I had the MRI last night at the Civic Hospital around 10:00. Did you know they have MRIs scheduled round the clock?
Fortunately, Donna Lee had left a comment giving me some idea of what to expect – ie, lying on my stomach with my breasts dangling through two holes in the table. Otherwise, when the very nice technician showed me the table and said it was fairly intuitive, I might have put my arms through those breast holes.
My arms were stretched out in front of me. There was a thing in one arm so they could remotely administer an injection halfway through the MRI. In my other hand was a rubber bulb, which I was instructed to squeeze if I started to panic or needed the technician’s attention.
Headphones were placed over my ears to muffle the noise a bit. But holy mother of god, that machine is noisy! I had heard there would be banging and clanging, but it was more intentional than I expected. More rhythmic. And constantly changing.
As soon as she slid me into the giant cylindrical magnet, I started chanting over and over in my head: Nam myoho renge kyo. It’s a Buddhist chant. I chanted so I could focus on something other than the noise.
Something odd happened after awhile though – the noises of the machine started chanting along with me. The banging and clanging started to sound like Nam myoho renge kyo. The noises kept changing, but the chant followed the changes. When you’re in a room full of people chanting, there’s a vibration, a hum. In addition to the clanging sounding like chanting, the vibrations of the machine started feeling like that hum.
The MRI was still disturbingly loud and I was relieved when the half hour test was over, but the chanting made it feel like a kinder and less mechanical experience.
Also – good news. The appointment for finding out the results of all these tests has been moved up because the MRI got changed to the Civic Hospital because two different doctors ordered the same MRI for me. Now, instead of having to wait until June 8th to find out if the cancer has spread, I’ll know the morning of June 1st – next Monday. June 1st will either be a very good day or a very bad day for me.