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MRI scan - should I be worried?

36 REPLIES 36
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Thanks, Lavender. Yes, it is wonderful how adaptable we are. I think there is a reason there is such a wait between tests and results... It is so that I can get used to the idea! But let's hope it is a negative result. I am fortunate that there still is a back door open.
I hope that my adaptability keeps going... My mum just called to say my dad is in the same boat as me. He was called to the gp because of a suspicious result re prostate. Further tests are needed to see if it is malignant. I said his sympathy and thoughts were enough. He didn't have to join me!
X
Lavenderlassie
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

It is strange how you go from total denial to "maybe" and then to "maybe and if it is I will cope".
Still hoping for a "No, it's not" for you!
Lavender
xx

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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

I just read through this thread again, sort of a 'check how far I've come' and realise that I have come a long way indeed! I am quite capable of thinking this thing is most likely to be cancer and even that a mastectomy may be needed (but can't think about the details of what it will entail yet) and I am not falling apart.
I am posting this in case someone else who is newly wondering 'Do I have cancer?' will be able to read through this thread and also realise that it does get better. And hopefully take courage from that. I am a real sissy, but with the support I have been getting and the information available, I've been able to make it this far!
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi
Ann, my husband and I looked at that incident from all sides (as you do) and decided that it was a case of "lost in translation". She is not English and she probably didn't mean it the way it came out! English is not my mothertongue either and I know how it can happen. She was very kind and sweet otherwise. She did not seem very informed about my case, though. And I do wonder if she knows it is cancer but doesn't know I have not been told. Oh, where the mind goes when you let it! Anyway, I decided that I think it is best to wait for the biopsy results as it is probably an educated guess until they are in. So, I am going to let that be water off the duck's back. I did sit outside in the sun on Fri eve with the hubby and had a fruity cider or two. Did the spirits a world of good.
Powerjen, I do have bcn (or one of a team). But I don't know what to ask her/them. I would be asking her to speculate as the question I really want an answer to, is "Is it cancer?" The team would not commit to a diagnosis yesterday (including the one who made the mx comment). They explained why my case is not straight forward and why an MRI guided biopsy is needed. To me it sounded logical, and above all caring, as they feel that would be the quickest and least painful way to get results.
I am feeling remarkably calm. No tears (yet). I do have my own personal super-supply of tears and they are not shy to flow when I am in great shock. But so far nothing. Maybe it is a time bomb waiting for the first professional to say 'the word' and open the sluices! But so far, so good. 🙂
My mind is in a good place about this. Even the thought that is is likely to be cancer is not freaking me out. The likelihood of a mx isn't either - at this moment. But boy oh boy, the body doesn't know it! I think my stomach is my weakest point... after the bloomin' right breast, that is!
Xx
powerjen
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

So sorry you are still none the wiser, do you have access to a bcn to talk things over? X

Ann_R
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi ThinLizzie, I am so sorry you are still waiting, but it will be best in the long run for the medics to have all the information they need to make the best possible decision. Did you ask the surgeon why he said what he did about a mastectomy? If not, I would get in touch and ask him outright. will be thinking about you. Ann.
p.s. remember the wine!
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi.
I got no news.

Not so sure no news is good news in this case... They said between the mammograms, sonar and MRI, they are unable to form a clear picture of what is going on as there are some microcalcifications and some lumps but they don't all show up on all the images. There are 3 suspect areas. They don't want to commit to any diagnosis until they've got more info, which is fair. They are making an appointment for a MRI guided biopsy in London.



Not sure how I should feel about the fact that the one breast surgeon said that if I decide to go with mastectomy now, we can cut out the MRI guided biopsy and waiting for results! And this before anyone even mentioned the c-word (which they haven't to date).







So here I go with waiting again. Waiting for apointment and then for the results. Another couple of weeks...




Thanks for you care and concern and thoughts. It is encouraging me no end!


ThinLizzie


Xx

Leelaloo
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Morning ThinLizzie,
Yes got lots of support from my husband who has been great. I think you will be surprised by how your friends will be there for you. Especially the ones who you dont expect it from.
Good luck for this afternoon and fingers (and toes) crossed for good luck.
Take care.
Lee X
Ann_R
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Will be thinking about you and keeping fingers crossed.
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Thanks so much, Ann. I am so nervous and your message cheered me right up! My appt is at 3pm. X
Ann_R
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Good luck for tomorrow. Hope you get good news. Sending
hugs ((())))
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi Lee. Thanks so much for that virtual hug. I return a very gentle but big one back to you.
How do you cope with the family so far away? Do you have enough support here in the UK? We moved into our house 7 years ago (today exactly 7 years ago!) and I have made lots of aquintances and some friends, but not sure how much one can lean on relatively new friends under these circumstances. I still hope that I won't need to, but the thought did cross my mind. I do hope you have good support - not only here on the forum, but also in real life.
x
Leelaloo
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi ThinLizzie,
I had to have an MRI scan after my mammogram, scan and biopsy and agree the waiting is the worst ever. I think it is good that they do this as it shows a much clearer picture of what is going on/or not. Once I was given the results I found it easier to deal with than the waiting. I have just finished chemo and radiotherapy which ended last week. It certainly has been a long hard battle but I can now see some light at the end of this rollercoaster. My family live overseas as well and this forum and support from others in same situation was a lifeline to me. I also enjoyed the wine even through chemo and rads. So we are all on here to support each other and wanted to let you know am thinking of you. Sending virtual hug (((( )))).
Lee X
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Thanks for all your encouragement. I aim to take each day at a time and if a day gets too long, then each hour that I have survived the wait, I'll take as a success! Don't see much choice in that, so I may as well try to do it in the best possible attitude.
Annie and Black Swan - I cannot even imagine that it IS cancer yet. I am fearful that it might be, but I cannot imagine myself having to deal with it. I tried to look up what the likely types of cancer could be a result of microcalcifications and what the treatments would be (don't worry - all on this site; learnt my lesson with googling bc!) and tried to look at the video of mx's. My stomach turned and I had to switch it off! I decided to go through the week blinkered and will look later at what awaits me IF it awaits me.
Powerjen - I did think that surely someone could come up with a quieter way of doing a MRI! I tried to make up adventures that could be related to the clunking and buzzing noises (like taking off in a rocket!) but in the end I just repeated the same 3 words over and over to the beat of the machine. It helped me to calm my breathing. 🙂 How long do you have to wait for your results? I am thinking of you and I am holding your hand virtually - both to encourage you and because I need clinging to someone who is in the same boat as me!
Ann - I first imagined you in your hospital gown in the restaurant (lol)! The wine was a great benefit. I don't drink a lot anyway but have cut it out almost completely when I started counting calories about 2 years ago. But last night the wine did me a world of good! To hang with calorie counting this week.
This forum is fast overtaking Facebook as my first port of call. My family and friends all live overseas and FB is my link to the world... But I find I am starting to check this forum at least as often as I check FB for updates. You are a great support to me! Thanks!
Ann_R
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

When all else fails, wine is definately the answer! Even my medical team agree on that one! The night before my op I was ordered to leave the hospital with my hubby with strict instructions to have two large glasses of wine (no more, no less!) with a meal and return for bedtime at 10pm. It worked a treat and I slept like a log! Which was great cos that was the last time for many a night! Lol. And of course you are worth all the time, money and expertise that's being thrown at you! Don't ever think otherwise. I think that we have to be very proud of and grateful to our wonderful NHS.
powerjen
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Glad the scan is over, i am in the same boat had MRI last friday and waiting on results.It was like medieval torture! strange experience, enjoy your wine

Annie62
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Black Swan, I had to laugh at your comment about 'the worst cancer they'd ever seen'! I thought that as well - at every stage I just knew my diagnosis/test results would be far, far worse than they turned out to be. (Although they were bad enough!)
Glad you're feeling better, ThinLizzie - you will get through this [smile]
Annie x
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Haha, Lavender. I don't drink much anymore, but tonight I asked the hubby to share a bottle of wine. Two glasses and I am on my ear. Feeling pretty chilled right now... Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Xx
Lavenderlassie
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Distraction, diversion, drink! Well, not too much of the last. You have looked after yourself to the best of your ability by having the MRI, you cannot do any more, and you "just" have to get through the next week of waiting.
It costs to make an accurate diagnosis and you are worth it, whatever the result.
Lavender
xx

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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Thanks, Anne. I am mostly ok. Just a bit wobbly when I think too much about it.
I feel so undeserving. I do think that I would surely not be worth all the time, cost, expertise and effort that is going into diagnosing something that is only possibly and not definitely cancerous... And I am surely not deserving of all the kind thoughts and support from you lovely ladies who don't have the luxuy of doubt anymore. I say 'luxury of doubt' as it feels such a blessing to me that I can be reassured that it could be nothing... I am scared senseless when I allow my thoughts to wander onto the path that you have walk. Yet you are all so wonderfully kind to me. I cannot tell you how much it means to me and how much it is helping me to stay sane.
Many years ago (about 20 or so) a colleague I was quite close to developed bc. She took it on so bravely and was so positive throughout the treatment. I remember saying to a mutual friend that Ria is very brave and that I certainly would not be able to deal with the situation so well if it were me. Her answer stuck with me: "You don't know how you will deal with a situation unless you find yourself in those very same circumstances." I do hope when (if!) push comes to shove, I'll find an inner strength which seems very hidden at the moment!
Ann_R
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

So sorry you are having to go through this. My mantra was 'this too shall pass' and it did! As you know the waiting IS the worst part. Once I was told what I had and when I was getting my mastectomy it strangely became easier to deal with. And don't forget it could well be good news for you. In my thoughts.
Ann
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Just back from the MRI scan. It was rather noisy, but once I found a positive message that I could repeat to myself to the beat/rhythm of the machine, I was ok.
I have an appointment next Friday to get the results. Are there some guidelines that put the clinic under pressure to provide feedback within a certain time? I was told that they don't have a slot next Friday, but they will MAKE time available for me.
How come I read sinister meanings into everything? While in "the tunnel", I kept thinking 'Why MRI?' 'I thought NHS skimps on the cost of the dye but they are using it on me.' 'This is costing an arm and a leg - surely they won't do this unless there is good reason to worry?' 'I wonder if the microcalcifications they saw are uncertain or suspicious (assuming benign is counted out or they would not be doing further tests).' And now, added to that 'Why the hurry to fit the feedback in next Friday?'
I briefly saw the lovely BCN and could have asked her if she knows whether they are uncertain or suspicious, but I guess I don't really want to know until I HAVE to know. Given the (limited) information I have at this point in time, I can still believe I have a better chance that it is not cancer than for it to be the dreaded c-word.
So another week of waiting and worrying and trying to keep the thoughts in control, dealing with the nervous stomach and the comfort eating (the latter the least wanted at the moment). At least the hubby is supportive as he normally doesn't deal well with illness. I guess, like me, he doesn't want to think of the possibility that this could be cancer.
Come on, girl. Pull yourself together! Chin up. March on. There is nothing to worry about until there is a reason to worry!!

PS The staff have all been lovely. From the day go - those at the mobile mammogram/screening unit, at the breast clinic and at the X-ray dept today. They all deserve a great big thank you for the way they are treating me. So kind and gentle and reassuring!
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

I phoned the hospital about the anaesthetic question and they asked about when I had it but not how I reacted to it. She seems to think it is all ok. So, all set for scan on Thursday.
I am feeling quite weepy today. No actual tears yet, but I keep welling up. I do feel a bit down. My tum is still hollow and I am finding it hard to control nibbling. I spent the last 2 years checking what I eat in order to shed the extra stone that has creeped up on me in the last decade. I don't want to pick it all up again because I can't keep my emotions together!
And I have not even had the scan yet! What is the next week going to be like, waiting to hear the results?
Lols
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Completely agree, the waiting is the worst , it takes over x
BlackSwan
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Yes, the waiting is far worse than the diagnosis or the treatment. It just does your head in.
Even if your diagnosis is cancer, you won't feel as bad as you did when you had all the uncertainty over the tests.
I kept imagining that I might be the worst cancer they had ever seen......
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Oh, my goodness. I do hope the waiting is indeed the worst part. My head was behaving better today with thoughts nicely coralled. And now my body is taking over... my stomach is a trecherous nervous wreck. Sigh.
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Every evening before I go to sleep, my thoughts wander there. When I wake up, it is the first thing on my mind. Every moment in the day that I am not busy, I find myself thinking of "it". "It" can be the MRI and what will happen there. Or how I will cope with another week of waiting until I get the result. Or I envision the moment I am given the diagnosis, which is sometimes all clear and sometimes DCIS. How does one stop your thoughts going where you've banned them from going?!
I am usually such a cry baby. I believe that tears are a great expression of emotion and very healing. But I also know that they can be very upsetting to those looking on and therefore try to keep them private and limited. And yet I am glad that I have not cried about this. Except when my mum told me (for the first time after 7 years) how she felt when she heard that her cancer had returned. Not because I am worried for myself, but in sympathy for my mum. I am only now finding out how much she protected her children. And I realised again the value of a forum like this. I can share about "it" here and still protect my husband and son from my worst fears. And the fact that I can do this even before a diagnosis, is so helpful. I can share the itinerant thoughts before they have reason for existing. It is not always posting my own thoughts that helps me share mine. If I read how someone else has the same worries, I am also sharing. Thanks for your support, Breast Cancer Care!
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Thanks, Maggiemay. I think it makes sense to phone them. I guess they will want to know all the facts and then decide for themselves which are relevant.
maggiemay22
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

I would phone the hospital if I were you as you have had aurgery under general anaesthetic. They'll let you know whether or not it's relevant how long ago it was. In some ways, it's probably better if they know, because then they'll be able to check if you've had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic.

I haven't had an MRI scan but I've been asked the same question in my pre-op. I told them about an op I had as a child 50 years ago!!
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Just a quick question if someone can give me their opinion, please...
I was sent a questionnaire to complete before the MRI scan on Thursday. In it they ask "Have you had any surgery under general anaesthetic?" How long ago are they referring to? I had a good number of moles removed (all benign) about 33 years ago. That was the last general anaesthetic I've had as far as I can remember. I had a Ceasar with epidural when my son was born 15 years ago, so I figure that doesn't count.
They say if you answer 'yes' to any questions, you hv to phone the hospital! All other answers are definitely 'no'.
Should I say yes or no?
Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Thanks so much, everyone, for your encouraging thoughts and for sharing your own experiences. It is so strange how I KNOW that there is nothing to worry about until it is confirmed either way, I KNOW that waiting is the hardest part and that the diagnosis could go either way... BUT then the doubts come. I guess I should remind me of what my mum always says: You can't stop a thought flying through your mind, but you can stop if from making a nest in your head!!
Thank you in particular to Pigsytrotter for reminding me that I might still find out that I am 'one of the lucky ones'!
piggsytrotter
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi ThinLizzie. The waiting is the worst bit, but at least they're not hanging around with you. My advice is don't google anything, that way madness lies as you're already finding out. It's best to get your information from this site and the helpline or forum, or the Macmillan site is good as well apparently.
The mri scan is unpleasant, not because it hurts but because it's like having a pnuematic (sp?) drill going off beside your ear. Mine took nearly an hour but was worth every tortuous second because it confirmed I only had cancer in one breast (which i already knew) not both. Your team are taking no chances with you and you may find you're one of the lucky ones.
Lavenderlassie is right, when the multi-disciplinary team meet and talk about the various cases the suggested tests / treatment can change. It doesn't necessarily mean it's anything sinister, just that they want to do the best for what you are presenting them with.
The waiting is the worst part. I got through the 3 weeks or so I had to wait for the initial diagnosis by thinking that "it is what it is, I just don't know what that is yet". Worrying isn't going to change what already is, so try and push it away and fill your time and thoughts with pleasant things. And you know what? Even if it isn't good news, it most certainly isn't a death sentence either. There are lots and lots of treatments available already, with plenty more in the pipeline so they can keep you going for years. I hope you get good news.
maggiemay22
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi ThinLizzie

I can't really comment on your experiences with the different tests as I'm only recently diagnosed myself. I just want to say that the rambling thoughts and being okay one minute and terrified the next are perfectly normal.

Ring the helpline, they'll understand the rambling thoughts (I know my Breast Care Nurse does with me!)

(((hugs)))

Maggie xx
Lavenderlassie
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi Thinlizzie,
Sorry to hear you are going through all of this. It isn't much fun, but this site is a great help, the information pages and the skilled staff on the Helpline, and the other people on the forum pages.
It isn't that unusual for the medical plans whether for investigation or treatment to change after further discussion, usually after the multidisciplinary team meeting, when everyone, radiographers, radiologists, surgeons, nurses, oncologists and all get toether to discuss the week's cases for diagnosis and treatment.
Nothing shows everything, so in additions to mammograms and biopsies, they do ask for MRIs sometimes, which I understand help with some cases.
I can only give you my for example.
Diagnosed by mammography at routine screening, followed up by biopsy guided by ultra sound. After mastectomy, was shown to have an area of DCIS around the actual cancer, the DCIS did not show up on mammography or ultra sound.
At follow up I asked how they knew I didn't have DCIS in the other breast, and had a one off MRI as a result, which showed no abnormailty at all and was a big reassurance to me.
Give the Helpline a ring tomorrow, they are lovely, especially when one is rambling, trust me, I have tested that!

Guest user
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Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Thanks for the welcome, Sam. I thought about phoning the helpline, but my thoughts have been so inconsistent that I am not sure I know what to ask... I hope it will help to write it down in the forum. I read a couple of other posts of people who are more or less in the same boat as me and felt that this would be the right place to start off. I am trying to stay positive, but then doubts start. I suppose it is all normal.
ThinLizzie
Sam_BCC
Member

Re: MRI scan - should I be worried?

Hi ThinLizzie

I’m sorry to read that you are having a pretty difficult time at the moment. I’m sure the users of this site will be along to support you soon.

In the meantime maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator


Guest user
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MRI scan - should I be worried?

About 3 weeks ago, I had my first ever mammogram. I have no visible symptoms of breast cancer but I was called back to the Breast Clinic for further mammograms (many), a physical examination and a sonar (during which there was a lot of photographs taken and hushed discussion between the consultant and resident mammographer). They identified microcalcifications. I think I was going to have a biopsy but the consultant felt that I needed 2 biopsies (one a stereo core biopsy and the other with the sonar) - both on the right breast and that it would be best to schedule the stereo core one before his one. This morning the Breast Care Nurse phoned me to (instead of making the appointment) say that they suggest an MRI scan instead. The appointment is set for next week.
Now, my initial reaction was 'I won't worry' because nothing was diagnosed. I was resolved not to worry until there was a reason to worry! And today some unwelcome thoughts are entering my mind. I admit that I googled microcalcifications and MRI scans and that probably started the idea that perhaps I should be more concerned.
The reasons I am now wondering whether there might be more going on than I initially thought:
- Why did they first suggest I needed 2 biopsies using 2 methods? Only 1 should have extracted the microcalcifications for further analysis. Another would surely not have been necessary?
- Why do they now want to do an MRI, which is more expensive and not able to pick up microcalcifications so well?
- In hindsight, they took a lot of photographs during the sonar of diferent places of my breast and the lymphnode in my armpit.
- This seems to happen at lightening speed, contrary to what other people are experiencing. Why the urgency?
Is it possible that they are investigating something other than the microcalcifications?
I know that nobody can offer a diagnosis until the further tests are done. This means I must play the waiting game. I guess I just wanted to share this with other people who are going through similar worries and to see if anyone else thinks I should be worried (though I also realise that it would make no sense for people to recommend that there might be something to worry about, given such scant information).
I am now contradicting myself and rambling, which is exactly what has been happening in my thoughts today.