I recently had my fifth bone marrow biopsy. The first one gave me my AML diagnosis along with the rare chromosomal abnormality (t10;17) with aggressive markers at CD7 and CD56 which started the Leukemia. The second (December) confirmed the persistence of the aggressive cancer in my body. The third test (January) confirmed I was in remission. (Thank you Lord.) The fourth in March confirmed all was good to go for the stem cell transplant. And this one (May) confirms no cancer and no evidence of any of the rare abnormalities originally diagnosed.
Several people have asked about how this procedure is done. Lidocaine is used to numb an area 1-2″ below back waist band and a “sturdy” needle to poke through the bone into the bone marrow cavity. They take one sample of bone marrow and another sample that includes the lacey bone structure that is crushed up when they do the aspiration. The first one felt like someone was pulling my toes through my spine, but the intense pain only lasted 30″ or so. They gave me twilight meds (Versed/Midazolam) and Fentanyl (pain med) for the others and this last time, a very small dose of morphine. Morphine obviously helps with pain control and the Versed makes you forget what happened.
The funny thing about the Versed-Morphine cocktail is that you continue to converse with the nurses but your brain doesn’t know or remember what you are saying. Evidently I was a real chatterbox, talking about whatever came across my mind. Marcia relays that she and the nurse exchanged a number of smiles at my antics. In this reenactment photo, Marcia recalls me sitting on the edge of the examination table as I was ‘waking up’, looking much like this and telling her, “You get the car. I’ll get the Mango Smoothie and I’ll meet you in the lobby.” Obviously, it was a moment of pure delusion. But it seemed like I was ready to go at the time. Hoo boy! 🙂