The Biopsy

12 months ago, at this time of the day, I would have been deploying Operation Teacup. That however, was my former life, and today I find myself having to have a bone marrow biopsy instead.

My logic tells me that in order to escape the pain that is going to come from the sucking and poking, I need to focus on something. By focusing on it so intently, the pain will evaporate. So, this is a live blog of sorts. My Biopsy as it happens. You are just going to love it. I, on the other hand will not. It is a shame that I now live in a world where sucking and poking are predominantly bad things.

I apologise in advance if what follows is a series of ‘it hurts’ and ‘shits’, but if that is indeed what happens, then that my friend is the reality of having cancer and a limited vocabulary.

11:04 – I am waiting. I was supposed to have a clinic appointment before my biopsy at 10:00hrs. That has not happened. There is nothing like waiting to build anticipation. This is like waiting in the queue for Nemesis… Have I peed enough? What happens if I pee myself? Yep, just like the queue for Nemesis.

11:15 – ten more minutes to wait, the room is not free. I’m having a Dip Dab.

11:31 – I am now on a bed, in the foetal position, lying on my left. My doctor is from Spalding. Or his parents live in Spalding. His shoes are from Springfields. True story. I am being made comfortable.

11:33 – There is wet stuff is on my back.

11:35 – I am flinching, but the local anaesthetic has just gone in. The bad stuff starts soon, but I am quite at ease. I still think I may fart. Thank goodness for the baggy trousers.

11:38 – I have now had the third dose of anaesthetic, this one made my body shake a great deal.

11:41 – there is classical music playing, it’s like having a massage. Or at least that is what I am imagining.

11:42 – pushing is happening. There is lots of hand movement going on. It’s like he is making a cocktail for James Bond. Apparently, by bones are tough. I was told this before.

11:43 – the juices are coming out. A pain down the leg, a short, sharp pain. It’s fine. I am hardcore.

11:44 – three samples have now been taken. Just to confirm, there is a big needle sticking out if my back. I would take a picture, but I don’t want to put him off.

11:46 – more pushing and pulling. I just said ‘ouch’. The fluid has been taken. It is now time for the bone. I get more anaesthetic for this. Great.

11:48 – I can feel the pushing in my toes. I think it is apple corer time.
Fuck a duck. Thank god for the drugs. There is vigorous movement happening behind me. The bone is now coming out. It is out.

11:50 – so yep, that didn’t work. He is going back in. Come on bones. Come out. My knees are now as high as I can get them, I am sure I look foul. Vigorous shaking. Very vigorous shaking and pushing. Damn, it hurts. Oh God. My right foot feels like it is on fire. Why is it burning? Fire. Actual fire. I was smoking hot for 15 seconds. Finally.

Hurray. It has worked.

11:53 – right, all done. The fire has gone. Apparently, it’s because of a nerve thing. That’s medical talk from the Medically Trained People.

11:54 – it may hurt in a few hours time, like a bruise. There is a plaster on my back.

12:02 – I have just had to lie down for 10 minutes to prevent bleeding. During this time, my doctor kindly explained my samples to me. They looked something like this:

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Juicy. If you ever wondered what my bodily fluids looked like, they look like this.

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The drops indicate that this is bone marrow cells and not your bog standard blood. Fact.

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All of that for the teensiest bit of blurry bone.

During this time I was also able to look at the size of the needles. They were something else. Actually something else. They were also covered in a healthy dose of my juice.

12:23 – I already feel like I have been punched in the hip.

And then it is done.

EJB x

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One thought on “The Biopsy

  1. Lex says:

    E.J Bones, I’ve just returned from failing my exams, after getting a sleeping pill prescription from my doctor yesterday, to finally sleep so I could have concentration to succeed today; I didn’t but it was a hell of a trip, those pills – but no contest, next to this. You may hate me for my feeble attempts to cheer you up(all the others concentrate on being sad and caring), and laugh with you through these horrible times, but know this, you make me laugh each time, even the times when you make me feel sad. Today is one of your funniest entries: fuck a duck indeed. If I didn’t know, I’d swear you were having the shag of your life(11:41 – 11:50) – not with a duck. Absolutely fabulous, this one. When this is all over, your ‘Diaries’ will be a best seller, and an abject lesson in bravery – even though you don’t always feel brave – and Woody Allen can learn a thing or two. You’ve made a lot of people laugh today, if they have a sense of humour. Thank you, stay strong, have a night on the town, give a dog a bone: you’re winning.

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