My Brain Lives To Fight Another Day!

It was MRI day today. The Radiology center I went to was new (to me.) It was like a spa – all shiny and new, with Japanese style sliding doors.

See? Fancy spa-like doors.

See? Fancy spa-like doors.

Other than that it was just like any other radiology center – no facials or mani/pedis. I had to ‘train’ a new (to me) nurse how to locate my teeny, tiny veins and reiterate a few times that it would require a pediatric needle – why do they never listen? It’s not my first time at the rodeo. Luckily she listened AND I successfully dissuaded her from sticking me in my forearm or hand.


Some nurses believe the more hot packs, the better

Leading up to today’s string of appointments, I was anxious – as all brain cancer patients are when we know an MRI is coming up. I slept a little poorly. I was distracted. I tried to stifle my anxiety because if it was bad news there was nothing we could do about it, we’d have to just deal with it if afterward. My husband and I didn’t need to discuss our mutual anxiety. We knew it was there and talking about it would only make it worse. He occupied himself with an insanely busy work load. I occupied myself with a project to make costumes and props for a school play. I don’t do things half-assed, so it was a great distraction. It exercised my creative juices, which is always a good thing.

As an example of the anxiety, I devised this crazy idea while waiting for my follow up appointment with my NO. But first, I know there are people out there who have to wait for a day or more to hear the results from their doctor – I don’t know how you can stand that wait. I know I’m lucky to only have to wait an hour to hear results, I’m sorry that anyone else would have to wait any longer than that.

On to my crazy idea…I convinced myself that IF my doctor came in the exam room BEFORE the nurse and the clinical coordinator for my vaccine trial, it would be bad news. IF the nurse came in first, it’s all good. While you laugh at me, there is some logic to this idea. I can’t continue in the trial if my tumor comes back, so what’s the point of all the neuro tests and trial questionnaires if its back? So, here’s what happened…the nurse (who is awesome) came in and after our pleasantries said, ‘First thing, I haven’t seen the results.’ Ok, hole number one in my theory. She completed the standard set of neuro tests and then went to tell my doctor I was ready – this happens every time…nothing new at this point. But THEN, the nurse, clinical coordinators AND my doctor all come in at once – this NEVER happens. OH CRAP! Here it comes! It’s back! The other shoe is about to fall…and so on. All thoughts passing through my head in a single second. And the second hole in my theory. Ultimately, it was just a signal that his schedule was light and he wasn’t with another patient delivering devastating news.

My tumor has NOT come back. No changes from my last MRI 12 weeks ago. So much for that crazy idea, which just goes to show that crazy ideas can sometimes just be crazy.

I aced the trial questionnaire and resisted my urge to mess with the new clinical coordinator by asking the questions and answering them before she could begin. Next time…next time…

I always forget about how exhausting MRI day is – even when its good news. The anxiety you’ve carried around all week is HEAVY. You’re powering through and then it’s done and you realize just how heavy it is and that you need a long, long nap immediately.

There is some bad news, however, but I don’t want you to panic. Its pretty serious and I may need some time to get through this transition. It seems to be then end of clementine/mandarin season. I know…I know…it’s ok to cry. They’ll be back next year. Until then, we’ll have to move on to cherries, plums and peaches.  We’ll miss you tiny oranges.






6 thoughts on “My Brain Lives To Fight Another Day!

  1. Yippee! Great news all around. You can handle the loss of the tiny oranges. I had my first cherries of the season yesterday – it’s going to be a good season. I can’t wait for the bings to appear.

  2. That’s such great news, Karyn. And now maybe you can relax, a tiny bit, between now and the next scheduled MRI. I know the worry never leaves, but you are doing so great – appreciating everything around you – your kids & Todd – your pooch – your mom – the garden…..You’re truly such an inspiration to so many of us. But, I have to agree – I was whining earlier this week about the absence of “cuties” at the grocery store 🙂

  3. Glad for the good news about not tumor. And proud of you for managing to find positive ways to address the Clementine withdrawal. Way to go on both fronts!! JHJ

  4. Congratulations on clean MRI. (And for sharing about the pediatric needles. I have small veins that roll – now I know what to ask for!)

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