Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Biopsy

I know, I know! I left you all hanging on the last post just as it was getting good. It was getting late and the story was a little longer than I thought. But hey, it'll keep you coming back, right?

So, the radiologist starts talking about the procedure and going though my groin to the lung and I'm sitting there wondering, "Wait. What did he just say? My lung? What in the world is this going through my lung going to do for my hip?" I turn and look at my mom very puzzled. I turned back to the radiologist who is going on and on about this procedure, but I have stopped listening because I am so confused. I wasn't understanding why he had to go near my lung.

Taking a biopsy.
In the meanwhile, the nurse had quietly left the room through the door to the imaging room. She knew he was not talking to me about my case, and she shortly came back into the room interrupting him saying there was an urgent issue in the imaging room. The radiologist excused himself and they both ducked into the imaging room. I asked my mom what was going on. She didn't know, she was just as confused as I was. She asked me, "Did he say he would have to go through the lung?" I said "Yeah!" We both knew there was a problem and didn't really know what to do other than ask why they had to go through the lung for this biopsy.

The nurse and radiologist were gone for about a minute when they returned. The radiologist sat back down and started apologizing. He said he got the cases mixed up. The nurse just quietly sat down. Mom and I looked at each in relief. I told him I was concerned when he said the lung and was ready run out the door. He apologized numerous times for making the mistake. We moved on with the actual steps of the biopsy and got ready for the test, this time with the understanding that the needle was going to be placed through my abdomen. There was a team of 5 people to get me set-up for the test, including the radiologist. Each time they had to make a mark, they joked with the radiologist making sure he knew the site of the biopsy. He was genuinely embarrassed by the entire situation and the team wasn't letting him get out of being teased about it either.

Lining the needle in
the correct place.
Once they got me lined up to where they knew was the location of the tumor, they injected me with numbing agents deep enough to go through to the bone. Next, they had to line up the biopsy needle to just before the tumor and take some images to ensure they were in the correct place. After a little maneuvering, they were able to start the biopsy itself. Now, I knew the tumor was on the bone, but I wasn't aware that they were going to do the biopsy of the bone itself too. We hadn't talked about that aspect that I remembered. So as I'm looking at the CT monitor keeping myself occupied, all of a sudden there is the sound of a hammer hitting metal and my entire body jerking with each pound.

Here's the exchange between me and the team:

(me) "What was that?"
(them) "We have to get through the first layer of the bone to get the biopsy completed. So, we have to use a bone hammer with the needle to get to that point."
(me) "Wow! That hurts and the sound makes it even worse."
(them) "We'll give you some more numbing drugs to help. Would you like some music in headphones to help drown the sound?"
(me) "Oh my gosh, yes."
(them) "Okay, give us a minute here."
(me) "Lord, I have never felt anything like this. Please help me make it through this. I can't do this without you. Please help me." (praying quietly as I am holding my head in my hands while they inject me with more drugs and hand me headphones)
(them) "There you go. Hopefully that will help. Let's try this again."
(me) "Okay, if we have too."

The hammer they use  to tap
in the needle to the bone.
They began again and asked me if it still hurt. Even though there was a lot of discomfort at this time, it was better than it had been. But even with the music playing in my ears, I could still hear the hammer hitting the needle. Every time it did, my entire body jerked involuntarily. Kind of like when you play croquet and step on your ball and hit it with the mallet to move someone else's ball, you feel the hit all the way through your leg. That is a mild case of what this felt like.

We were finally done and they had all of the sample they needed. They instructed me that it would take some time for pathology to come back on the tissue and that they would contact me when they were ready to give me the results. They also said I was going to feel a great deal of discomfort for a couple of days, but that was normal and I could just take Advil or Tylenol to help with it. And discomfort is what I felt alright.

Now we wait for The Results, next.

"You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help." Psalm 22:23-24 

1 comment:

  1. Stacey, know friends like me and Pat are praying for your complete recovery. We love you.