Thursday, June 6, 2013

MRI guided biopsy

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” —   Carlos Castaneda

The MRI-guided biopsy went quite well, actually. The meditation and relaxation techniques I have been practicing worked well to help me get through the experience without too much stress. Not only did I cope much better with the pain of the numbing shots and IV of contrast fluid, but to my surprise, my subjective levels of pain were less! Quite a bit less, actually!

I wore my Frida Kahlo socks, for strength. 

Just as for the MRI two weeks ago, I lay on my belly with my arms over my head. The main difference was that this time the right breast was squished behind a plate to get it out of the way. The left breast, the one that was being biopsied, dropped through a hole in the bed, where it was clamped between plates like for a mammogram. The doctor worked on the breast from the side. Like in this picture, except my face was pointed down, resting on a face cradle.

(image from

The MRI technicians did a series of scans, both without contrast and with, so they could hone in on the area to be sampled. This time I asked for earplugs, and the scanning process wasn't bad at all.

I was wheeled out of the machine, and the doctor started prepping me for the biopsy. All this time I had to remain completely still so as not to shift the sample site out of the "crosshairs", so to speak. (Before I was taken to the MRI room, the doctor had told me the MRI scan from two weeks ago had seen a "tiny spot" that they wanted to sample. I was all..."Tiny? Tiny is good! I like tiny!")

This was my third biopsy. The worst part for me, every time, are the numbing shots. I hate shots. This time I had my calming mantra to sing internally to myself with each breath. It worked really well. I swear the shots hurt less than they had before. I winced a couple of times, but after that it was okay.

When the core biopsy needle was inserted, I did feel a little bit of sharp pain as it came to the final position, and asked for more numbing. Before they actually started taking the samples, I was wheeled back into the MRI machine for a final scan, just to make sure they were at the right spot.

The samples were taken very was over before I knew it. They inserted a titanium chip that will show up on a mammogram, then wheeled me back into the MRI tube for one final check that the right area had been sampled.

And that was it! The technician kept compression on the incision for 15 minutes, during which time I slowly began moving my arms, which were stiff from being held overhead for an hour or more. The last 10 minutes in the scanner things were getting pretty uncomfortable. My cheeks were sore from being pressed into the face cradle, and my shoulders were started to get pretty sore as well. I was so relieved when they finally told me I could move again!

Now another waiting game. The results should be in by early next week. Nothing to do now but wait, and recover from the biopsy.

1 comment:

  1. You are an amazing and strong will get through this! - Teresa