Friday, August 9, 2013

Dear Bone Marrow Biopsy: I Hate Your Guts

So, I'm not trying to be dramatic here, but my bone marrow biopsy (BMB) today was possibly the worst 10 minutes of my life.  The good news is that it was only 10 minutes and I should never (ever, ever) have to do it again.  Hallelujah for that!

Oh, and in other good news - my PET scan is back and it shows NO cancer anywhere else but in the left quadrant of lymph nodes in my neck!  This means that as long as the BMB is clean, then I'm considered Stage I Hodgkin's - woo!

The Procedure
If you're squeamish or easily grossed out, you might want to stop reading now.  Josh couldn't come in the room with me, so I don't have any pictures of my procedure, but I'm going to share some photos of what the BMB is like - you've been warned!

I was really sad that Josh couldn't be in the room with me, but apparently it's pretty common for family members to pass out during the procedure, so they stopped letting them back in the room.  Understandable.  Here's an idea of what a BMB is:


Once back in the room, I had to lay on my stomach and pull my pants and underpants down just a little to expose the back of my hip area (just above the booty).  This is where they will penetrate the bone (except the did they other side on me):

The first step is to numb the area with lidocaine - a local anesthetic.  They go in three times with the lidocaine, going deeper each time.  This isn't terribly painful, but the nerves and anticipation got to me and I started crying as soon as they stuck me the first time.  Gosh, what a baby :)  The third round of lidocaine was the worst because I could actually feel the needle on my bone, the doctor kind of taps the needle all around that area of bone.  Ick.

The Marrow Aspiration is next.  This is when they suck out the marrow from my bone.  Yes, it's as bad as it sounds.  They use a needle that looks like this:

It's kind of like a corkscrew that they twist into the bone.  Then they use a syringe to suck out the marrow and that super sucks.  Thankfully that part only takes a few seconds.

The last part is the actual Marrow Biopsy, where they take a piece of the solid bone marrow.  A larger needle is used and is twisted further into the bone:


It's sort of like doing a core sample of the earth - remember your high school science class?  The needle is screwed into my bone and then pulled out with a bit of force.  Honestly, I thought that was the worst part.  But that was also the last part.  Thankfully the doc got a good sample the first time and didn't have to go back in - I may not have let him even if he didn't :)

I'll admit it was pretty painful, but it's over now!  And my long week of tests is over too.  I have next week mostly off - I have to go to the dentist (can't do that while on chemo) and we need to finish doing a thorough cleaning of the house (chemo makes you extra susceptible to infections, so we have to really clean everything before I start), but it will be a fairly relaxing week before chemo.  Josh is having a birthday party for me tonight and I'm really looking forward to having some fun and catching up with friends!  What a great way to end this week!!

Ooh, and I have a surprise too - will share tomorrow :)


1 comment:

  1. Melissa, That looks like fun not ever in a million years--- so glad that is over for you! Amy Redshaw