Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Decking through the Bone Marrow Biospy

I made it! I made it through the dreaded Bone Marrow Biopsy.  From here on out it shall be  called BMB.

We arrived in Dr. Rowland's office and had 2 really nice nurses give us the lowdown about what was going to happen.

There was a hospital bed laid flat and lots of machines. They got an IV started on the FIRST TRY! I know! I couldn't believe it either!

They started to give me saline as we waited for Dr. Rowland to show up and we chatted with the nurses. My whole goal through the BMB was not to cry. The previous oncologist said BMB hurt a lot but only for a few seconds and that I would cry. Well I love rising to a challenge! 

Made again by Dan cause he is awesome!

When Dr. Rowland came in he expressed his condolences on the IVF procedure falling through. He did remind us however that the ABVD type of chemo I will be on has a very low rate of causing infertility. So here's hoping!

The nurses began to give me the "good stuff" and started out small. They asked how I was doing and I immediately told them I couldn't feel a thing. They said "okey dokey" and gave me two more units. At that point I laid down on my stomach to get ready for the procedure. Again I told them I couldn't feel anything happening. Now they weren't trying to knock me out just trying to make me very complacent. But the nurses pushed another dose into me and that is pretty much the last thing I remember. I remember the doctor pressing on my hip finding the spot that he wanted. I remember squeezing the nurses's hand because I thought it hurt. And I remember getting into the wheel chair after the procedure and the nurse telling Dan to go get the car.

WARNING WARNING WARNING! If you get queasy talking about medical procedures or big needles do NOT read any further. Skip over Dan's version and go straight back to mine!

Now here is Dan's version of the procedure:
After 4 units of Versed, Julia asked me to take a picture of her lying on the table with her pants halfway down. But even after 4 units Julia was still asking for more so they upped her Versed to 8 units. Dr. Rowland starts giving Julia the local anesthetic. Julia didn't like that and twitched a little and kicked her leg a bit. After the first mini shot he then gave her a bigger one with more anesthetic to make her even more numb. Then he did it again (!) and gave her an even bigger shot which went further down into the muscle to completely numb her. So there she was completely numb and then he pulls out the big bone marrow needle.

Big ass bone marrow needle

 Dr. Rowland plunges right on down through all of her numb skin and Julia didn't even twitch. Once he hit the bone, she actually moaned a little bit but didn't move. Dr. Rowland then had to twist the bone marrow needle to get to the marrow. He said that Julia has tough bones (Yay milk!) and Dr. Rowland had to work at it a bit to get some bone. He did a bilateral biopsy and got pieces off of both hip bones. Julia seemed to react more when they took the IV needle (just a flinch and turning of the head) then when Dr. Rowland was digging around in her bones. She talked to me on the way home and we even picked up some lunch, but she doesn't remember any of that. She was pretty hell bent on going outside and helping the guys build the deck but I talked her into going to bed instead.

I got home and passed out for the next 4 hours. When I came outside I saw this:

There is my Pergola on the right hand side!

It's stinking huge!

So the boys worked hard all day on the deck and by nighttime they had almost all the framing done!

Ahhh. The deck by the light of the moon, erhm, I mean spotlight.

What did I do all day long you might ask? Well after my lovely drug induced nap I awoke to tackle some more grad school homework. Yay! And that looked something like this:

In bed, propped up with a ton of pillows, goldfish crackers by my side, and laptop in my lap.

Tomorrow the guys will finish the framing and start the decking. I also started to pin (on Pinterest) a lot of ideas of what kind of fabric to put on the pergola, new deck furniture and some staining options. That kind of stuff is my very favorite stuff to plan.

So all in all, not a bad day. The BMB wasn't that bad and I have hope the port procedure won't be either. My lung function test got canceled on Friday so I don't have any more Dr.'s appointments for 2 whole weeks! Wow! That is the most time off I have had from a doctor since March. Very nice!

So I will go ahead and finish all my grad school classes, teach a summer science camp next week, have a garage sale this Saturday, and hopefully enjoy some lazy days on my deck before the cancer stuff catches up again.


  1. Hello there Julia,
    I stumbled across your blog and wanted to tell you that you are not alone. In 2008 I graduated from college (may) and in November I was diagnosed( very similar stumble-upon) with stage 2A Hodgkins Lymphoma. I did ABVD as well. I completed 13 (I believe) chemo dates and then did radiation. I am telling this in support of the journey you are on and to be someone you can ask questions to that has truly been there.

  2. It wouldn't let me type anymore do I had to split it into two. Please feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, anything.

  3. GO JULIA! I'm so glad everything went well. Tara and I can't wait to hang out on your fancy new deck :)

    PS: I *love* the segues into and out of Dan's perspective.