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change of plan...too much radiation

maglets's picture
Posts: 2585
Joined: Jun 2006

well I finally woke up and realized that my scan on Wed was written for an ultrasound....not a CT.....last time I had ultrasound the radiologist rejected it and it scared the daylights out of me and I had to go ahead and do the ct anyway.  Now my onc has decided to do an MRI and then in 6 months do a ct scan......thus reducing the amount of radiation. So all things must be rescheduled and I just hope it does not take too long to organize

I would love to hear about your MRI experience....in all my 9 years that is one test I have not had.....


thanks so much........mags

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Mags.  If the idea of really small spaces makes you uncomfortable you should take an Ativan prior to the test.  Steve had a hard time with the MRI.  He thought it would feel more like the pet scan.  The technician told Steve that a lot of people take Ativan prior and find it to be very helpful.


Good luck.  Will be thinking of you.


RoseC's picture
Posts: 558
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi - I'm from the anal cancer thread. Thought I might be able to offer something helpful. I found that closing my eyes prior to entering the 'cavern' helped a lot. We used to go to the beach a lot when I was a kid and closing my eyes and thinking about the beach during the MRI helped A LOT. I've had a couple of head MRIs - I freaked out during the first one but my mom recommended closing my eyes prior to the second one and it helped tremendously. Close your eyes prior to going in and don't open them till it's all over.

And yes, Ativan or Xanax or whatever prior.....

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

It's the very rare CT scan anymore as I've had probably 50....no exaggeration. Mostly because there was a problem with an unidentified source of pain. That and all the cancer crap.

The MRI is truly no big deal--honest. The tube is softly yet brightly lit and you are in constant audio contact with the tech, plus you're not sealed in. You can see your feet between scans :) Where I go, they allow you to bring in an IPod, but I prefer hearing the chatter in the room and the whirring of the machine.

its really not any more unpleasant than a CT, only more thorough.

you can do this.

Big hugs from California,




Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3270
Joined: Jan 2010

While I have no personal experience, I did read up on it a bit. 

The good news is no rads...the bad news is it takes much longer than CT scan.

Fear of close or closed places can be an issue.

Take the advise of those who have been there, done that...and take something ahead of time...close your pretty eyes before the process starts..and concentrate on that lovely cabin in the mts.


Marie who loves kitties

traci43's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Jul 2007

To me, the MRI tube was smaller than the CT scan tube and much warmer and noisier.  As far as being able to see tumors, my oncologist ordered the wrong one and all it did was scan my bones in my pelvis not the organs.  Pretty much useless for me.  Hope things go well for you.  Would be nice to take a break from the radiation.  Traci

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1212
Joined: Jun 2013

...the whole time and consider a sedative. Otherwise it's a piece of cake. 

MRI is a great image, it will help a lot.

Good luck and let us know.


Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I have had 2 MRI's. The first one was about 5 years ago to double check a suspicious spot that showed up on a CT. It was the donut type. Very similar to a CT scanner. The difference in that MRI is you wear headphones to listen to breathing instructions. It is very loud from the magnets.

The second MRI was just this past July. It was for the same reason to double check a suspicious spot on my liver which BTW was inconclusive this time so I am scheduled for another MRI at the end of this month. Anyway the second one was what I call the classic MRI like you hear about where you go into a very small tube. When I first went in I got clostaphobic and almost asked them to stop. But then I closed my eyes and started praying and the fear went away. I don't understand why I reacted that way. I had done at least 10 PET scans early on in my battle. I guess the PET scan is bigger or it was just my state of mind. Anyway I had to wear headphones for the second MRI and it took close to 30 minutes so it is longer as well.

I did some research on MRI after the second one because I wanted to know how it works and found that there is no radiation exposure so I actually requested the MRI for the end of this month as opposed to the CT. I have had at least 30 CT and PET scans so I really want to minimize the radiation exposure. So I think an MRI is the right choice for you for the same reasons.

johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

had one only ct scans and one pet i just wanted to cheer you on and say you can do this.as many have said its not too bad.sorry for the delay now im having scanxiety for you.(((HUGS))) to you and take care...Godbless....johnnybegood

maglets's picture
Posts: 2585
Joined: Jun 2006

ah thanks guys.....you are the very best. I will definitely put an ativan in my pocket for that morning.....just to add to the stress this is the last time I will see my onc....she is wonderful but has had admin probs at the hospital and she is leaving. I have no idea where our care will be passed onto.....small city and oncs are rare.....

hoping Kim does well today....best to all


dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

Hey Mags,

I don't have much experience with MRI.. I had one of my head years ago.. it wasn't too bad..

However, there is such a thing as an Open MRI.. may be worth seeing if there is one in your area

Hugs. Donna

Posts: 1598
Joined: Aug 2012

Good luck mags ...look forward to hearing the good news!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

Do you see what I'm holding in my hand in my avatar? Drink 6 of those prior to the MRI and it will be a breeze! :-) I only had one and it was of my head. It wasn't pleasant. I didn't mind the closed quarters but it was like someone put a metal pail over my head and pounded it with a hammer. Then again, maybe it was the 6 beers...

I don't know of the noise is different for a different part of your body but I do remember it being very loud. The fact that it was right after a major surgery didn't help. The funny thing was that the reason I had it done was because I had numbness in my arm. They started talking brain tumor. After I got back to my room I realized that my arm was getting numb because of the wooden arm of the chair I was sitting in. I wrapped it with a towel and my the numbness started to go away the next day.

I told them what the problem was and they kept wanting to do diagnostic tests on me. I actually got to the point where I had to tell the doctors to GET OUT of my room and leave me alone, I figured it out. That was probably my only bad experience at Sloan...I guess they were being overly careful but I was surprised that no one said "Oh yeah, that makes perfect sense".

Hang in there Mags...

Posts: 509
Joined: Sep 2012

PhillieG .. that story made me chuckle .. as the same thing happened to me.  I started with arm numbness the very first chemo treatment I ever had.  I was sent for an MRI of the brain as well to rule out brain mets.  Come to find out it was from sitting in the hopital bed for such a long time .. just weird positioning, plus I suspect I was pretty tense. 

Mags .. I did not take any meds., but did find it longer and loud, continual thumping, rythmic really.  I also closed my eyes prior to and put myself in a "different" place.  In fact I do believe it was the beach ...

I suppose if you just are able to do that, as well as telling yourself it is only magnets and not radiation .. it may be of comfort.

Wishing you the best for a clean scan!

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Geez, Phil, you must have quite the bladder!  If I drank that much (heck, even one), the techs would have to let me out for potty breaks every ten minutes.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I know nothing about MRI's as I haven't had one.  I imagine I wouldn't have a problem with it, when I was younger in my teens with 6 brothers and 2 sisters to get any time to myself I would go into our walkin closet and get underneath the lowest shelf putting blankets in front of me once I squeezed in there and have space and time to myself with no one bothering me.  It was a very tiny space. This brought back that memory. LOL

I'm glad they're thinking of you and reducing the radiation amounts.  Here's to it being an easy experience for you!  Sounds like an Ativan is the way to go.

Winter Marie

maglets's picture
Posts: 2585
Joined: Jun 2006

WinkSurprisedSmileSmilehaha thanks guys.....okay now I have to get an ativan and 6 beers in back pocket....

honestly new peeps....we are just kidding.  mags

Posts: 1598
Joined: Aug 2012

Id take this as a really good sign that they think you will be around for a good long time if they are worried about the radiation. Hope you shared your bag if goodies with the tech :)

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 4973
Joined: Feb 2009

I've had one done long time ago.  They are very noisy.  I'm one to get antsy in tight spaces like that, but did just fine.  The one problem that bothered me most was trying to keep absolutely still.  You will do fine though and yes, you can see your feet so it's not like you are totally enclosed.  Taking the ativan is a good idea too.  Just let them know ahead of time that you are apprehensive about it and they will make sure that you are comfortable.  Good luck with the scan and praying it out comes out normal.

Hugs!  Kim

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I've had several, and they're not too bad.   As others have said, closed eyes before entering the tube and an Ativan help a lot!  It is obnoxiously noisy (reminded me of having someone jackhammering near my head), but that's tolerable.  If you don't have to hear breathing instructions, you could wear ear plugs.

After all this changing things around, I sure hope they get you your results asap.  They shouldn't inflict any more stress on you!

Lots o' love~AA


maglets's picture
Posts: 2585
Joined: Jun 2006

got called in today to do the MRI and it was not nearly as bad as i thought.  Asked for a facecloth to cover my eyes.....could not have the music earphones because the tech gave me almost constant breathing instructions...Yes it is loud but I just did my yoga breathing.....took about 25 minutes I think....and then you know that wonderful feeling after a fast of going out for brekkies???Kiss DH took me out to a park that has a nice restaurant all surrounded by trees....our leaves are right at their peak of colour change.....soooo lovely...toast eggs and coffee......ahhhh the very best!

thanks guys......you are the best......one week for results


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 3818
Joined: Jan 2013

So glad to hear that you have had your MRI and that it wasn't so bad. 

Now to relax this week and not fret over resuilts. 

We'll be here waiting to find out with you. 

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