Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The actual bone marrow biopsy

Since the oral sedation was a freaking joke, we had to stay over an extra day and I had IV sedation on Monday.  It meant that my daughter missed a day of school and my husband had to burn an extra day of vacation.  (Sorry honey!)  It also meant that I had to do it ALONE since on Friday we had found an old high school friend of mine to watch the kids, but on Monday hubby had to watch them. =(

I had to check in at 7:30 and go for lab work.  They won't do a bone marrow draw unless your platelets are above 30,000.  Mine were 300,000 something.  Since, ya know, I don't have cancer.  But at the lab they ask you if you have a line or a port (which sadly I do not, I wish I did since I'm such a hard stick) and then they ask you if you have any cold or flu symptoms.  If you do not you get a sticker that says "Thank you I've been screened today Monday" (or the day you're there) and if you do you get a mask.  SCCA takes this stuff seriously.  There are infection control areas in all of the waiting rooms and all of the bathrooms have signs on them that if you are in "infection control" you have to flip over after using that then is a big red sign that says "DO NOT USE".  (I meant to get a picture of that but didn't.)

Since I had blood drawn on Friday I was even harder to stick on Monday.  When I say my veins are small and roll, I mean it.  When I was pregnant with my son I had to have a child sized PICC line, an adult one would not fit!  So it took 3 tries to get my IV placed, and it was in an awkward place on the outside of my right wrist, but it wound up not bruising.  The phlebotomists at cancer care centers are always the best, since they draw from really sick people all day long.  

IV'd up and ready to go!

My procedure appointment wasn't until 9.  So I went and sat in the waiting room and tried to read.  I was super nervous, which makes it hard to focus.  And I was hungry.  You're not allowed to eat for 6 hours before IV sedation.  I had fallen asleep early the night before, so I had not eaten something right before the  6 hour cut off like I had meant to.

But the time went quickly and soon the nurse called me back.  She was super friendly.  Got me set up in my gurney, wrapped me up in blankets and took my history and medication history.  And before I knew it we were ready to go.  She gave me the IV medications and told me to think about some place that I really like to be.  So I did.

And the procedure nurse started.  I was telling them about my in-laws property in Central Washington and how much I like watching my kids play out there.  I felt a weird sensation and said "Oh that feels weird."  The procedure nurse said "Okay that was the actual marrow aspiration."  I was shocked, it felt like it had only been a minute and we were already at the marrow pull?  The Friday attempt had taken so long and been so painful and we hadn't gotten anywhere near that far.  Then a couple seconds later I felt something slightly painful and that was the bone biopsy.  And we were done.  "We're done?!"  "Yup, all done."  "NO WAY!"  They only had to give me the first dose of IV meds, I was completely relaxed but not groggy.

All done!  Facial flushing from the side I was laying on but no other symptoms.

I was wheeled into recovery and ate some crackers and drank some grape juice.  I had to wait 30 minutes for observation, but was ready to go.  My nurse walked me downstairs where my hubby was waiting.  He was shocked at how alert I was.  (He wasn't expecting me to be able to walk down under my own power.)  I told him I was STARVING and to get me food, that there was no way I'd be able to wait until one of our normal pit stops on the way home.

Driving 4 hours immediately following a bone marrow biopsy is not advisable.  I had pillows and some ice packs, but I was definitely sore by the time we got home.  The minute we walked in the door I told my husband, "I need my pillows and a bag of ice, I've got to go to bed."  But he was great and made dinner and let me rest.

So that's my bone marrow biopsy story.  


  1. Happy to hear it was more successful than the previous attempt!

  2. so glad you're ok! Did you premedicate with allergy meds?