I’ve been a bit on edge ever since the oncologist said the words, “bone marrow biopsy,” although I’ve been trying my best not to think about it. He said it would hurt, but no more so than a dental procedure. I didn’t believe him.
Since the procedure was scheduled for today and hiding under the covers wasn’t going to make it go away, I got up, worked a little, hopped on the treadmill, showered, worked some more, then left for my appointment.
Five minutes after I checked in at the office, the doctor walked out and told his staff members he’d be back in 15 minutes (great). About 10 minutes later, the nurse took me back to an exam room and explained the procedure to me (nothing I didn’t already know). I told her I was worried about it being painful and she said they hadn’t had anybody scream really loud yet, but people sometimes do yell or curse (not helping).
Then the doctor came in and talked to me. He said the final results of my PET scan were in and it was normal except for the small piece of tumor that we already knew was still in my trachea. So that’s good news. He also said that based on all my other test results, there’s about a 90% chance the bone marrow biopsy will be normal, too. Good to hear, but I’ll feel better when the actual results are in.
The doctor left the room and I changed into my paper gown and waited…and waited…He finally came back to start the procedure, about 50 minutes after my actual appointment time.
They had me lie on my stomach, after which they injected lidocaine into both sides of my pelvis. The lidocaine numbs the skin and surrounding tissue, but can’t numb the actual bone. Then one at a time, the doctor inserted four needles into my pelvic bone (one on each side to get liquid bone marrow and one on each side to extract tissue for the biopsy).
And yes, it hurt! But the pain wasn’t unbearable and the procedure didn’t last very long. When it was over, I still had a dull ache from the small of my back all the way down the back of my legs, but three ibuprofen seems to have taken care of that.
The results should be back in 2-3 days. The doctor said he would call me. In the meantime, my appointment with the radiation therapy doctor got moved to Thursday, so I now have that appointment, a preliminary appointment with the surgeon who’s going to insert my IV port and a blood draw to check my sodium all on the same day. Thankfully, nothing else until then.