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Surgery vs SBRT for Lung Met and MRI Anxiety

todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

I've been back and forth on this decision for 2 weeks now. Doctor supports either option. The tumor is 3.3cm and up against my second rib on the outside on the right. Hard to tell from the CT scan how involved or if it's involved the rib(s). The surgeon wants an MRI to get a better look. Oncologist wants a brain MRI to make sure there's nothing in my head (joke intended).

Well, I went to get the MRI Monday, and I could not do it. I was already nauseous for some unknown reason (stress?). The combination of the stress, claustrophobia, and that cage thing they put over your head and the vest thing they put on my chest made me have a panic attack. I failed to get the MRI. A tad embarrassed.

Will go back next week with some Ativan in me and some Ativan in my pocket. I hope that's enough to get me through it. I'm actually quite worried I'll fail again. I need this MRI. The surgery is scheduled for 2/12/21.


Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2016

Been in the same situation as you regarding MRI phobia.  I had a case of sudden hearing loss and the ENT wanted an MRI of my brain to make sure there weren't any nasties up there.  I told him of my claustrophobia and he arranged an MRI with a place that has open MRI's.  The resolution isn't quite as crisp as the r3gular machines, but for what he required, it was enough.  This was about six years ago, and scanning technology improves by leaps and bounds every year, so that might be an option.

eug91's picture
Posts: 317
Joined: Jan 2019

Ugh - same. I don't do well in MRI machines. Hopefully the Ativan will get you through. 

One trick that helped me last time. I tried to position my neck so that my eyes could look out of the MRI machine on the other side. Just being able to see out of the tube really helped me get through. 

Good luck, Todd! You can do this! 

AliceB1950's picture
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2019

I keep my eyes closed and play imaginary videos in my head set to the music they pipe in. It makes it kind of fun.

Allochka's picture
Posts: 952
Joined: Nov 2014

An open MRI is a great idea! Ormaybe some sedation, like they do for endoscopies?

Posts: 567
Joined: Nov 2013

I think the trick is to not open your eyes.  Practice lying in bed with a folded washcloth over your eyes, and just breathe.  Maybe you can request some music.  I pretend im at the beach.  Ive gotten pretty good at visual imagery over the years to deal with stress.

todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

I practiced 2-3 days in a row laying on the floow on my back and closed my eyes and din't move for an hour. It gave me some confidence. I also took 0.5 mg ativan. Brought my favorite music CD for relaxing. Got it done today.



Posts: 567
Joined: Nov 2013

I am really impressed!  

Posts: 403
Joined: Nov 2016

Good job! Praying for you.

lobbyist0724's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Sep 2016

I am surprised the close follow up scan didn't pick up the tumor when it was like 1 cm. But so glad that surgery is possible, and I wish the surgery can bring you back to a long-term NED again. Perhaps let imagine what it is like in March after a boring surgery and a speedy recovery!

Hd67xlch's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: Apr 2016

sbrt kills the lung tissue in the area of the lung and beyond and it doesnt come back, the surgery on a met on the outside of the lung should be a pretty simple wedge resection probably via vats, possibly open, but sometimes they dont know till they open you up and have a look. I have had three open lung surgeries and to be honest they are not that bad after the first night in icu,and even that you wont remember youll be so doped up in the icu, after that your pretty much just waiting to be dishcharged for a few days, gl.

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