Every three months or so, I get an MRI done of my brain to see if my GBM has grown or if it’s still “on pause”. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about feeling a shift in my body. I really can’t put it into words. But I will try. It felt as if a light switch was turned on in my body. My intuition kept nagging me that something changed with my GBM.
Since late October when this happened, I’ve prayed and meditated about it. I’m super curious to know what this MRI will show us today. Although the test takes about an hour, the whole trip will take hours to finish. So it’s a little Day Trip. Many times they do this test at night, but today it’s at 11am.
I’m supposed to wear my Optune cap still and I’ve been a bit lazy about it. It isn’t easy to for me to deal with and drives me to frustration. I have every bit of faith that today’s test will show that things are okay with my GBM. That’s all I have to lean into for now. My faith. My intuition. Until that machine tells me otherwise. Because I have had plenty of these tests, I normally don’t get worked up. The hardest part is getting an IV started. My veins were hard to reach before and chemo’s only made them worse. I’m known as a “hard stick”. They usually end up calling someone from the ER to come do it.
The ladies in the Cancer Institute lab pull my blood every two weeks, but they’re used to chemo veins. I’ve also heard that pulling blood is not the same as getting an IV to work. Once the IV is in, I’m fine. Early on a nurse taught me about putting a paper napkin over my eyes. It just sits on top so I can open my eyes. It helps so much. Otherwise I focus on the drum spinning around and getting dizzy. My biggest fear is that I’ll get vertigo while inside. So far that hasn’t happened. I breathe deep and try to meditate with the tinny sounds of pop music playing over the headphones they give me. The music is supposed to help me relax, but the noise of the MRI is much louder. The ka-chunk, ka-chunk sound reminds me of the big dryers at a laundromat with a pair of sneakers inside. Ugh! At least the headphone covers my ears a bit. They also insert ear plugs in my ears. That always feels weird, but comforting at the same time. I used them on long motorcycle trips. It’s perfectly safe. I can still hear what I need to but it muffles the VROOM VROOM of my single cylinder. (Man, I miss riding.)
I’ve lost some weight, so hopefully my arms won’t stick to the sides anymore. When my arms get stuck, it startles me when the ‘table’ moves. They normally only move the table to put me in or take me out, but still. It feels like my upper arm is velcro against the wall as it pops loose. After that, it’s a matter of staying still. A few times I’ve had to cough. I got worried that the test was ruined. Really it was okay. I usually fall asleep inside. The dye can feel cold when they inject it. Once the IV was in my hand so it actually hurt. I screamed out a bit. That caught me by surprise. I’m used to the cold feeling and that’s usually followed by a warm flush feeling. It’s very quick. So if you ever get an IV in your hand, hopefully you don’t, be ready for a possible discomfort. (As they like to say in the hospital.) I honestly don’t think there is anything the technician can do about that except give you a warning when the dye is being turned on. Sometimes they do it remotely from their observation room and other times, they come in and release it manually. Maybe the manual release would be more gentle?
I’m saying a little prayer for an easy IV. It does happen. One nurse told me, “I’m going to get it on the first try.” This was after me saying I was a “hard stick.” And he did. BAM! First try. We were both relieved!
Because of Daylight Savings I’ve been up since 6:30am. I should try and eat something before I get ready. I am looking forward to getting another pair of fuzzy slipper-socks. They’re my favorite. The room is often cold and they make me put on a gown to avoid metal anywhere near my head. I always get the warm blanket too. After all the other things I’ve been through on this journey, the MRI probably works on my nerves the most. The worst part is that I won’t know the results for a while. I have a follow up with my oncologist soon. I will get the narrative on my e-chart, but I don’t understand two percent of it.
When I get those results, I’ll be sure to post an update. I feel good news and I’m going with that in my mind and in my heart. Thank you for reading this far down. <smile> I can be a bit long winded in these posts. Just know it comes from my heart. I want to share my experience for those who are walking this same GBM journey or for those who are caring for someone.
Peace and Light to You All,