Third time’s a charm

I had my third (and last, for a while I hope) breast MRI yesterday. Dr. Li ordered it to see if that last little bit of cancer is gone after three more cycle of chemo. I am trusting that it is, but I’ll find out the result when I meet with Dr. Engel, the surgeon, next week.

Yesterday was the beginning of the upswing from chemo, but I still felt a bit nauseous. This particular cycle has been a little higher in the nausea than many of the previous ones. I didn’t think anything about it, though, until I had to lay on my stomach for 20 minutes inside the MRI. Not the most comfortable of positions. Even worse, it was actually warm inside the MRI room. By the time I was done, I felt a bit light-headed. The room was all sparkly for at least five minutes. I got a glass of cold water and put my head between my knees for a minute or two and felt much better. The higher level of nausea didn’t really go away until I got home and took some meds, though.

Here’s what my MRI machine looked like:

Machine set up for breast MRI

Machine set up for breast MRI

I wanted to get a photo of the apparatus they use to capture breast tissue, but the magnets from the MRI would have fried my iPod if I had taken it into the room. This photo was taken from the door. I lay on my stomach on the bed projecting from the MRI, with my forehead cradled on a foam structure. You can just see the cutout for the right breast curving below the head support (there’s a similar hole for the left breast). Arms go over the head (see the grey rectangular pad for an arm on the upper left of the bed), and you slide into the MRI. They hook up your IV to be able to add the gadolinium for contrast, and listen to clonking and whirring for 20 minutes or so. Relax as much as possible since the MRI captures more tissue if you’re relaxed than if you’re tense.

The other item of note was the pattern for my gown – it was different from last time.


Not too bad, although gray really isn’t a festive color. At least we get some spots of red for cheer.