Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Scans... and Some Results

Today I had a nodal ultrasound and a breast MRI.  

It was an early wakeup for someone who hasn't been sleeping well, so I was moving slowly this morning.  So slowly that I ran out of time and wasn't able to make my cold brew latte and had to go without coffee.  Not a good start.

The nodal basin ultrasound was easy-peasy, though I had to explain to a few different people that yes, I had already had the regular ultrasound, and no, I didn't need that done again, yes, I just needed the other areas checked.

The tech and the doctor both were reassuring - nothing new was showing up on the ultrasound.  They saw the funky axilla lymph nodes that we already knew about, but nothing new.  The doctor cautioned, though, that the MRI could pick up on something that the ultrasound may not.

At least I had some good news to share - nothing new on the ultrasound!

I had gone through a brain MRI before (Maybe twice? It's been a while), but never a breast MRI.  I was given a couple of hospital gowns first for modesty (goodbye to the comfy Breast Center robe!) and then walked over to a small room to have an IV placed since the MRI was both with and without contrast.  The IV tech was very nice and told me to look away as he did his job since I'm not a fan of needles.  Good thing, too, because the next few minutes were a flurry of pain, three repetitions of, "You're a good bleeder!" and the grabbing of a towel to clean up my arm when the small wipes proved ineffective.  Once the bleeding was under control, he took me to the MRI room, where the MRI tech used another towel to wipe the remaining blood drips from my arm before positioning me on the table. 

For a breast MRI, you lay facedown on the MRI table.  Your breasts are... arranged through two cutouts in the table, and your face is squashed into a padded hole similar to that on a massage table, though much less comfortable.  Your arms are stretched out above you, Superman-style, but pulled as straight as they can be without coming out of their sockets.  They are then squished inward, crunching your shoulders, as you are moved into the machine.  A lightly padded board runs along the bottom of your ribs, and another is between your breasts, making each breath tortuous.  

And then you're told to hold still and breathe lightly for the next hour and forty minutes.

When I was pulled out of the machine at the end, I couldn't move until my shoulders had been massaged and blood was flowing properly again.

But worse than the MRI itself was the call from the doctor a few hours later to go over the results.

The original tumor was 3.6cm, as seen on mammogram and ultrasound.  The MRI says that it is 4.3cm.  It's located at about 9:00 as you're looking at my right breast.  The MRI shows a second tumor located at 8:00, but deeper.  It's 2.2cm.  And there's a third, about 5cm away from the first one.  It's also located around 8:00 and near the nipple, and is 1.1cm.  The doctor is suggesting an MRI-guided biopsy to my surgeon so that we can have a better idea of the surgery options.

Additionally, the MRI noted 4 axilla lymph nodes as abnormal, with the one biopsied as the largest.

And?  A lymph node on the right side of my sternum showed up on the MRI, which usually happens only if it's involved.  It's too dangerous an area to biopsy, so the node will be noted on the doctor's report because that area will need to be included in radiation treatment when it happens.


Two more scans tomorrow.  Both to see if the cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes.  Pray, please.

Trish signature for blog


Mindy said...

Sounds like a very difficult day. You are continually in our prayers. We love you, Trish!

Philippians 4:13

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