In Which I Excel at Breathing, but Fail at Raising My Arm

Yesterday, I posted that I would be getting a planning CT scan. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to have it done. The appointment started out very well. First, I met with a technician who showed me the breathing apparatus I would be using throughout radiation. It looks a bit like a snorkel. When the device is activated, it forces me to hold my breath. Because I have left-sided breast cancer, holding my breath helps to keep my heart out of the way of the radiating rays.

All was going well. The technician asked me to hold my breath for as long as possible. I managed for forty-three seconds. I thought that sounded pretty good, so I asked him, “Would you say that 43 seconds is above average?” He thought about it for a moment and answered, “Yes, I would say so.” Booyah.  I am awesome at breathing.

Then, things went downhill. I moved on to the CT scanning room where I lay down on the platform and four technicians proceeded to try to get my left arm into place. They were trying to position the arm above my head. But my arm was refusing to cooperate. It’s still stiff from the surgery. So, the technicians told me that we’d have to wait another week before the planning scan. I was disappointed (aka I cried a little) because I really don’t want to delay treatment. But I also understand that it’s really important that I am able to stay still and in the same position throughout the five weeks of treatment.

So, after the high of finding out that I am an above average breath-holder, I had the come down of finding out that I am unable to raise my arm properly. It was a roller-coaster of a day. I’m scheduled for a do-over of the planning scan next Tuesday. And I am now equipped with some new exercises to get my arm in arm-raising shape. Wish my arm luck, friends.

About Naomi

Writing about health/wellness and motherhood at and academia and research at
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13 Responses to In Which I Excel at Breathing, but Fail at Raising My Arm

  1. Megan Mallen says:

    You will get there. Go arm go! So proud of you. This is one of those smaller bumps in the road – you will prevail! Such amazing news in these last 24 hours to hear about. Thinking of you always.

  2. Liz Mesok says:

    Being an above-average breather-holder is not a small thing 🙂 Your arm will get there, and so will you. Lots of love to you and lots of happy, positive vibes to your arm 😉

  3. Doreen London says:

    I am wishing your arm luck… and you with the exercises. Hope next week goes smoothly.
    You are doing great.

  4. Linda says:

    Sending luck on the arm raising and a huge high-five on the breathing! xoxo

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks, Linda. We re-did the scan and I’m proud to say that my arm did very well. Will update with a proper post soon. Hope all’s well with you. xoxo

  5. jb says:

    What I love most about this post? I guess everything, but especially “Booyah!” That word has just officially made a comeback in my mind.
    Love you and your arms. Total faith in all three of you.

  6. t'ai rising-moore says:

    sissy, i’m late to the party on reading this but not too late to wish your arm ‘all the luck’ with everything tomorrow. all in it’s time i suppose, love you.

  7. Kathy says:

    I hope your appointment went well yesterday, Naomi. Way to go on being an above average breath holder. 🙂

  8. Duff Waddell says:

    Hi Naomi,

    Hope the appointment went well. Stay strong. Thinking of you and excited to see you in August.

    Love from Duff Annie and Milo

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