Pam vs the Machine

MRI day today.

I’m terrified of enclosed spaces.  I get anxiety attacks just walking back to the MRI room, let alone actually laying down and completing one.   I was able to do a Breast MRI in 2013 because you lay on your stomach and you just see the bottom of the machine which was okay.  There was some crying and panicking that day but I got through it.

Since then it’s been a different story.  I go into the MRI room thinking that this is the time and I’m going to make it.  Then my brain turns on me and I start thinking that I’m being crushed by the machine and then I’m done for the day.   The last time I tried, I was all psyched up and laying on the thing ready to do it when they started layering all kinds of crap on top of me.  That flipped me out because I felt like I was being crushed.

The deal with today’s MRI is that it wasn’t an option.  I had to get it done.  The alternative to the MRI was a CT Scan – which is much easier but I’m very allergic to the contrast media.   There is one tumor on my side that will be easy to “pop out.”     There is a second tumor up in my pectoral area that has grown into a vein and has capillaries that have grown all around it.  So the MRI is needed so that the doctors could figure out which things they could cut without cutting off my circulation.

I polled all my friends and a ton of them get full on sedated (like anesthesiologist in the room).  Some of my friends said that Ativan (which I take) and a wash cloth over my eyes would get me through it.

And it did!   I did go into a few minor panic attacks which I was able to contain.  Then they put things over my shoulder and chest.  I did not like that as it felt like my chest was being compressed but then I realized that I was able to breathe and I stopped freaking out.

So, I conquered the machine!!!!   Not that I would volunteer for more, but now I know what I need to do to get through it.  Wahooo!

The only negative thing was that they had trouble getting my IV in and had to put a super tight tourniquet on my arm.  If you want to know what it looks like when you keep a super tight tourniquet on an arm of a person that is low on platelets, I took a picture!



The white area at top is where the tourniquet was and the dark red area goes all the way down to my hand.  It’s called petichia – basically little blood dots.  My arm is swollen a little but it looks worse than it feels.

Oh,  Songs sung (in my head) during the MRI:

  1.  99 bottles of beer on the wall (only got to 85 before I was bored)
  2. USC Fight Song
  3. Conquest
  4. The two lines of Katy Perry’s “Roar” that I know.
  5. Excerpts of “The Book of Mormon”

So while the PET scan is dedicated to “The Nightmare before Christmas”; the MRI scan is more of a musical revue!

Not sure this is public but my surgery date got moved to Tuesday, May 24th.

OK…going to go take a nap since I had to get up at 4am to get there in time.

Transfusion and appointment with Surgeon 2 tomorrow!

Fight On!










2 Comments on “Pam vs the Machine”

  1. Barbara DiCarlo says:

    Pam so proud of you! You got through a real big day! Breath and know you did good! Ciao B

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Lori Lewis says:

    You are SUCH a rock star, beating the scary machine. You did awesome. Sending healthy vibes and strength for your surgery!!! xoxo LOVE YOU Trojan, FIGHT ON!!!!


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