Monday, March 9, 2009

Chaos ensues Part 2

Again...this will probably be the longest blog I will ever write, so please bear with me and don't give up.

While snuggling with Zach one night, I noticed a lump kind of under my arm. My initial reaction was to not panic. My oncologist always says wait a few days to see if it is something to be concerned about. So I waited, and waited, but the lump didn't go away. Before you start to get too worried, remember I said everything was just ducky now. So I called my doctor and she wanted to see me that day. That was a week ago Friday. I went in, had an exam, and she tried to assure me that she, "thought it was nothing." Those of you who know my story are aware that I had 2 doctors say that same thing days before I was diagnosed. I was terrified. She said that she wanted to do an MRI, "not because she thought it was anything, but because I hadn't had one in a while." So the MRI was scheduled for this past Wednesday--"Cancer Day."

I had never had an MRI at the Brigham before, so I called my dear friend who is starting treatment this week. (Good luck, Patty!) Patty suggested that we make a day of it. I would go wig shopping with her in the morning and she would come with me to my appointment at DFCI later that afternoon. Thus..."Cancer Day."

So Patty and I had an appointment with Sylvia at 11:00. When we walked in, we realized we were in for a ride. One look at Sylvia's hair, and we knew there was no way in hell Patty would be purchasing a wig here. We originally thought her hair was a wig, but after looking at it closely, we found out it was just really bad hair. Sylvia was a trip--she continuously walked around her salon looking for "her"--she calls all of her wigs "she" or "her." This was a little disturbing to me. Needless to say, we made a run for it to enjoy lunch.

After lunch we headed to the Brigham for my MRI. I vaguely remember having my last two. I had no idea how long it would be. I was okay until the tech told me it would be 1 hour and 20 minutes! That's longer than it takes to walk 4 miles! I put my game face on and gave myself a pep talk, you know, "one for the Gipper" and all that. I'm sure most of you are familiar with MRIs--the incessant banging and buzzing, and the freezing cold temperature of the room. Well, what you may not know is that when you have a breast MRI you lay face down, with your boobs hanging through 2 holes--yes, you heard me correctly. You then put your face on top of some plastic mold, which is covered with the most irritating tissue paper, like the kind that came in little squares in the elementary school bathrooms when you were a kid. After that you have to raise your hands above your head and hold the little ball to squeeze in case of emergency. I hadn't even begun yet, and was ready to squeeze away. Then they start to move me into the tube. The one benefit of being face down is that you can't see that you are literally in a coffin. They have a small mirror that reflects up so that you can look at your hands--like that is supposed to make you feel less like a sardine! The breathing quickens and panic sets in as the rapping and tapping start. I try to meditate and slow my breathing. It begins to work until the rapping turns to buzzing and I almost hit my head because I jump so much. After about 15 minutes I decide that I can handle this.

Then it happens...I have a hot flash! For those of you who have ever experienced a hot flash, you know where this is going. For those of you have seen someone having a hot flash you do too. The next thing I know I have droplets of sweat in my eyeballs! I am drenched and have this insatiable urge to scream; however, I keep my composure until the end of the 7 minute test. After asking several times for the tech to take off my blanket, and completing another 3 minute test, I am relieved by the gentle wafting of air from the fan. Now, I ask you, if someone is going to be enclosed in a tube for 80 minutes, wouldn't you offer them a fan from the start?

Okay, so traumas one and two averted. Did you think there were only two? Well, obviously you don't know me very well. Wouldn't you know it that within 2 minutes, my right arm falls asleep. Not just a little, but major pins and needles. Again, panic. This time I squeeze the button knowing that I still have at least a half hour of tests left. The gracious tech tells me that I can move my arm JUST A LITTLE, but to be sure not to lift my chest! Are you kidding me? Of course, I do exactly as she says and am comfortable for the moment. Can you tell where this is heading? I do have 2 arms! This time I don't even ask. As soon as the next test is over I just move. Luckily I didn't get scolded.

The rest of the test was uneventful except for the fact that the tech said the last test was 3 minutes and it was actually 3 minutes and 45 seconds, counting slowly. As I went out to find Patty, the look on her face said it all. I looked like I had been through the ringer, and I hadn't even waited for my results.

So my oncologist said I would get the results in one business day, which was perfect because I don't work on Thursday. I was terrified, and I think Andy was in denial. Mom came over to be with me when I called. Okay, so they need to specify that the next business day means a full 24 hours! I had to wait until Friday!

So enough of the drama...I called on Friday, from work, where all of my colleagues were super supportive! As I said earlier, everything is just ducky now! My MRI was fine. Yea!

Now that I have all of this chaos behind me, I feel like I can really start to focus on the task at hand, training and helping to find a cure for breast cancer. With the beautiful weather this weekend I was able to get outside and do about 4 1/2 miles! Thank you to all that have donated so far. I already have over $1,400! If you haven't donated yet, and wish to, just click on the donate button on my blog. Most importantly, thanks to everyone for all your support.

Be sure to visit my blog often. I will definitely be updating more frequently.

Ta-Ta for now!

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap (add extra expletives here) Sherri, what an ordeal. I am so glad you came through okay!!! You are one cool woman! Also think it's awesome you are on the brochure...hope you guys are having a more uneventful week this week!!!