Saturday, February 13, 2010

But Life Does Go On

So I didn't stay "Closed" for long.... Still just as stubborn, just as determined that I can cut corners, cheat on the rules, do it my way, etc..... Just because I am in the midst of a medical event or crisis, life does go on. And I want to be a part of it!

So, going back a bit. Bone Marrow Biopsy. John Paul decided that morning that he really wanted to come with us and see where I was going, what was going on there, who did what, etc. So I called and got permission for him to come. The rules for the Chemo Suite, where the bone marrow biopsy procedure room is, are that no children under the age of 12 are permitted. So long ago, I embellished this a bit to tell the boys that no children under 12 were allowed at the Oncology office. Seemed like a good idea to me. I really don't think they even need to see all the patients, in varying forms of despair and illness, in the waiting room. And the patients don't need my kids staring at them or making a ruckus, as boys tend to do.

The Chemo Suite is this mysterious place off the waiting room. The doors are always closed until someone comes out and ominously calls your name. It's not fun back there. You know you are in for it as you pass through the doorway. Blue suits galore. (In Sally Land and the cancer world, the blue suit means you are about to get drugs to almost kill you. Chemo+blue suit.)

So John Paul is allowed back with me as I settled in to my pre-procedure cancer suite treatment chair. (Being back in these chairs always turns up the anxiety a notch. I have already spent too much time in them. I did all my breast cancer chemo in them. I tanked out in September in one of them and left the Chemo Suite on a gurney for a joyful ambulance ride to the hospital. Well, that's another story.) Quickly I am surrounded by a couple of nurses and a couple of lab people. An IV needs to be started, so my arm is hot-packed to get a compliant vein. (I only have one arm to choose from as my other is off limits due to node removal with my mastectomy.) John Paul is rapidly overwhelmed. So when the head nurse says he can't stay (despite permission to do so), this is not a bad thing. He and Craig go off to the waiting room to wait for me to do my thing. Five minutes later John Paul announces he is ready to go back to school. Craig takes him.

I am proud of him to have the courage to go and to want to see what he needed to see. It seems part of his jouney that he needed to know, needed to see a little of where I am always going. But school is a far better place!

Anyways, so IV is in, then 20 plus vials of blood drawn. This is a part of the tests past the ying-yang that I am going through in preparation for my Seattle trip. They are testing EVERYTHING it seems. Then there is a monthly CMV test kit (CMV is a virus that I got from my donor. Don't panic: I am fine.) Then there is the quarterly Respiratory Study I agreed to participate in. Nasal swabs and throat swabs. I prefer to do this myself. Okay, now we are ready to prep for Biopsy.

Transfer into BMB Procedure room. Questions, answers, blood pressure cuff on ankle (can't use arms due to mastectomy), my repeating I would like enough drugs so it doesn't hurt and so I won't remember it. Heart monitor on. Nurse is ready. Lab techs in to open and prep collection kit. Petri dishes, slides, tubes. REALLY HUGE AND LONG NEEDLE prepped. Anxiety brewing.

Then we wait. I read a trash mag while laying on my stomach.

Doctor is ready. I get my drugs and BMB begins. My blood pressure is dropping so drugs stop. I beg for the drugs or for the doctor to stop. I get neither. Pride is gone and I am now crying from pain. I HATE BMB's!

They get their marrow. They get their chunk of bone. (This is all done on your hip bone in your lower back.) I am still crying and want to go home.

I am thanking God that John Paul is not here. Bad decision on my part.

I drink my obligatory juice. I eat my obligatory crackers. I pee. See ya.

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