Preface: On my initial PET scans, things lit up; my colon cancer, the liver metastases, a small lymph node adjoining those two organs (think of it like an airbridge between Myer and David Jones) and…wait for it…a small blob in my left boob. According to my oncologist and the breast surgeon (a real dick – more on him later), it is probably nothing – maybe fibrous tissue, maybe a cyst…but also, possibly, a slim chance but worth checking…cancer. If it is cancer, then it may be my Primary cancer, thus making Alan an unlucky bout of another cancer. In which case, my chemo concoction would be all wrong. Whilst this is all rather unlikely given the size of Alan’s McMansion and proximity to the liver, it should be ruled out. (If cancer were real estate, the liver would be equivalent to Sydney water frontage with a private jetty…you want to buy all of it as it ensures access to pretty much anywhere).

So how does one rule out cancer of the tit? Well, my PET scan was inconclusive, as was the mammogram. So next option…MRI.

Ah shit. I was hoping I’d get away without having one of those. Look. I’m not typically claustrophobic, but when every single clinician dealing with you and the MRI starts out by asking, “How are you in tight spaces?” you start to reconsider your confidence level.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

This photo is what I was expecting. And I wasn’t super keen about it. I’m large, the tube is small. The sound is apparently quite loud. And you have to keep completely still.

So you’ll understand my confusion when I was ushered into the room in all my whitegown glory to be greeted by what looked like an industrial-size massage table but for two empty holes just under the face positioner.

“So for this MRI you will be lying face down,” explains the radiographer.

“Sorry, what now?!”

The radiographer laughs nervously, “Yes it’s a bit different for a breast MRI. As you can see the two spaces are where your breasts will go. They will sort of hang into empty space so we can take the best images.”

It was at this point that my nervous energy converted into slightly maniacal laughter.

So there I am, face down, trying to perfectly position my now pathetically small chestnuts into the cavernous space below. All women know that a vertically hanging breast is the least photogenic breast – it is the exact moment we are reminded of its resemblance in both function and appearance to a cow udder.

Add to that vision, a cannula in my left elbow which is set to administer a radioactive contrast into my body which “usually feels just like your arm is getting cold but let us know if you feel anything more serious”. My arms are ‘resting’ above my head as my face is guided into the face hole, covering my eyes. The disposable headphones (shitty headphones) are inserted my ears and then covered with ear muffs and a head stabiliser. My right hand is offered the ‘panic button’ which I fear I might accidentally push, in some sort of nervous spasm resulting from me trying to stay still, thus ending the whole show and starting again.

Picture all of this and you have an appreciation for the exact position I am required to maintain for approximately 30 minutes.

Now for the noise the machine makes. The radiographer ensures I understand that the machine makes VERY LOUD NOISES. She describes it as something akin to a jackhammer about ten centimetres from your head. Nice. Having lived it, I would argue that it’s closer to this: If a jackhammer and a dot matrix printer straight out of 1995 had sex, and made a ‘jackdot’, it would sound like an MRI. And yes, it’s VERY FUCKING LOUD. And it’s ten centimetres from your head.

So as my ever-chilling lady lumps hung into the abyss, the million-dollar machine whirled and jackdotted around me. GOLD FM Rickrolled me in both ears, interspersed with the encouraging but indecipherable words of the radiographer as I tried very hard not to move. For 30 minutes. Which, I suspect in MRI time, is the equivalent of having to watch more than one innings of over 40s, local, amateur cricket.

Despite all this, I’m aware that access to this kind of, let’s face it, incredible technology is a privilege that not all people are afforded. And so, despite my small amount of discomfort, I will take the boob-droop MRI and thank the team for their care and time. And I will hope, that my 30 minutes of adventure will result in photos of saggy breast tissue and no Alan outposts. I mean, if that fucker got so confident as to extend the finances to a timeshare on the boob coast, I’ll really have to get a bigger boot.

Please hold for the results…

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0 thoughts on “Your Boobs Go In There

  1. I am off for a mammogram and MRI on Thursday, this was certainly not what I was expecting. As a member of the big titty committee and having breastfeed the trio, you can imagine the sag. This is certainly not going to be my most flattering angle…thanks for the heads up Gib. xxx

  2. oh you make me laugh! Loving the honesty and your amazing delivery of difficult topics. Not sure how I’d go in that MRI with my mosquito bites. Not sure they’d even drop lower than the thickness of the table!

  3. Thought you might enjoy a funny story about MRIs – Cameron is having a gap year after the his covid-impacted HSC and is busy with all sorts of jobs. His favourite is a weekly shift as a Wardsman at North Shore Private in the ICU and he has to transport a patient for an MRI and wait until they were finished. He thought it was done after the loud noises stopped and he moved to head back into the room. Luckily the MRI technician threw his arm out and just managed to stop him going in. “Mate – it’s not over yet! If you have anything metallic on you it could have caused some serious damage as the magnet from the MRI machine could have ripped it out!” He said. Cam’s response? “Thank goodness I don’t have a c*ck ring then!!” And to think this was the innocent cherub you taught in Kindy ….

    Chin up & keep kicking Alan in the Dick, where hopefully he had a c*ck ring that got ripped out by your MRI!!

  4. shirleysykes says:

    Oh wow you described this experience exactly like I endured too with the contrast dye going into your arm it was not a pleasant experience as you know with my I was given more than a handful of boob so let them hang baby and so they did not pleasant as the pain in my ribcage was exposed on the hard surface of the table bed very painful as this area is usually covered and protected by my well endured breasts so I know this was not fun what we women go through is not fun all the best for now looking forward to reading your blogs and thank you for sharing with your usual humour how I have missed you since the old HMS days 🥰

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