Tag Archives: bone

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:

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

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

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.


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Way back on the 20 August 2012, I do not recall being nervous about my first bone marrow biopsy. At that time, my world had just exploded and I was in so much pain I needed assistance going to the toilet. I considered the biopsy to be the least of my worries and to be honest, it wasn’t that bad. It was unpleasant, but not bad. I didn’t even bruise. I think the Doctor found it more stressful than I did for I did not need to mop my brow during. I just, for some unknown reason, said on repeat the names of all high security prisons in alphabetical order split by function. It came to me in a dream.

Now, on the 7 March 2013, I am nervous about my next bone marrow biopsy. The reason I know I am nervous is that it is 05:30hrs and I have been awake for 90 minutes desperately trying not to think about the bizarre sucking sensation I am going to experience in approximately six hours time. I am also preoccupied with the thought that my nerves might make me audibly pass wind during the procedure. Of course, that is if I were capable of passing wind, which I am not. Everybody knows I am an elegant lady and us Elegant Ladies do not do that sort of thing.

I am annoyed with myself for being nervous. My thinking around this procedure akin to being kicked by a horse, is that it is a necessity, and thus any apprehension needs to be pushed aside and thrown away in my newly emptied kitchen bin, because it is a reality of having myeloma. I remember my Doctor on the 20 August apologising for having to do my biopsy and my response was simple, it was “well, you have to don’t you?”.

So, somewhere in the next few hours, I will relocate my can-do attitude and just let them get on with it. I was adamant that I did not need sedation for this, because I want to experience it, so, I really must just crack on.

I am a Hardcore Mofo.

Oh gosh, it is definitely a day for lipstick and unfortunately, a day for the baggy trouser.


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