After spending my first night in hospital totally unaware that I had Leukaemia I was in a room all on my own when a registrar came in looking rather sheepish. This was the first time I met him but, as I was to find out we became very well acquainted over the next few months! In fact I ended up calling him ‘The Vampire’ as he was always taking my blood or bone marrow! He was amazing and I trusted him 100% he is so passionate about what he does which gave me total confidence in him.
His first words to me were ‘Don’t get upset…what you have we are dealing with…I need to take a bone marrow sample.’
I didn’t know what I had at this point and he couldn’t tell me until it was confirmed by the bone marrow sample but my medical team, including my GP had a pretty good idea it was Leukaemia because of my blood test results. I remember thinking ‘Why should I be upset…have I missed something?’ I asked if I could wait for my husband to arrive to hold my hand and he agreed he would come back shortly. When he did my husband still hadn’t arrived, I asked if we could wait to which he replied ‘No…we cannot wait any longer’ again I didn’t realise how serious it was. He explained the procedure which is pretty invasive and scary but I remained calm asking if one of the nurses could be with me while he did it. I will never forget the look on her face when he had my sample on the slide…it was a look of horror!
I laid on my side and was given a lidocaine injection into my hip to numb the area before he began taking the sample. He then inserted a needle into my hip bone through to the centre of it. I felt a pulling sensation and then a pop with a sudden sharp pain, the only way I can describe it is like when you knock your funny bone but more painful! When he showed me the core of marrow he’d extracted I was more interested in the size of the needle used…the biggest needle I’d ever seen! I had this done several times during my treatment, once my husband watched and he told me that the registrar had literally ‘screwed’ into my hip. I’m glad I never saw what he was doing at the time but as it’s a vital part of Leukaemia treatment there was no way I would refuse it and I’d still have it over and over again!
I had a bone marrow aspiration then a bone marrow trephine, these samples were then looked at in a laboratory to confirm I had Leukaemia and find out which type I had. My samples were also DNA tested to find out which cells had mutated to determine which treatment regime would give me the best chance of survival.
It was a couple of hours after this that the consultant came into my room and gave me the diagnosis of Leukaemia. I have written a separate post about my mutated cancer genes…cytogenetics!
If you ever need to have this procedure it is quite tough but your clinician will do their best to make it as comfortable as possible. My ‘Vampire’ took samples from me several times and really was so kind and caring, constantly reassuring and talking me through it helping me to remain calm every time.
He’s certainly the nicest Vampire I’ve ever met! His real name…Pavel Chudakou and he is simply the best!!!
Much love…Butterfly In Remission 💞