The worst part of the MRI was the needle sticks. I have terrible veins. John the technician apologized over and over for my wretched veins — or maybe it was his way of saying “sorry I’m not very good at this.” He finally told me he’d have to send me home because if he couldn’t find a vein to inject the contrast dye, there was no point in having an MRI. “Try one more time,” I begged. “I don’t care how many times you have to stick me, just try again, please…”
And so nearly 45 minutes and six band aids later, I was laying face down on a table and sliding into a tube. About three minutes after that I think I fell asleep. John was a nice man, he kept telling me he wished all his patients had my attitude, but there’s something to be said for having a tech on hand who does nothing but find veins. Sorry John. It really is a skill.
I had called ahead to radiology and asked them to have hard copies of my films and reports so that I could take them with me to tomorrow’s appointment with the breast surgeon. I know the surgeon’s office requested everything electronically, but I think it was a friend who advised I get the hardcopies in case I want to pursue a second opinion.
I couldn’t resist reading the printed reports. It’s kind of strange to see the pathology notes, the word malignant typed in bold upper case letters. “Site one, left upper posterior cluster with architectural distortion: moderate to poorly differentiated invasive ductal carcinoma, and intermediate to high grade ductal carcinoma in situ. Site two, left breast mid anterior cluster: Focal atypical duct hyperplasia and atypical lobular hyperplasia with calcifications. Please note that faint residual amorphous micro calcifications are seen between the two markers. Recommendation: breast MRI and surgical management.”
It doesn’t sound great, but it doesn’t sound terrible either. I feel like it’s somewhere in the middle. Maybe I’m kidding myself. I guess I’ll know for sure tomorrow after I meet with the breast surgeon. Or maybe not. One of my doctors told me not to be surprised if after the MRI they want to do more biopsies. I asked John if he could tell me anything about the MRI results, but he said he took over 3,000 images in 30 minutes and there was really nothing he could say about it.
When my husband kissed me good bye this morning, he whispered, “Today is the first of many positive steps.” And it seems right to think of it that way, but it’s hard. I’m using denial to help me stay positive. I can’t think about what it really means or what really lies ahead — I can only handle one day at a time. I don’t know if that’s the best strategy, but it’s all I’ve got today.