After a sleepless night filled with tears, I rose and immediately entered action mode. For the first time since I opened my own practice in 2008 I called in sick. Paul had taken the day off work to support me. The next diagnostic test that I needed before any further treatment options could be planned was a breast MRI. It was my understanding that it could take up to 10 days to be offered a breast MRI appointment in Niagara. I proceed to get a referral to WNY Imaging Group in the United States. The call came in almost immediately, I had a 2:00pm appointment today for the much needed breast MRI. The receptionist who scheduled the appointment for me told me the cost would be $800.00 (US) and the radiologist would read the MRI today. I would have the results later today or early tomorrow. I was relieved. The clinic was very well managed and professional. The staff members had all of my medical information from Ontario and were efficiently able to proceed.
The breast MRI is important because it will provide detailed images of my cancer including the size of my cancer and where, exactly, it is located. The breast MRI is able to determine if the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and it will also be able to see if there is any cancer in my other (right) breast and check my chest wall.
I was prepared for the procedure and an IV line was started. During the imaging a contrast dye was injected into a vein in my arm to help create a better picture. The MRI machine was large and loud. The room was cold. I entered into the machine face down. My breasts were positioned and my arms were placed straight up over my head. I was told there would be music and I would hear direction from the radiologist. I was told to not move. I would be inside the MRI machine for twenty eight minutes in this position. I could feel the IV in my arm but the procedure was not painful. I tried to hear the radiologist but he MRI machine was so loud I could not make out the words. Music would occasionally play but it heightened my anxiety because I would figure each song was about three minutes, and I have to be in this machine for twenty eight minutes. Many thoughts were going through my head some included the pressure of not being able to move because I did not want to damage the x-ray or make the x-ray inaccurate so that the radiologist will not be able see what is going on in my body. I decided to apply some heavy yoga breathing techniques and think about the beach. I pictured having a conversation with a dear friend, until finally I felt the machine moving me out of the tube. What a relief! The longest 28 minutes I have ever experienced. That evening my mom, Paul and I supported one another with positive thoughts while we waited for the results.
– Amie Banting
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