Day +103 BMB
Had my Day +100 post transplant bone marrow biopsy.
I started my day at 4am. Through the scheduled week, today was my day to squat. I knew that post biopsy squatting would be out of the question so I got up an hour and a half earlier to make sure I got the important parts done. I’ll train back lightly tomorrow and then get back on track.
The biopsy was rather uneventful, thankfully. You never really want those things to be too crazy. It’s already bad enough that they’re digging into bone (well, this time they drilled). After they get the table set and get me face down, they start to pick the site where they’re going to pull their sample. They poke and prod, trying to find just the right area. Most of my biopsies have been on the right side so they went with the left side this time. After picking the spot, they mark it with a permanent marker and start setting up the protective barrier around it.
Next they get me all numbed up. Quick poke and burn here, quick prick and burn there. Minutes later the lidocaine has set in and that area is completely numbed up. Next… is the drill. I’m not kidding a honest to God power drill. I don’t know the size of the bit but it looked huge (comparatively speaking). The nurse practitioner starts drilling and at first doesn’t put a lot of pressure down on it. I guess she thought the drill would do its thing. Well twenty years of powerlifting made it a bit more difficult than I think she was initially prepared for. After a few choice words, I can feel a bit more pressure being applied to my hip as the drill does its thing. You can definitely tell it’s tough because the sound of the drill changes from when it’s just running to when it’s drilling bone. Very different and then even more so when more pressure is applied. She lets off the drill and ask me if I’m okay. I’m doing pretty good at this point, they had given me an Ativan and some oxycodone. A thumbs up from me and she proceeds to push the drill further into my hip.
There’s a distinct difference in feel between drilling bone and then actually getting through to the marrow. It’s a tough sensation to describe. Like you’ve pushed through something hard and once through you’re caught it a kind of sticky thick mush. At least that’s what it feels like. Once the drill penetrates past a certain point, there is a suction feeling like the internal part of the hip wants to shrink away from the drill, but yet it holds on the drill and makes it tough to withdrawal the drill. That’s the best way I can describe it.
Once they withdraw the drill, they insert a huge syringe and pull out as much marrow as they need. I overheard them say 16cc’s, so maybe that’s right. They do have several vial to fill and lots of tests to send off, so it could have been that much.
My nurse practitioner said she would call me on Friday with the preliminary results. Hopefully we get some good news then. Until then it’s a waiting game until next week when we hopefully get the full results back.
Otherwise things are looking good. We’re slowly starting to pull my meds back. Dropping off some of the anti-rejection meds and starting to reduce the antibiotics and antiviral medications. As we do, we’ll have a better idea how strong the GvHD (graft vs host disease) is and how we’ll keep trying to toe the line between letting it do work to clear out the old leukemia but not getting so out of control to give me a host of other issues.
I’ll post of the pictures below. They might be a bit on the sensitive side so if you’re a little peakish about that sort of thing, you might want to look away.