Is a MRI scan like sitting in a coffin for an hour with a gun shot, drill, school alarm and some weird techno beat all simultaneously ringing

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8th October 2014: Sydney, Australia

A sleepless night was had, strangely though, my thinking wasn’t based on questions of ‘what if’. Rather, an unidentifiable feeling of unease had overtaken me. After finally drifting off, my eyes would open to reveal the sleep was only short lived, showing only an hour had passed, and it wasn’t till birds started to chirp whereby I released the lack had over the course of the night. Throughout the restless night, I wasn’t directly thinking about the upcoming MRI scan, blood test, results or anything else. It was almost like my mind didn’t have to have to worry about what going to happen as my body was already switched on and operating at such a charged and rapid pace.

I had my day planned. Get up early, with no eating of course due to the MRI, and drive out to the hospital to avoid the traffic. Once there, I would have the scan, meet with my doctor, get my blood taken, then collect my next round of chemo before returning back. All sounds relatively straight forward, probably would be if the flu didn’t rear it’s head with a vengeance, staging another showdown before it passes on. My eyes were almost closing on the drive home whilst my mind dreamed of arriving safely at home to fall into bed. All my concentration was required on the drive, with assistance from the brisk fresh air from the outside to keep my eyes open. Oddly, the only relaxing moment of the day was the 45 minutes spent inside the MRI machine. If you have ever had one, you’d understand why this is odd. I remember the first MRI left me feeling like I had been sitting in a coffin for an hour with a gun shot, drill, school alarm and some weird techno beat all simultaneously ringing in my ears. Now, I find the sounds almost relaxing, maybe because I know my immediate fate is to be determined within the next few hours.

In regards to the big days associated with the Cancer journey, support can be viewed as one of the fundamental components in assisting the process. It’s days like today where I’m grateful for the support around me, contact from friends, girlfriend and parents make it all the more bearable. Before setting off the drive in the morning, a food and medication box was prepared, courtesy of my mum to simply take a few stressors out of my day whilst ensuring I had my post-MRI fix. I use the term fix as me without food can be comparable to an agitated addict searching for the next hit. Literally, I’m a nightmare, and that’s speaking in the first person, imagine living with me! A packed lunch may not seem as significant to other forms of support, but it’s the little things that matter the most. The care, thought, and not to mention the tastes within the prepared food box are some of those little things in life that make living a hell of a lot easier.

Support is also about medical assistance, and agin today was an example of the reason for my mum and I walking out of the hospital after our first meeting both knowing that we were with the right doctor. I’ve had a fair bit on my mind leading up this test, maybe a tad dramatic on some issues, however, I was given ample time to speak about what has been on my mind, then had my checks completed and left with the reassurance of knowing I’m going to be ok. To say I didn’t have nerves would be lying, especially when my doctor was explaining his observations of the MRI results in the appointment room. At this moment, I was totally unaware about the differing objects and structures within my body so was looking for any gestures or body language that would contradict the verbal communication received. The reassurance I received was that no abnormalities were evident, indicating the second check is clear, and I am working towards my goal of long term health and wellness. Confirmation from the radiographer will confirm this, and to celebrate a dinner will be held to mark the occasion. I have told my family and friends that it now seems I have four birthdays a year as I always want to celebrate the day when finding out positive news.

In concluding, the exhausting long day and lack of sleep from last night has left me short of words and energy so will need to continue writing tomorrow. To finish, I must say, the sore throat and fatigue fought hard but the smile that was shining when leaving that hospital today means victory is coming. When exactly, I am yet to answer, however, I do know that many smiles will be appear in my long future still to be lived.

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