Bone Marrow Biopsy


We rang Dr Crawfords rooms for our appointment, “Yes – come into the Mount Hospital tomorrow night, Wednesday – you’ll need to stay the night and Dr Crawford will do the procedure Thursday morning”. That’s that …. we are set ….. the journey has begun. Dr Crawford had also ordered extra bloods and another CT scan as he wasn’t happy with the first one’s. He wanted the “Best” guy in Perth to read them. Incidentally we do have the best Dr’s in Perth for Lymphoma. The Haematologist’s at Charlie Gardiner Hospital are renown for their knowledge and research. I’d also had the extra bloods, another CT scan and I was booked in for a PET scan. A PET scan is a sugary radiation medium. Cancer cells absorb sugar, probably best to stay away from sugar while your having any treatment. So before the test you have to starve for 6 hours with NO sugar at all. Can’t even sniff it. Then when its your turn for the scan. The “injection” which is in a sugar medium I believe, comes in a lead container. The operator nurse isn’t even able to touch it. It is sealed. The machine injects you as the stuff is radioactive. Nice. More poison in my body. Anyhow you also have to lay still for an hour – not even reading a book while you wait for your cells to absorb the solution and then you can have your PET scan which takes about 30 seconds. It was pretty awful to say the least. Then once its done you go home and wait. …..Some More……..I haven’t even had a diagnosis yet. So If anyone asks me I don’t know what to say.

My Eldest daughter, Leana, turned up at home in the evening. She cooked me a massive soup full of every vegetable she could find – she threw away all my “poison” cleaning products, she replaced them with green products. She bought vitamins she bought minerals she looked terrible. I felt so bad for causing the worry. I wanted to tell her I’ll be ok, but how could I – I didn’t know my self. She stuck by my side for a few days. She couldn’t work she couldn’t study. What have I done, I thought, should I have waited to tell her. You never know what is the right thing to do. In hindsight 3 months down the track I would’ve waited.

The CT scan came back – no spot on my lung – wrong diagnosis there (hooray) but I had an enlarged spleen and some unusual tissue beneath my diaphragm bit of cancer in my throat but nothing “remarkable”. Geez ……… I had to laugh at that.
We got to the hospital at 4pm as directed – there was a nurse waiting to usher me upstairs. She took me in an elbow hug kind of a way and left Bernie standing with my bag and walked me to the lift. “Wow this is service” Why is she here – is this worse is there something I don’t know. Why isn’t she telling me things. She then said “Dr Crawford wants to do a special procedure for you tonight. “Oh is there something wrong – have the blood tests come back with something new?” That was the 2nd and 3rd needle prick I forgot to tell you that. You have all your tests done with your GP and then your specialist requires a whole knew set of everything reported by people he knows and trusts. Fair enough I guess, but tell my arms that. We breeze upstairs, there is Dr Crawford chatting to the Nurses “Look who I have” my usher announces. He waves and she takes me to a room with a wonderful view of the swan river. Bernie and I sit for a few minutes by ourselves. On the wall is a little prayer for cancer patients. “Wow that’s me, Im a cancer patient, that hit me like a tonne of bricks. I’m here that’s me that IS me.” Dr Crawford came in “We will do the Bone Marrow now, he said – no point waiting” “Did the bloods come back with something bad? Are you rushing because its bad?” “No,” he said there’s no point waiting for tomorrow I want to get this on the plane tonight to Melbourne – they take 5 days to do their testing so they’ll be back for Monday that’s all.” I searched his face can I believe him? Is he worried. Nothing ….. he has an excellent poker face. So I said “Aren’t you putting me to sleep for this?” “Do you think you need it?” he asks, “I can give you something?” “No I suppose its ok, its ok,” I replied “we want to go out for dinner after, so I’ll need to be awake really.” Here I was having a Bone Marrow Biopsy and planning dinner out. Tell me if that’s odd. Anyhow, its a strange feeling a BM biopsy. Local in the skin of your back. Then a screwing tool to take a core out. Think he did 3 or 4 and the only hurty part was a twinge of sciatica down my right leg. Took probably 20 mins. “Right,” he said” your a good patient all done.” UP I jumped – “Stay there you’ll need to lay on your back for 30 minutes”. “Can I see – can I see my bone marrow?” “Sure look here” he pointed to the slides, “its not myeloma (think thats what he said – too many terms for me) I can tell you, as your bone marrow would be white.” “Great? I think I said”, as I checked out the gooey stuff on the glass plates. Bone Marrow…hmm whats in that sample I thought. “You’ve got tough skin it was hard to get that through and your bones are very strong – like a mans”. “So my cycling has paid off then” I joked. He left with my bone marrow sent it to the airport with a courier and we left to go back to the Bridge Cafe for dinner. We had 3 entrees to share. Wine Coffee dessert each. Some desert wine and went back the hospital. It was weirdly a nice night. Bernie went home at around 11 and I slept. Thinking I’m in this room I’ve had BM biopsy and Im a bit tipsy. …………………..had to pinch myself.