Friday, April 2, 2010

The magnet is always on!

The long awaited 2nd MRI has come and gone and we, despite major technological advances, won’t have the results for a week. In the meantime, we will stay focused on what we do know and move forward thinking about all of the tender mercies that have been placed in our lives to cope with this situation. Our nightly prayer is one of gratitude and thanksgiving for the many wonderful things that have happened in our lives as a result of this diagnosis. I have felt the strength that comes when prayers are offered on your behalf and wanted to express my gratitude for all of you and your quiet acts of service. We are truly blessed people!

All along the way God has placed incredible blessings in our path! These blessings have taken the form of the love and support of friends and family, kindhearted and competent medical staff, and an increased awareness for people and things around us.

It happened again for us yesterday when we met Sue, the nurse that would be taking me through the process of the MRI. She was all business at first and then I overheard Justin’s instructions to her while I was dressing into my gown (it sounds like I was getting ready for the Prom…unfortunately, it was a little different kind of gown and I was certainly not glamorous!). He was still harboring some ill feelings from the first MRI which left my arm bruised and blue from a rolled vein, so he was explaining that she needed to be tender. I think his care and concern sparked her compassion and we were like family from then on. She was fantastic and eased my nervousness. I had a new friend!

In addition to Sue and unbeknownst to me at the time, Heavenly Father placed an incredible message right at my feet (literally). It read, ”DANGER! THIS MAGNET IS ALWAYS ON.” It was the rug just outside the MRI room that I would soon be entering. I saw the rug and giggled, while asking Justin to take a picture. Little did I know this message would be used to creative a phenomenal reframe for my mind just hours later.

Many of you have not had a breast specific MRI, so I wanted to explain some of my fret and concern. The process takes about 45 minutes and you are lying on your stomach, with your arms fully extended above your head, and your face is placed on a cushioned pad which goes around your eyes, resting on your cheek bones and forehead (which serves as an antecedent to a giant headache for me), and you are moved into a big tube. One of your arms has an IV pick line placed in it and at a certain point in the 45 minutes, Gadolinium, a rare metallic element is introduced into your veins, with a little burn and metallic taste in your mouth, it serves to highlight the tumor. All of this is done with one instruction, “STAY ABSOLUTELY STILL!” To help with this, you are given headphones and the option to play an assortment of music. I chose country music, which I didn’t have turned up high enough to hear in comparison to the loudness of the MRI machine, so throughout the process I heard this one ironic part of a song, “You’re going to miss this. You’re going to want this back. You’re going to wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. These are some good times, take a good look around. You might not know it now, but you’re going to miss this…” then the clamoring of the machine started again and I saw my own tear fall on the machine below me. I couldn’t believe I was here, let alone believe that I might someday miss it all!

This gloomy feeling and the giant headache were my companions outside of the hospital and I was keenly aware of the stares of pity that were happening all around me. I was getting all fired up inside when the thought came to my mind, “DANGER! THIS MAGNET IS ALWAYS ON.” I took a deep breath and realized that my hypersensitivity to others had been caused by my own negative view on things, not the increase of stares or pity. I was seeing my own negative thoughts reflected in others!

The reality for all of us is that the MAGNET IS ALWAYS ON and we get to decide if we will be pulled to the POSITIVE or the NEGATIVE pole. We have so much power over our own happiness! We can choose to be happy (2 Nephi 2:27) and magnetize ourselves for others who are choosing to be happy (or seeking for happiness). When this is our conscious choice we can change our own reality and destiny. Let me continue with my example!

I was actually shopping for Easter when I became keenly aware of the staring and was almost in tears, until I was in the check-out and a wonderful woman named Keena decided to talk to me. She asked how I was doing and I quietly said, “I’m OK!”, I then saw the signs of her hair just growing back, the pain etched in her face, and the depth in her eyes.

She went on to tell me about her cancer story and her battle. She empowered me to see things in a positive way. Since meeting her and being reminded of the power of the positive MAGNET, I have made the decision to smile in stores, instead of being afraid of the stares and pity. Not surprisingly, my burden has been lifting by others approaching me and sharing; by me approaching others and sharing.

I know that not all of us will have to walk through a store with no hair on our heads, but I know that as humans we share the emotions behind that experience. We have all felt like the ‘odd man out’ and the cure is to remember, “DANGER! THIS MAGNET IS ALWAYS ON.” We must remember that Satan desires to pull us down, so that we cannot be someone else’s “Keena” and experience joy ( Helaman 5:12). We cannot allow him to have this type of pull and influence on us and thwart our path. What will our MAGNET attract? (Matt. 5:16)

So I can consciously say, “I’m going to miss this. I’m going to want this back. I’m going to wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. These are some good times, I’ll take a good look around …” and let this experience refine me and hopefully I can STAND STILL until God provides a way for me to accomplish the things I need to do in this life (Doctrine and Covenants 5:34).




  1. Becky, you are so amazing!

    Amy and I have been sitting here reading your entries laughing, awing, smiling and just enjoying the amazing lessons learned through lifes happenings. She says your boys are cute too! Isn't it interesting how all these little unexpected journies help us get through lifes lessons.

    I recently had an MRI on my brain, which I know is much different than what you went through. Reading about your experience made me reflect back on what I was thinking after I was finished. I chose to listen to FM 100.3 (which I said to the tech I thought I would never request!). I was asked if the volume was up loud enough. It was, so I thought. During the whole process it was full of noise. Noise from the machine, the radio, the tech, the machine, the radio; and did I mention the machine? Life is like that--full of noise and confusion at times. Luckily we have the gospel and the Lord to help us sort through the noise and confussion.

    You are finding the good amongst the bad. The Lord wants us to see what is good around us.
    Thank you for sharing your insights and feelings. We love you and appreciate you. Most of all we are praying for you, your family, the doctors and ourselves. I say ourselves, so we can know better how to help and understand.

    Thank you again. With love, Amy & Laura Dyreng

    PS I have tried twice to add a comment to your blog and can't figure out how it works, so I just copied what I wrote and sent it here.

    Laura Dyreng