Scanning Bernard

MRI first thing this morning, which are never fun. To be fair it’s only my second, the first was a head and neck one a few years ago when they were trying to work out whether or not I had Meniers Disease – I didn’t, it turned out, just a junior version called BPPV, a kind of vertigo caused by bits of crap in the inner ear that affect the balance. You know the kind of thing, look up or down too quickly, or get up or down, or even just move your head too quickly, and the world starts spinning, you fall over and sometimes feel or are sick in the process. That. Combine BPPV with tinnitus, a cold, and fairly bad claustrophobia, and the last thing you want to be doing is lying helpless in a pulsating tunnel with your head pinned to the bed. That way panic attacks lie. But I did get through that one, just, so I tried to go into the scan this morning thinking, it’s OK, at least you’re not getting the vertigo right now, and the tinnitus isn’t so bad (although it is now, having had the radio on loud enough in the headphones to be able to hear it over the clanging of the MRI machine). Of course, last time I had a mirror to be able to see out, on top of the head clamp, but apparently that’s only for head and neck. Anything else, and your face is an inch or two away from the top of the tunnel, as it was this morning. I tried to breath deep and relax, but it wasn’t happening, so the nurse offered to put me in feet first, so my head wasn’t actually in the machine and I could see out. It didn’t matter either way for liver scans apparently – bloody did to me, I can tell you! After that it was completely fine, and all over in half an hour. Those of you that have had an MRI, I’m sure you’re now either screaming “oh get over it you wimp” or shuddering at the memory of your own. For those that haven’t had one, that’s my advice – feet first is the way.

So now we wait for the verdict as to whether the spot on the liver that was caught by the CT scan is cancerous or not, and we add either M1 or M0 to the T3N0. Hopefully only a few days, if the CT scan is anything to go by, but that single digit makes all the difference – M0 means ‘simple’ surgery in Yeovil, and possibly even no post-op chemo (T3N0 is officially Stage 2), while M1 means it’s Stage 4, which in turn means chemo, possibly weeks of it, then surgery on bowel and liver in Bristol, then more chemo. It may even mean doing the chemo in Bristol as well, which, if it’s Southmead hospital, is a good two hours away. Things get a bit complicated for us if it’s M1/Stage 4.

So, here’s hoping for a zero!


4 thoughts on “Scanning Bernard

  1. MRI fills me with memories of fear and loathing. However clever bit of diagnostic technology all the same. Sending prayers and hope that the results are favourable darling. You and Julie are in my thoughts all of the time . Lots of love xxx

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    1. I was watching an Attenborough about caves last night, and in one of them the cameramen and crew had to be in a cave full of guano for ten days or so, having crawled through spaces no bigger than an MRI machine to get there, which kind of put half an hour in an MRI machine in Yeovil listening to the radio into perspective! But yes, clever machines, hopefully clever enough to see that there isn’t anything to worry about on the liver! xxx

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