Today I went for my (what seems to becoming a tradition) day after the Superbowl MRI. Prior to my mastectomy, MRI was a much better surveillance method because mammography isn't as reliable on younger breast tissue. Now after, it is the only available method (picture me doing a cheer about never having to have a mammogram again!!). I will continue to have this scan annually. They are looking to see that there is no cancer growth in the remaining skin. Also because of my choice of reconstruction, they use this scan as a way of checking on my implants to make sure they are in good shape with no leaks or punctures.
You may recall my post last year about my breast MRI experience entitled "I'm a puker." Well...I don't know why I thought it would be different. I really had high hopes for this one. I actually completely forgot that this was scheduled until I opened my calendar at 6:00 this morning. I feel like this is a good sign though because if I can forget about it, it means that I'm not obsessively nervous about these appointments anymore. I quickly added a pair of warm socks and a book to read in the waiting room to my bag figuring I was all set for the day. As I was driving to work, I thought about it a little more and realized I didn't do the research that I wanted to since last time about the IV. I figured, "Oh well, I'll just try to tough it out this time...I'll be fine." I did not want to puke this time; I wanted to bring something small to eat before the appointment. So at our meeting this afternoon, I grabbed a small deliciously gooey brownie and enjoyed it.
The MRI process began as normal. I had no trouble getting the IV and I have no problem with the small space. My music was cranked up and I was positioned very quickly and easily into the machine. The first scans were short ones...20 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes. Then they injected the dye. Just like last time, it went like this:
1. Dye injected
2. Immediate metallic taste in my mouth
3. The strange feeling like I just peed my pants (but I didn't)
4. Then uncontrollable puking for ten seconds
Then it's all over and I need to try to lie still for another 7 1/2 minutes because this dye scan is of course the longest one at 8 minutes. Those feelings come on so fast and so strong and no amount of self talk, breathing, or imagery can keep me from vomiting. However, last time I didn't eat anything before the appointment. This time, I did actually puke. I felt really bad that I messed up their little table. I'll feel worse when the doctor gets the images and says that I have to take them over because I moved too much. So...lesson learned this year: Do not eat before an MRI. Also, maybe next year I'll ask if I can bring my own music.
This is what a breast MRI image looks like. This is not mine!