Tuesday, October 18, 2011


It's dark at 5:30 a.m. Add to that a bank of fog and a reluctance to get out of a warm bed to go to the hospital for a dreaded test and you won't find  a very willing player. But Tim had agreed to come get me and Bob wanted to ride along so I had to be a good sport.

I was sent to Huntington Hospital in nearby Pasadena because their equipment for breast diseases is the most advanced in the area. After they registered me, we sat in the waiting area longer than anyone expected because the officiating nurse was detained by the fog.

Tim has a new iPhone and we played with that as we waited to proceed. It does things by voice command, sometimes giving amusing answers. It helped to pass the time. 

When my turn came, I told all the medical people that if there was ever a time to bring forth their very best bedside manner, this was it. They complied nicely. The nurses and the doctor who was to do the MRI and biopsy were attentive, informative and gentle. Because we have some male readers I'm going to spare you some of the details, saying only that the position was uncomfortable and the MRI, itself, completely different than the previous one I had. This time I was squeezed so flat (lying face down, arms extended above my head) that I was pressed above and below firmly enough that I couldn't manage a deep breath. Once in the tube and abandoned by all living beings, panic threatened, but I managed not to call out, tempting as it was.

At long, long last I could hear voices as they came back to pull me out of the tube in the manner of taking a pizza from a brick oven and then the biopsy began. I kept saying to myself, "Don't look, don't even let yourself think, halt the imagination". It was a lot like saying "Don't think of a pink elephant". Nearly impossible.

Then back into the tight tube and everyone scattered out of the room to escape the deadly radiation and left me there. Several minutes later back they came saying it was over, but the worst lay ahead. As the bed was lowered from the MRI tube the most excruciating pain caused me to say, "Stop! Stop!" My fingers were being crushed between the two pieces of equipment. Looking back on it, it's kind of interesting to think that a doctor could be made to shout, "OMG! " and other adrenalized  noises, including, "That's like shutting her fingers in a car door" and "We'll need to take x-rays". "Oh, my gosh, they're smashed".

Sure enough the pain in my hand made me totally forget any discomfort in my other regions and they did take 3 x-rays and the tears rolled silently down my face and they said I was brave and patted me a lot and gave me a drink of juice.

I think it might have crossed my mind briefly that it was good blogging material. 

There's more to come in this ordeal. I'm used to getting through something like today's experience and being able to say, "There! I did it. That's done", but in this venture it's just one thing after another after another.

"At my age, the radiation will probably do me good".
                                                                        Norman Wisdom


  1. Oh my!!! Squished fingers. I hope they are ok. Seems like making this a bogging adventure will keep it real and having Tim along makes you divert your mind. And for us......we get to understand this path no one wants to go on....

  2. Oh, Jane. What a craptastic experience. I'm glad Tim and Bob came along. Gah! I'm sorry for this seemingly never-ending roller coaster ride.

  3. Stay strong Babe ! You are my heroin!!!!!!! A Non Y Mouse

  4. It's bad enough to have all the procedures, etc. and say, "Well, at least I got through it." I don't think busted fingers were on the menu.

    When I was being put in a similar tube, they dropped a corner of my pallet/stretcher/thing and just caught me before I hit the floor. Isn't life exciting? Jeanine

  5. Oh, man. That just sucks.
    Hang in there. And then hang in there some more.

  6. You are such a trooper, Jane. I only wish that my mom would have had your blog to read while she was going through her treatment. I imagine it would have made her ordeal much less scary. Although I'm sure you're doing that for someone today. You're a brave woman. I hope your fingers are ok.

  7. I was once in a very awkward situation and GRATEFUL for being distracted when a car ran over my foot! Frankly, smashed fingers SOUND MUCH WORSE!!!!!! But, Jane, you are the absolute master of finding a way to take your mind off a medical moment!!!!! : )

    SO SORRY. Hope you are feeling better and able to move your pinkies! You deserved much more than juice! Don't they keep vodka on hand for moments like that?

    Thanks for your honesty and openness. You have a whole team cheering for you!

  8. This am I couldn't get downloaded. Sure it was me. Some funny email doings over here. It's too late to think of a splendid reply...except I think it helps with the thing, not to bury your head but face it. The rest of us either emphasize or wonder if, there by the grace of God, go I.

  9. Bless your heart, Jane. You are truly amazing, and your support troops are right up there with you. My heart goes out to all of you.

  10. Lord have mercy!! Poor fingers!! Not funny that in trying to give therapeutic treatment to one part of you -- they smash up another part of you! Are you ready to sue them?!?! -------------- So I don't know what comes next for you. I know you need to use your energy carefully. If you have any to share with the Angel City Crones, we meet tomorrow evening. But I really don't expect to see you. Just letting you know we care about you and send love prayers and good wishes! Evelyn

  11. LaVona told me about this ahead of my reading it but that didn't lessen the effect of your words.