Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sternal biopsies aren't fun

So having a biopsy sucks. We got there at 7am, where they did the pre-op questions and bloodwork and stuff. When we finally got started at about 8:45am, they had to give me an IV. Well, it was freezy cold everywhere in the hospital, and I don't have good veins anyways, so we had a lot of trouble (and pain) getting the IV set up. Fortunately, she only had to try the one location. I don't think I could have stood trying another location like that.

Once we got the IV in, they gave me a sedative and painkiller. They checked the location of the lesions. When they were satisfied, they gave me lots of freezing in the chest. Before they gave it to me, they said, "oh, it's just like when you go to the dentist. It'll sting a bit". What is this "sting" that they're talking about? It hurts a lot a lot a lot to get freezing when I go to the dentist, too :)

When I was all numb, they stuck a long, thin, hollow rod in my chest and wheeled me in and out of the CT machine to check positioning for the samples. When the position was right, they put a core needle through the rod and clipped off a sample. They took three or four samples of the large lesion on the right, and it hurt a lot when they did two of them. I'm hoping that this pain this means that they got a good sample of the lesion.

I had to stay for another 3 hours afterwards. As a bone, my sternum didn't take up the freezing, and so started to hurt about 20 minutes after we finished. This isn't a surprise, as they were applying some serious pressure on it (at one point, the doctor said, "I forgot how hard a sternum is"), and, well, they were taking pieces out of it. They gave me Percocet, which helped. I've been taking the Percocet every 4 hours, and expect to do that for the rest of today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, they couldn't get the oncologist to call in a prescription for more Percocet because that doctor has never given me that drug before (I'm using leftovers from the surgery in May). I'll definitely need more, and so I'll have to try to work something out tomorrow by talking to them myself. Of course it's possible that the pain will have diminished by tomorrow.

Really, all I've done since I got home was watch tv and sleep :) Ian set up a nice bed for me on the couch, and so I can just watch tv and doze off as I please. He's been watching over me, making sure that I'm doing ok. My plan for the rest of the night is just to continue dozing and watching tv, and hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I forgot how hard a sternum is"???
That's not an encouraging quote! The story was almost painful to listen to, so I can only imagine how bad it was to experience.
Enjoy your time dozing in front of the TV. You've more then earned it....