I have had loads of mammograms, but I have very large breasts and often mamograms cannot effectively see through all of my dense breast tissue. I must admit I am not sad about skipping the part where my enormous breasts are squished to the size of a sheet of paper between two very cold plates, but an MRI isn’t that much fun either.
If you have never had the pleasure of an MRI, you are missing out. First I have to remove my jewelry, because the magnet does not play well with jewelry (if you didn’t know it – an MRI is basically just a big old magnet) so I take off my rings, earrings and my nosering. Next I put on the obligatory ugly hospital gown and come into the freezing cold MRI lab. Apparently there is something about the MRI equipment that requires it to be close to the climate of Antarctica when getting this procedure.
I don’t consider myself a wimp, but I do have a strong aversion to needles and my least favorite medical experience is getting an IV, so practicing my best meditation/relaxation exercise I try to ignore the friendly technician when they put in an IV. The IV allows them to put special contrast into my blood stream so they can take a picture of my breasts before and after the contrast to see if they notice anything. Luckily for me, the technicians were efficient, they were able to get the IV in with only one try. Once the IV is in I get to climb up on the table and lay face down, while fitting my enormous breasts into two distinct openings. With ‘the girls’ just falling down into these two holes and simply hanging there, I have to lay perfectly still for about 45 minutes, with the ever present droning and clicking of the MRI. I am extremely grateful that the technicians were kind enough to cover me with extra blankets to withstand the frigid temperatures. It is incredibly hard to try to stay perfectly still for 45 minutes, but moving around will mess up the image.
I know it would be easier to just ignore all of this, but at almost 50, my risk of cancer grows with each passing year. My husband’s mother died of breast cancer when he was in his 20’s, so it is especially important to him that I take care of myself. Yes it is uncomfortable, yes I hate needles and IV’s but taking the time to check for breast cancer is worth the inconvenience and pain. And the best part is….as long as the results come back negative, I’m done for another whole year.