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Topic: Need an MRI and EXTREMELY claustrophobic - Need advice

Forum: Diagnosed and Waiting for Test Results —

Share with and support others all waiting for test results from CAT scan, PET scan, Oncotype tests, Mammaprint, FISH, IHC, and other diagnostic tests.

Posted on: May 9, 2019 04:10AM

peridot180 wrote:

Hi everyone,

I've never posted before, but I'm at a crossroads at the moment. To make a long story short, I did 6 rounds of very intensive chemo with the hope of doing a lumpectomy at the end of it. Well, it turns out the chemo worked a little too well and when I went in to get my lumpectomy, they could not find anything with either a mammogram or ultrasound when I went to get the wire insertion. So, I had to have surgery cancelled, which was devastating because I was all ready for it and just wanted to get it done. Since they can't find anything, my surgeon wants to do an MRI AND an MRI biopsy after that the following week. I panicked.

I know this may seem trivial to many considering what everyone on here is going through, but this is the absolute worst thing I was dreading all through this cancer process (even more than chemo and surgery!). I am EXTREMELY claustrophobic and I just don't know if I can make it through these tests, even with Xanax. I can barely get through a CAT scan and I had a near panic attack when I had the MUGA scan done (even under the influence of Ativan). I also won't be able to use the wide-bore/short-bore MRI (according to my oncologist) because apparently the pictures aren't as good coming from it compared to the narrow bore. This freaks me out even more! I also have to wait until next week to get the thing done. I want to get it done now and the anxiety over it is driving me nuts.

So, I either get the MRI scan and biopsy done, or I get a double mastectomy. I'm at a crossroads and I need help. So, ladies who have been through MRI scans, can you give me any tips that helped you through them? Did Xanax or anything else like that help? I feel like I will have to take several of them just to get me in that machine! I am scared out of my mind.

I really appreciate any help with this!

~ Stephanie

Dx at 35. Dx 11/19/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/18/2018 AC + T (Taxotere) Surgery 6/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 9, 2019 04:44AM vlnrph wrote:

First of all, congratulations on making it through chemo! Waiting for appointments and results sure is annoying.

I personally do not have problems with scanning but want you to realize that the usual MRI position is lying on your stomach. That detail often comes as a surprise if it isn’t explained in advance. Having dispensed other benzodiazepines for these kinds of tests, I think Valium may be best because it is also a muscle relaxant. As you probably know, taking meds like that means you need a driver to bring you home.

With other anxiety provoking situations, I try to calm myself with deep breaths. When I can get mellow enough, closing my eyes, having the warm blanket they offer and earplugs or headphones to block the noise from the machine, I actually feel as though I might doze off. Perhaps you could visualize yourself doing that...

IDC too! 🎻💊👪🐩 🇫🇮 🌹🦋 Rt MX+DIEP 4-2011; ALND 5-2011 d/t micromets; TC X 4; tamoxifen; lymphedema 9-2011; switch to letrozole 3-2014 for 1 yr; bone mets 8-2018: Zometa, rads to spine, Faslodex/Versenio Dx 3/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 9, 2019 04:53AM Beesie wrote:

Yes to Xanax.

Most breast MRIs are done with the patient lying on her stomach, with her head/face placed in something similar to what's used when you have a massage. My trick is to close my eyes as soon as I settle my head into position, and never open my eyes until the procedure is done. I ask for the cool air to be blowing at the highest level. When the bed moves into the machine, I concentrate on the air and in my mind I visualize myself moving right through the tube, with my head coming out fully on the other side. The cool air blowing on my head helps with that. So what I see in my mind is that only the middle of my body is in the tube, and my head is outside and completely unobstructed. I don't open my eyes or move my head to know if that's true but by thinking about it that way, I don't trigger the claustrophobia.

Then, to get through the time, I focus on the different sounds. Some people try to ignore the noise but I figure it's impossible to ignore so instead I use the noise to help me get through the procedure. I count the different types of sounds, and how often I hear each one. 45 of the first noise, rat-tat-tats. 87 of the second noise, a low thump-thump. And so on. By focusing hard on keeping track of numbers, I keep my mind from thinking about anything else. And I go in expecting a certain number of different noise patterns (I think my number is usually 15) and there are never that many different sounds so the MRI is always over before I finish my count.

That's what works for me. Good luck!

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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May 9, 2019 05:11AM CBK wrote:

Peridot-

Great to hear chemo worked so well!! That’s amazing

I am the Queen of claustrophobia...and when I needed two breast MRIS I never ever thought I would get thru them.

Being placed on your belly helped me a lot and my machine had a little slit that I could see the ground through and light. The technicians were constantly talking to me... I made sure I told them how claustrophobic crazy I was. Don’t hide that.

I took both Valium and Xanax. I don’t remember the exact dosage. But Valium takes longer to kick in ... so I took one 45 minutes before I was scheduled. And then popped 2 more Xanax. This got me thru. And believe it or not.. I wasn’t even that stoned. My nurses actually told me to take the extra Xanax because I was still shaking with the one Valium and one Xanax.

Ativan will not zonk you enough if you are like me!!

Make sure you discuss this well in advance with your doctor or nurse and get the meds... they will get you thru.

Btw it was half the time they told me it was too. They knew they were dealing with a mental patient, that was me, and they moved it along quick. Ha!

If I can do this anyone can!

Good luck!!!👍

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/22/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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May 9, 2019 09:16AM Wigging2000 wrote:

I understand! I take Xanax...more than I would usually take. I don’t look at the machine when I go into the room (I walk looking at the floor) and close my eyes as soon as I get on the table. I also wear earplugs and ask for calling music. You can do it.


Dx 10/31/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/30/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 12/6/2018, LCIS/DCIS, Left, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/7/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 9, 2019 09:28AM OncoWarrior wrote:

Why can't they just give a sedation in IV like they do for some other procedures, such as GI scopes? I have not had MRI, but I would insist on being put to sleep.


"I traded my Perky Bosoms for a Perky Attitude!"
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May 9, 2019 10:17AM - edited May 9, 2019 10:17AM by AliceBastable

OncoWarrior, you have to be able hear, and occasionally respond to, the technician during the scan. Can't do that if you're conked out.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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May 9, 2019 11:29AM - edited May 9, 2019 11:32AM by CindyNY

Peridot180- my MRI was set up with a mirror, so as I lay there I was actually looking outside, through a parking lot at some trees. And I was also able to pick what music I wanted to listen to. Both of those things helped me. You'll get through this, you've been through worse. HUGS!

dx at 58, no family history, onco = 19 Dx 10/6/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/1/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 11/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 9, 2019 11:57AM - edited May 9, 2019 11:58AM by BB3312

hope you are doing ok. Trust me, if I did it, you can too. It really helps being on your stomach, the cool air blowing and music in the room. I did not like headphones on bc I like to be unencumbered haha. So the music just played in the room. As said above, don't look at anything when you go in and take Xanax 30 min before the procedure. I took 1mg. It was MUCH better than a traditional MRI, which I cannot do. You can do it!!

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May 9, 2019 12:40PM - edited May 9, 2019 12:44PM by farmerlucy

The first time I did an MRI I assumed I'd have no issues. Boy was I wrong. Every time since I always do the meds, I also do this guided meditation thing in my mind. I like to go back to buildings I visited as a child and in my minds eye I go room by room “examining" the house/school/ whatever. I also have a happy place at our farm and again in my mind I watch the dogs play in the pond or I take a walk and name the types of trees along the path.It is quite relaxing. I use it to fall back asleep when I wake up at night.

Oh one more trick - I sing old hymns in my head verse by verse. Woah that’ll put me to sleep quicker than anything.

Dx at 51 after a preventive mx that wasn't. Oncotype dx 3. 3D tattoos from Vinnie! PTSD?? You are not alone! Surgery 2/21/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/22/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/14/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal
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May 9, 2019 12:49PM Beaverntx wrote:

Like Beesie, I focus on the sounds. I don't count them (never thought of that!) but liken them to musical instruments --there's the druns, the bass etc. I think any thing that helps focus your mind on something, instead of on where you are, is helpful. Good luck.

Diagnosed at age 77-- Oncotype 17, dealing with this bump in the road of life!!🎆 Dx 1/24/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/30/2018, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0 Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 6/15/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 9, 2019 07:56PM DogMomRunner wrote:

Peridot - I feel for you. I'm not particularly claustrophobic but my dad is. He had two recent MRIs - both under sedation so ask to see if you have that option. Maybe wearing one of those nighttime eye cover things (can't remember the exact term for it) would help also I will find out next week if I inherited his claustrophobia because I am scheduled for an MRI myself next week.

You ain't run far enough to say My legs have failed You ain't gone far enough You ain't worked hard enough You ain't run far enough to say It ain't gonna get any better. Nathaniel Rateliff Dx 4/24/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 5/17/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 6/6/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/6/2019 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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May 10, 2019 09:06AM Peregrinelady wrote:

I am extremely claustrophobic and had to refuse a MRI once because the tech did not listen when I asked to be given something before putting me on the table. My blood pressure skyrocketed. Since then I had one at a different place and told them I needed drugs and it felt like they gave me the same thing they give you for a colonoscopy. It was great.
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/18/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 7/31/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 11, 2019 04:59AM peridot180 wrote:

Thank you everyone for all your replies. I really appreciate it! I still have not heard back from the MRI place, so I don't even have it scheduled yet. It should be next week, though. I will keep you updated.

I'm unsure what medication would work best for me. I usually take Ativan for anxiety when I get scans done. Will 1 or 2 mg be enough? I also have Xanax from a previous procedure (0.5mg - 2 pills). I didn't know Valium was also a muscle relaxant, but unfortunately, I wasn't prescribed that. I will be getting the Ativan, though. I just hope it will be enough to make me dopey enough not to care.

My surgeon didn't say anything about sedation with IV. He just prescribed me the pills to take an hour before the scan.

It would really help to have someone in the room with me, but I don't know if that will be possible.

Dx at 35. Dx 11/19/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/18/2018 AC + T (Taxotere) Surgery 6/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 12, 2019 03:59AM buttonsmachine wrote:

In addition to what others have already said, I find it helpful to have cool air and a fan blowing on me. I also close my eyes. That way it feels like I'm out in the open, not in an MRI machine.

As an aside, I hope you don't have a mastectomy to avoid the MRI machine. Losing a breast is forever, and the MRI will be over in less than an hour. Hugs.

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/1/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/1/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/27/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/1/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/10/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 7/1/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 12, 2019 09:53AM jessie123 wrote:

I did the same thing a couple of months ago that you are thinking about doing --- having a mastectomy in order to avoid the MRI. I posted so many questions on this board. My doctor gave me valium which didn't make me feel any different --- maybe they don't work on me. Anyway, they did let my friend stay in the room with me and that helped. I am so glad that I went ahead with the MRI because it allowed me to have the lumpectomy which was wonderful -- quick procedure -- home by 11:30 a.m. -- no pain, and I still have my breast. However, I will continue to have MRI's once a year because of the lumpectomy. That's not good. You might want to ask if you also will need to have regular yearly MRI's with a lumpectomy. I had ILC which is difficult to see - so maybe that's why they are requiring yearly scans for me. Good luck !


Dx 11/2018, LCIS/ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/21/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/14/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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May 12, 2019 03:18PM Pessa wrote:

I am terribly claustrophobic. Ativan 1 mg didn’t touch me. I had a friend come into the room with me. She held my hand throughout and we sang songs together. I survived but it was difficult.

Dx 2/20/2010, IDC, <1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/5/2010 AC Surgery 10/22/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 12, 2019 07:27PM - edited May 12, 2019 07:29PM by morningdove

Hi peridot180, I so know that terror that you feel and I experience too with a history of panic disorder. I recently had a breast MRI and the year before a brain MRI and what was helpful to me was that the medical technicians would check in with me every so many minutes and during that time I would have self talk to myself like "you can do this, just a little longer, you are safe, this is just a test to help you, hang in there, " etc. And as my mind and thoughts traveled to scary places and I could feel the surge of panic, I would again refocus myself back to "you can do this, just a little longer, you are safe" and the technician's voice would then checkin with me and ask me how I was doing and I could take a breath or two and start the next timed series of images. I didn't need xanax, but if you're in a place where panic is overwhelming you, xanax and or ativan works wonders to get you through. I have had to take them in the past when my panic was not controllable and they both gave me the relief I needed. I hope this helps you. You will get through this with or without medication help. Just remember "you can do this, just a little longer, you are safe" and before you know it the MRI will be over. Please update us how you're doing!

Pleomorphic Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Dx 1/25/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/13/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/25/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 13, 2019 01:06AM peridot180 wrote:

Thank you again everyone for your tips and experiences! It means so much to me to know I'm not the only one with this problem.

My appointment is now scheduled for the MRI. It will be on Wednesday of this week at 9:30am. They originally wanted me to come in at 7:30am today (Mother's Day!), but I said no way. I'm so glad I got the Wednesday appointment.

I am going to go to the pharmacist today to pick up my medication and ask them how much I should take. I should be getting three 1mg Ativan pills. I also have Xanax, but I'm unsure what will work better. I really don't want to mix the two.

I will keep everyone updated. In the meantime, Happy Mother's Day and have a great weekend everyone!

Dx at 35. Dx 11/19/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/18/2018 AC + T (Taxotere) Surgery 6/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 13, 2019 05:36AM GG27 wrote:

I am very claustrophobic & had to have an MRI. Like others have said, cool air helped but I never would have made it through without 2 x 1mg Ativan. I took one an hour prior & the other 1/2 hour and was fine. I can get claustrophobic in a CT scanner, so I speak from experience. Good luck on Wednesday.

Dx 10/2008, IDC, Both breasts, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/9 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/8/2009 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 2/1/2009 Other Radiation Therapy 7/5/2009 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 9/6/2009 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 5/14/2014, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 9/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 5/19/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy External: Bone Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib)
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May 13, 2019 10:42AM - edited May 13, 2019 10:45AM by buttonsmachine

Double check with your Drs or pharmacists, but I think Ativan is the better one for panic type symptoms. It's shorter acting but "peaks" more strongly. (But don't worry, it will work plenty long enough for the MRI.) When I've had a good dose of ativan it's physically impossible to panic - 3 mg will be more than enough. Definitely use your meds, they'll help you. You can do this!

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/1/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/1/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/27/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/1/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/10/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 7/1/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 15, 2019 05:35AM peridot180 wrote:

My MRI is tomorrow and I'm starting to panic. I hope I can sleep tonight. I just pray that those Ativan work. I talked with a nurse on the phone today and she told me to take them an hour before the scan. I asked her about music, but she said you can't hear it over the noises of the machine. I'm kind of sad that won't be an option. I guess I will just have to think of a "happy place" to keep my mind occupied.

She did say I can have someone in the room with me, which is a relief. I will see if I need that or not. My mom is taking me and said she'd be happy to stay in the room with me.

Thank you again for all the advice, everyone. I just hope I can get through this.

Dx at 35. Dx 11/19/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/18/2018 AC + T (Taxotere) Surgery 6/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 15, 2019 09:50AM buttonsmachine wrote:

You can do it! You'll be safe and sound.

Heart

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/1/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/1/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/27/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/1/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/10/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 7/1/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 15, 2019 10:03AM Alicethecat2 wrote:

Peridot

A few little tips:

Try closing your eyes when you go into the machine and not opening until you come out.

They will usually give you a button in your hand to press if you want to come out. This is because you are in control!

I also found counting the clanging noises and trying to work out how many minutes I had been in the machine very helpful.

Hope these little tips help.

Alice


Dx 1/4/2012, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 2/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 3DCRT: Chest wall Chemotherapy Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy CEF
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May 15, 2019 10:10AM jessie123 wrote:

Peridot --- let us know tomorrow how it goes. For me it's more the fear of the fear. The fear of total panic and embarrassing myself. I know the machine is not going to kill me --- but my panic sure makes me fear a total loss of control. That's the scary part for me.

Dx 11/2018, LCIS/ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/21/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/14/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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May 15, 2019 11:41AM Krose53 wrote:

Hi! You can ask the tech to talk to you throughout the scan. They will say things like, this one will last 3 1/2 minutes, this one will last 5 minutes. It's really helpful and will help you keep calm. Also as previous people mentioned, close your eyes before you go in and don't open until you are out. No matter how much you want to. That really helps. You'll do great!!!

Dx 11/16/2017, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/27/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/22/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2018
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May 15, 2019 12:57PM JoE777 wrote:

I take a Zanax about an hour before scan, keep my eyes closed, focus on counting my breath, butterflies, whatever works. I also visualize my favorite things, peaceful scenes, etc. Good thoughts and know you'll sail through



Dx 2/2012, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, metastasized to bone, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/4/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 2/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy Kisqali Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy Other Radiation Therapy External: Bone Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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May 15, 2019 09:19PM peridot180 wrote:

Thank you so much everyone! : ) Leaving in a couple of hours. I have to drive an hour and a half up to the facility up in Sacramento from the bay area. I'm incredibly nervous, but ready to get this done. I'll update all of you this evening.

Dx at 35. Dx 11/19/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/18/2018 AC + T (Taxotere) Surgery 6/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 16, 2019 09:14AM peridot180 wrote:

Hey everyone!

I'm happy to report I made it through the breast MRI! I took two 1mg Ativan tablets and that seemed to really help take the edge off. Everyone there was really nice and supportive. The machine also looked bigger than I though it would; it had a wider opening than most MRI machines I've seen. So, I was really happy to see that. All in all, it took about 30 minutes. I didn't have any music to listen to since that part of the MRI machine wasn't working, but I just tried my best to focus on the sounds and the rhythm they made. I also thought about being at the beach and having fun with my friends and family there. Oh, and the cool air helped a lot to calm me, as well as having my mom be in the room with me for support.

Thank you all again for the wonderful advice. Now I just have to wait for the test results and see if they can find anything left of my tumor that chemo shrunk. If they do, I'll have the breast MRI biopsy done next week, which hopefully I will be a bit more prepared for. I will still ask my doc for two more Ativan 1mg tablets, though. I'm just so nervous about what they will find (or not find). Hopefully I hear back from them by Friday since it's a stat order. I'll keep this thread updated.

Dx at 35. Dx 11/19/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/18/2018 AC + T (Taxotere) Surgery 6/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 16, 2019 11:54AM edwards750 wrote:

I had one once. I’m very claustrophobic too. It was okay at first because the techs were talking to me and then they stopped. I nearly lost my mind. I let them know it too. I wish I had known about keeping your eyes closed. That would have helped plus I didn’t take any meds to relax me. Wish I had.

Diane

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May 16, 2019 12:43PM Beesie wrote:

peridot, so glad to hear you made it through the MRI with no problems.

Good luck with the results... here's hoping that there's no need for the biopsy!

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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