Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not For the Squeamish - Seriously

Since Richard DID NOT provide the gory details of the second portion of his biopsy, I am for some reason, feeling it necessary to do so. I wish I had a picture of my face during this procedure because what Dr. Bernard did just about made me, well, you know.

Seriously, do not go any further. This is not for the faint of heart.

So, as I previously mentioned, Dr. Bernard was very quick and VERY amazing! She got to the aspirate on a first try and just sucked it up (the liquid marrow) lickety split in two pulls.

Then, it was time to make the incision for the second portion. The BIGGER hollow needle. This is the one where they get the bone sample. They try to get about, hmmm, maybe 3cm worth.

This should get some background story - I recall watching one of Richard's bone marrow biopsies where they got the needle in, screwed and screwed and screwed it in (sorry, I cannot think of a better verb to describe the, and then, when pulling the needle out, the bone fell out still inside of him, so they had to get another sample.

Back to Dr. Bernard...

Anyhow... So, this amazing Wonder Woman of biopsies just got right in there. It was a sight to see. But, here's where it gets gross. (That's right. Now. Not what you've read already. Now.) She gets the needle as far as it needs to go. She puts the measuring stick in to be sure she has the right length. Then...

to be sure she's got it, she says, "Okay, I'm going to give this a bit of a wiggle."


She proceeds to ...

Whoa... I can barely type it because it's bringing back the memories.

.... like she's driving a stick shift...

....wiggle in big powerful swoops, the needle, to loosen the bone fragment from his hip.

I swear to you, my jaw dropped and my eyes bugged out of my head like a cartoon character!!!
Yah, so sorry. I had to share that. This is like Richard's, I don't know, maybe his 8th or 9th bone marrow biopsy.

And don't forget about the med students that I wrote about last year that only get paid $35 bucks to have this done to them!!!

Shivers down my spine. I will never get this image out of my head, nor the noises that Richard made, and he's a tough guy.


Anonymous said...



Statemas said...

Wow Sonja. I can't believe you were in there and watch the whole thing. Amazing. THanks for sharing.

Lisa Owens said...

Sorry for the public comment but I can't seem to find an email address. You should ask your husband's doctor about the OnControl Bone Marrow System, which just became available earlier this year. It's a MUCH faster, easier option for bone marrow biopsies and aspirations for both the patient and the doctor. All the patients I've talked to who have had both manual and the OnControl vastly prefer the new way.

Disclosure: I am a PR consultant for OnControl, and part of my job is to help make patients aware that this option exists.

Many blessings to you and yours.

Lisa Owens

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

Thank you for the information. I will pass it on to my husband! I watched the video.

Anonymous said...

Crap that doesn't pair well with your post on becoming a donor! Is that what's going to happen to me if I'm a match? Jinkies!

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

No. That's not exactly how it works for a donor.

All the details were on the donor registry site when you signed up.

Firstly, you are under anaesthetic when you donate marrow, so unlike Richard, you would be asleep for the procedure.

Secondly, they don't really do marrow nowadays, from what I understand. It's mostly stem cells from your arm and (again, from what I understand)does not leave you as sore afterwards.

***oh yes, and Richard's had about 9 of these done, so to do 1 to save someone's life is a small sacrifce!
***and med students do them all the time for $35 so they have stem cells to work with! lol

Tony said...


Donating bone marrow is not as bad as it sounds. I'm including a link that also shows a video of someone getting it done. It is very similar to giving blood nowadays and requires several injections prior to the procedure (needle pin pricks are nothing compared to what people like Richard go through on a daily basis) and then about a week later or so you spend a few hours hooked up to a stem separator machine that takes blood out of one arm, separates the stem cells it needs, then returns the rest of your own blood to your other arm. Not as scary as it sounds.

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

Thanks Tony!!!