After the first mammogram I found myself back at the breast surgeon for the test results. Much to my surprise, there were multiple cysts found during the scan and the surgeon needed to take a closer look. Once the lengthly ultrasound scan was complete, he said I simply had too many cysts and he could no longer continue to drain them. Ugh!
Given my recent BRCA results along with all of my radiology scans, my doctor said it would be best for me to an MRI. His exact words were “getting a mammogram to look for cancer is like finding a snowman in a snowstorm, but an MRI is like finding a snowman against a black background.” Seems like a huge difference to me and an absolute no-brainer.
What is a Breast MRI?
Took a couple of weeks to get an approval for the breast MRI with the insurance company and once it did get approved, I had to wait until my next cycle. Seemed like it took both of these things forever to align properly.
Unlike a mammogram, which uses X-rays to create images of the breast, breast MRI uses magnets and radio waves to produce detailed 3-dimensional images of the breast tissue. Before the test, you may need to have a contrast solution (dye) injected into your arm through an intravenous line. I had to have contrast for my breast MRI.
How it works:
For the breast MRI, you will need to pull down your hospital gown to your waist or open it in front to expose your breasts. Then you lie on your stomach on a padded platform with cushioned openings for your breasts. Each opening is surrounded by a breast coil, which is a signal receiver that works with the MRI unit to create the images. The platform then slides into the center of the tube-shaped MRI machine.
What happens next?
I waited about 10 days for my MRI results. It was a long 10 days at that. My breast surgeon called me and told me he needed to discuss the results with me in person. Once in his office, he broke the news to me that I have a few suspicious spots that appeared on the MRI and I needed to have yet another mammogram. Seeing a vicious cycle here? All if the appointments, scans, pokes and exams. By this point I was already exhausted.
This is just part of my story and how my bilateral mastectomy came to be on January 8th, 2020. I will continue to update the site as I put the content together.