Thursday, September 9, 2010
“We quaff the cup of life with eager haste without draining it, instead of which it only overflows the brim / objects press around us, filling the mind with the throng of desires that wait upon them, so that we have no room for the thoughts of death.”
Life was so simple when I believed in magic, that wishes really could come true and Santa Claus. " Oh Cathy, Santa brought you to me. " is the quote my mother wrote on the back of this image of me taken taken Christmas morning. Chatty Cathy has been silent many years since I accidentally pulled her string that made her talk too hard. I still remember the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach the minutes after I realized what I had done. Silent Cathy now sits in my living room on my wooden rocking chair from my childhood along with New Born Thumbelina and Tiny Tears. Life was so simple and sweet back then.
This morning I took a ride in the shine new Siemens Magnetron Espree MRI machine. I was told to put my camera away as no pictures are allowed to be taken in the room.
see the website and you can get an idea of how I spent this morning.
Today I awoke around 5:30 this morning, started the coffee pot, checked the computer messages showered same as any other day. Except today was different I had a date with destiny. Today was my second ride in the MRI in search of Breast Cancer this week. Today we were going after a lump that showed up on the MRI imaging taken on Tuesday that never showed up on the Mammograms taken August 3rd. How luck am I ??? The technician told me health insurance companies refuse to pay for MRI unless a woman has a personal history of cancer or has a strong family history. I fall into the second category as my mother found her own breast cancer lump while in the bathtub at age 35. Neither grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and they each died at age 93 although during separate years.
It is said if we live long enough everyone will have some form of cancer. http://www.cancer.org/
"Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. There are many kinds of cancer, but they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells." I remember hearing people say someone "caught the cancer" when I was a little girl. Thankfully through education there is better understanding about cancer as a disease. Unlike the flu, there is no need to avoid contact with anyone diagnosed with cancer to preserve your health. In fact spending time in happy social settings is healing to everyone whether they have cancer or not.
My drive to the Imaging Center was peaceful in the break of dawn. Truly, I wished I was heading out on my morning walk instead going in search of cancer but I made the most of the journey. Turning off the radio I chose instead to talk with God during this morning drive. I found myself in praise, " This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it."
Arriving for MRI at 6:45 has its perks;~) I never found a place so close to the door in all of my years going for mammograms. I was greeted at the door by a lovely woman named Judith with beautifully manicured finger nails. While she got me checked in Judy shared some of her personal journey and words of encouragement. She found it interesting that I am documenting this experience in my Art. Funny point of interest, they photo ID me when I arrived for an MRI, like someone else was going to volunteer to go in my place. That gave me a chuckle.
Remove top garments, check, robe opens in front, check, personal effects in locker, check, final bathroom run then enter behind the double door first room on the right for an IV port. Glasses and key in the basket, left arm out of the gown, climb up on the table face down so we have access to your breasts. Here I lay motionless with my left breast restrained in a clamp, table slides me back into the MRI.... Good thing I have ear plugs as the noise quickly changes from the sound of a heart beating to LOUD beeps and banging sounds. In my meditative state I have no clue how long I am in there before the IV opens with a rush of chemicals to enhance the images. I feel the fluid travel down my right arm, there is a warm tingle in my head followed by an odd taste and sensation of my tongue.
While I lay there my belief in magical wishful childhood fantasy comes back to me. Why are they taking so long??? Maybe the mass is gone??? They will tell me there is no lump, nothing is there and I am free to go home with an all clear;~)
With my closed eyes I see the Caves of Lascaux from my Art History books.
Just like the hunters praying for a good hunt, a mythopoeic vision of the optimum outcome is planted in my head, I imagine myself cancer free and free to go.
Just then the technician opens the door to tell me the doctor is in the room to take the tissue samples from the mass. The doctor introduces himself to me without looking at my face. I am still lying face down on the table with my breast being held in a clamp. "Don't move Carol", the the technician tells me as she pats comfortingly on my back she covered with a flannel blanket to keep me warm.
" Little bee sting" is the term they use when injecting the fast acting Lidocaine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidocaine More Lidocaine is given as the needle is inserted deeper into my breast. " Back into MRI for more pictures Carol." The needle is guided to the mass via MRI then back out for a drilling sound as six samples of tissue are removed from my breast. A titanium hook is put into place that will be remove during surgery later this month. Now I have a titanium hook in both right and left breast that will be connected to a line before the surgery. The surgeon will follow the line back to the exact place of the biopsy in my breast.
After the procedure I sat up to recollect myself and enjoyed a small glass of orange juice that reminded me of all the times I have donated blood. If I have cancer does that mean I am no longer able to help others by donating my blood??? Two more light compression mammograms. I am sent out the door with instructions not to do any heavy lifting or exercise for the next twenty four hours.
Quick stop at the store for a new garbage disposal as the plumber is coming today to hook up water and gas lines in the kitchen. Yesterday the installers brought in the new granite island and counter top, for the sink and cook top. Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans ;~)
After the plumber is gone I'm going for a walk outside around Clarence Town Park while I wait for the results of my biopsy. I'll keep you posted with my results as soon as I hear but just for today ;~)
This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24