I don't know these techs like the CT girls and they don't know me and what I've been through. I feel cold and am glad to have the blanket. Then without another word they slide the table into the mouth of the MRI. For those of you that have never had one, an MRI is not for the claustrophobic. The tube is tight and it is literally just a few inches from your face. I close my eyes and try to pretend that I am napping. This works for a while. They start the test and a series of whirrs and knocking sounds pulse intermittently. I remain motionless. After about 10 minutes she talks over the intercom. Oddly, she doesn't ask me if I am OK. Instead she tells me not to move. "Was I moving?" I thought. I was afraid to ask because it might cause me to move and I could clearly see that this might get me in some sort of trouble with the "MRI Police". Of course, the more I concentrate on holding still the more I want to move. I open my eyes and stare at two screws that are directly in my sight literally 2 inches from my eyes. My left arm falls asleep and my right hand is cramping around the panic button. My right leg and butt cheek have a fiery burn going through them. I WANT to move so bad. It's all I can think of. I start to sweat profusely and I feel the first waves of panic rush over me as the machine continues to hum and buzz and rap in my ears. I try to calm myself, but it is futile. I want OUT! I hold on as long as I can and finally squeeze the call light in my hand. The tech immediately enters the room and says "You only have 50 seconds left. What do you need?" I say I am sweating. She pulls off the blanket and asks if that is better. "Sure." I say out loud. "No!" I shout in my head. I start to cry in there...way back in that white cylinder where no one can see but God. I wonder why I am crying and command myself to get a grip. I stop crying. My face itches where the tears are drying. I hold really still. The last 50 seconds drags by and finally they are sliding me out to give me the iron injection. She hits her mark on the first try and I can taste the iron after she injects it. She quickly puts on the band aid and bends my arm at the elbow because she needs to slide me back down that narrow tunnel and get her final pictures. She forgets to hand me the call light this time, but it's OK because this will be short I know, maybe 10 minutes tops. I stare at the screws and try to think of being at the lake and making a list of groceries in my head. When it's finally over they slide me out into the wide open space of the room. I take a breathe and put on my shoes. I request a copy of my MRI on a disc to take with me for Dr. Grundmeyer. They say ok and I ask who's reading MRIs today. They tell me and then inform me that it will be sent through on "rapid read". "What's that?" I ask, my antenna immediately deployed at the word "rapid". She shrugs and says it's so I can get answers quicker. The radiologist will see it immediately that way. She hands me my disc and points me and my daughter to the exit. We leave a bit troubled, but I shake it off. The doctor will call me if there's a problem I think. We  immediately drive over to the Neuro Center to drop off my disc and I take the first available appointment that works in my schedule, August 21. They could have seen me on the 8th but I will be at my sisters that week and if something turns up bad on that scan they will squeeze me in earlier I figure. My daughter and I decide that it doesn't matter what the MRI shows, we are going to see my family in NC regardless. I may need something more potent than ibuprofen to relieve my discomfort, but I am going on that trip. We head home, stopping at Sonic for "happy hour" cherry limeades wondering what to have for dinner. My husband wants spagghetti and my daughter and I work in the kitchen together to make it. I notice my phone has a flashing messgae waiting. I call my voicemail and there are 2 messages waiting. The first is my doctors office wanting to talk to me about my MRI. What? My phone never rang. The second was a friend of mine and my phone never rang. They must have come in at the same time and went directly to voicemail as a result. It's 5:20 pm now. I knew it was useless, but i called right away and of course could not get anybody but the operator. After hemming and hawing for 30 minutes my Bestie suggested that I just page my doctor through the physician exchange. So I do. He calls me right back and said he only had the "rapid results". What are they I ask. He says it just says "much improved" compared to the last scan. I am slightly confused by this statement. "What does that mean?" I ask. He says he doesn't know and needs a full report to determine the results and that won't be until tomorrow. I ask him if I should continue to stay on the "neurosurgeon" track and he says yes and then we hang up. Of course, after you hang up you think of all the questions you should have asked. Like for instance "compared to what last scan? The one at the clinic?" That one had a tumor on it and I don't want "much improved" I want negative or normal or not tumor present as a reading. Or how about "Did they compare it to the one I had at the hospital 18 months ago?" That one, I like the results "much improved" although it is confusing because my pain and symptoms are so much greater than then so what's causing that? So there you have it. I don't really know anything and have to wait a little longer to find out what in the world is going on here. Now, back to what's really bothering me. Yesterday was my dad's birthday. I forgot to call him.
Annabelle sent you a hug.
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Did you have your appointment today? I hope much improved is normal. Your story of the MRI is quite gripping. I wish you had a more caring tech. Birthdays are more important to some than to others.
 I did have my appointment today! I have a lot of scar tissue. He thinks I will benefit from neurotin pills and a paraformis injection on the right side. I hope he is right because my ass is killing me :)

Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp


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