The Mri Dance, what they don’t tell you when your child is diagnosed with cancer


So, your child was diagnosed with brain cancer. What now. No one ever told me I would be living from mri to mri. And these mri’s are a huge ordeal. First you have to fast, that means no food or liquid the morning of. I figured out pretty quickly that I needed to make the appointments for these mri’s in the morning as early as possible. You can’t tell a 4-year-old that he can’t have breakfast without a huge melt down. Lesson learned.

Then there is the anesthesia. Ooooooooohhhhhhhhh the anesthesia. First comes the giggle juice. This makes them forget that there about to get an iv. It also renders them totally unstable even lying down. It’s like a 6 pack of beer in a syringe. Then the screaming and yelling and thrashing about for the iv. Then the actual sedation. They pump the iv full of different types of drugs with names 6 miles long until John is asleep.

Now the waiting begins. The mri could take one to three hours depending on what they are imaging. The waiting is hard on me. All the scenarios humanly possible run through my head about what could go wrong. I usually am drinking redbull trying to recover from the obnoxiously early alarm we all had to endure. I try to keep my mind clear and my head screwed on straight instead of thinking about disasters. Then comes the fun part.

When he comes out of the mri, he is asleep for a while. But, then the evil nurses wake him up. All hell usually breaks loose. He has to eat and drink something before the offensive iv can be pulled out. Which he is hyperfocused on and usually crying about. But, to make matters worse he is three sheets to the wind on medication. Drooling, drooping to one side, and eyes rolling in his head. I always bring a bag of Cheetos because I know he never turn down Cheetos. This gets him eating quickly. The game is, the faster he eats and drinks, the faster the iv comes out and he becomes somewhat manageable. Lemonade, my other weapon of choice. He never turns it down. So, during this dance of Cheetos being eaten with one eye open and the mess spreading catastrophically by the moment. Cheetos going in every direction and all over the bed, his hair, his clothes……oh for the love of God, eat the Cheetos kid, go for it! Then the drama of the iv removal. add tears to the cheeto dust. By this point I have to stand by the bed and make sure he doesn’t choke or fall asleep with cheeto in his mouth. Or hit his head by drooping over and trying to jerk it up into a sitting position.

Getting a wet noodle of a kid dressed to leave takes three people. Nuff said.

Into the car we go, Cheetos everywhere. The drive home usually involves a lot of crying over dropped lemonade and Cheetos. Theres nothing like fighting philly traffic trying to reach into the back seat and find whatever fell onto the floor while in traffic on 95. Yes, I am a very safe driver. The screaming child always wins.

Once we get home the fun really begins. He cant walk. But he thinks he can. Convincing him to not try is a war. we usually spread couch cushions around on the floor and try to contain him to that one spot. Oh did I mention he cant sit up either? This lasts up to 8 hours. What a nightmare.

Wash rinse and repeat. every 6 weeks to three months. This is the mri dance no one will ever tell you that you will endure. Oh, and you have to wait for the dreaded phone call for results. Hopefully it comes that night.



2 thoughts on “The Mri Dance, what they don’t tell you when your child is diagnosed with cancer

  1. I can’t even imagine how you feel watching your child go through this. Thank you for sharing a day in your life. I hope that this gets easier and less scary for your son. Saying prayers.

    • Thank you. I want to let people inside our world. It is just a small peek, but it lets people know where we really are. That is very important to me. There’s so many things no one will ever tell you about cancer, I want people to know the real story.

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