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Breast MRI Barbie

If you liked the mammogram press story, you are in for another treat. I’ll start by saying that if you can avoid a breast MRI, please do. I should stop here, but it's too good not to share. During a normal MRI, you may picture yourself laying on your back stuffed into a confined, loud tube with “noise-cancelling” earphones (I think mine were from 1991), repeating to yourself to not move a muscle. Doesn't sound too bad to me (said no one ever). Now picture a breast MRI. You are positioned facedown with your head in a firm massage table head piece, arms tucked at your sides, "noise cancelling" head phones resting halfway on your ears, a metal bar wedged into your rib cage and most importantly, your breasts are free hanging through two cut outs in the table. This reminded me of the cute face cutouts at a state fair only the complete opposite. Definitely not the most flattering selfie.


In preparation for the MRI, I was told not to wear pants with a zipper. Oh trust me, I haven't in weeks. I slipped into my black Lululemon leggings (basic I know) and checked into the hospital. I met with the MRI technician, who gave me a gown to wear on top and a pair of scrub pants as my bottoms. I asked him why I could not wear my comfy Lululemon leggings, and he explained that some of their clothing has silver in it to prevent workout stench. This silver can reflect in the MRI and cause interference on the scans (fun fact of the day!). Besides changing my pants, I had to take out all body piercings. Please take a moment of silence for the loss of my Claire's gold plated belly button ring. I will forever cherish our trashy 12 years together (cue Sammie Sosa finger kiss to the sky). After saying a little prayer, I was ready to get the party started.


The MRI technician told me, "if you move at any time during the scan, we will have to reschedule the full scan for another day." I have never given myself more positive self-talk than that day. With what sounded like Beyoncé playing in my headphones, I felt her fierceness spread through the MRI tunnel. It could have been Creed for all I know, but let's stick with Beyoncé for the dramatics. I will forever thank Beyoncreed for getting me through the MRI. I had to refrain from screaming when the MRI technician told me the scan was over. Being I work at this hospital, I did not want to be labeled as that crazy employee turned patient. I walked out of there with my head a little higher and a belly button ring short.

My MRI was on a Friday and I did not expect the results until the following Monday. To my surprise, I received a call from my breast surgeon Friday evening. She expressed to me that there was good and bad news. The good news was that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes and my cancer stage was 1B. The bad news was that another suspicious area loomed. This area was labeled as "non-mass enhancement" and would require further investigation. It was recommended that I have a second ultrasound-guided biopsy prior to proceeding with chemotherapy treatment. Why couldn't it just be the Lululemon interference?


This news shook me (shook me all night long) because I had a treatment plan in place. I was forced to change my Kanye’s workout plan into a remix with some AC/DC influence. I accepted my highway to hell and moved forward with my port placement Monday, biopsy on Wednesday, and first round of chemotherapy on Thursday. The day following my first chemo treatment was when my biopsy results were in. The “non-mass enhancement” was....benign! Relief…I had come to terms with having one cancerous lump but not two.

Ps. There were no Barbies harmed for this post.

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