The previous week was a roller coaster, and this week wasn’t going to be any easier.
I’m that person that barely goes to the doctor’s. I hate going, being there makes me feel worse. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but when I call my doctor’s office to try to get in, I can never get in that day. So I would always go to the closest walk in clinic.
Well this week was crazy and made me really appreciate our health care system. I had so many appointments and every doctor squeezed me in as soon as possible. I had no chance to think, they would call and say I have this date and this time and I would just say okay.
Monday January 16th- I had my blood test. I don’t do well with needles, so Andrew of course came with me and before I went I was talking to my good friend Jess, she told me to bring some orange juice. Waiting was the worst. The clinic was packed, and I was panicking. The orange juice helped with my nerves. I would look around and see all these people waiting just like I was. I wondered what they were all doing here, and thinking if maybe some were here for the same reason I was. The more I thought about things the more I became upset. I cried and I didn’t care who saw.
An older lady was sitting beside me, her name was called and she went into a room. She was back in less then 5 minutes. You could tell she had blood drawn, for she had a bandage on her inner arm. Andrew leaned over and whispered, if she can do it, so can you. That made me smile.
My name was called shortly after, they led me into a room where I had to sit up. I was really hoping to lay down. Of course I hate needles, but if this was just a test to see what blood type I was, then maybe things would be different and I wouldn’t be panicking as much as I was, but this was my first test after being diagnosed with breast cancer. My doctor didn’t tell me why they needed my blood, just that they needed to see my levels. So I was thinking the worst, thinking that the cancer has spread to my blood and this test will prove this. I cried more.
The nurse came in and told me to uncross my legs, I did, and then she asked if I was nervous and I told her yes. She asked me if I would like to lay down and I nodded. I started to cry, I felt like I needed to tell her why I was such a mess. I told her about my diagnoses and she was so compassionate. She led me into another room where I was able to lay down. I drank some orange juice and then she started to prepare my arm for the needle. She explained what the blood tests would show- they were checking my kidney levels and my red and white blood cells. While taking my blood, the nurse and Andrew talked to me about what size of bed is better to buy, either a double or queen.- My mom was flying in on Thursday and we didn’t have a mattress for her, so we were talking about which is better. The nurse was funny and told me that there is never stock for queen size bedding. She made me feel very comfortable and in no time was done my blood test. Her and Andrew were really good at distracting me.
Tuesday January 17th- Mammogram day.
I’ve never had a mammogram done, so I had no clue what to expect, but I had Andrew and my sister Britt with me. My mammogram was done at the Georgetown Hospital, so it was nice and close. They were allowed to wait with me in the waiting room, which was good because they preoccupied me and we were all joking and laughing. A few minutes later I was called into a room. The lady that was doing my test was also really nice. She explained how the test works and then told me to take off my shirt and showed me how she was going to fit my boob in this box thing.- it was terrifying. Very uncomfortable, her squishing my boobs, moving me in different positions, but I knew this test needed to be done, so I sucked it up. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Thursday January 19th- MOM WAS HERE!!
Friday January 20th- My MRI.
Andrew and my mom came with me to this appointment. I needed to do this at the new Oakville Hospital. I was extremely nervous because again I’ve never done a test like this. I was able to take an Ativan just before my appointment for my anxiety and I’m claustrophobic. It helped a bit but I was still very nervous. My name was called and I had to leave my mom and Andrew in the waiting room, I was then led to an area where an IV station was set up for me. Well it looked like an IV room, it had a chair by itself, with a little metal table full of needles. The nurse put the needle in my arm and attached to it was a little syringe, there was fluid in the syringe and it would pump fluid in me every few minutes. It was a very weird sensation. She explained that it’s a dye that will go through my veins and once I’m in the MRI machine, this fluid will help highlight the areas in my breast and make it all stand out in the images.
The nurse was very nice and I had some time to ask her a few questions about my mastectomy. I was told that the day of my surgery, I first needed to come to the Oakville Hospital to get the radiation dye put into my breast. I was unhappy about this, because not only was I having a major surgery, I now had to go to 2 hospital in one day. Anyways, I didn’t know if she would know that question, but since she’s putting some sort of dye in me, I thought she would have an idea. Luckily she did. She told me that unfortunately not all hospitals have radiation specialists. She said they will be putting radiation in my breast with a blue dye. The radiation and blue dye will go into my lymph nodes and that will help the surgeon determine which lymph nodes to remove.
Glad I asked her, but now that’s all I thought about. Shortly after that conversation, I was called into another room where the MRI machine was. Scary room and scary machine!
For a breast MRI, I needed to lay down on my stomach and place my breasts in these holes on the bed. I had 2 nurses help me, one was helping me get my breast in the holes and the other was making sure my little IV/ syringe wasn’t getting snagged. Normally I would have been embarrassed having my breasts out, but at this point they’ve been pulled on, poked at and stared at, this was now normal. So I thought I was in and comfortable and then the 2 nurses had to squish my breasts together, while having a plastic plate down the middle of my chest to separate them slightly. This was so painful. They were pinching my skin and I had to stay in this position for 45 minutes. I was so happy when they said I was done, I don’t think I could have lasted any longer. I had indents on my chest, on my breasts and on my sides. I was glad to go home.
This is how I had to lay..