Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I drink milk for strong bones!

Today was my first day at the H. Cancer Institute. I used an abbreviation because I don't want people searching for that place to get lost here. Anyway, I had to go for a bone marrow biopsy so the doctors can see if my cancer has spread into my bones.

Well, my level of anxiety was high upon entering this place. This is the first time during this ordeal that I have been around a lot of seriously ill people. These little realizations keep coming and this time it was that, yes, I am one of these really sick people. I didn't get used to it today but I imagine that it won't be too long before I will accept it and feel somewhat at ease.

Anyone that has had a bone marrow biopsy will know what I'm talking about when I say that it is an experience that is painful at times, really uncomfortable, and while not horrific it is not something that you'd want to repeat experience of. That is just an unnatural sensation: having your bone drilled into while you are conscious. You can feel the vibrations throughout your bones as the doctor slowly drills through it.

The most pain I felt was the shot to deaden the bone. The other pain was more of "What in the hell just happened there" kind of pressure and anticipation of things going really wrong. It was painful but nothing compared to having a nerve get clamped by an over zealous doctor taking a lymph node out of you.

The bone marrow doctor dude took three samples of the serum in my marrow and the fun part: a core sample. Why was it so fun? Well, he bent both of the huge core needles trying to get a sample from my right hip (the flat spot where your back meets the top of your butt cheek). The doc has to screw in this big needle that is a tad larger than a knitting needle in circumference right into the marrow to get the core sample. To get the core sample out the doc then has to manipulate the needle by forcing it around until the sample breaks free. The doctor can then pull out the needle and retrieve the core sample. Easy right?

Well, this doctor did not take into account my superman like bones. He bent the hell out of the first needle and lost the core sample. He was amazed and told me that while he's heard of this happening it is really rare and then mostly due to poor technique by the doc. This was the first time it had ever happened to him. He did in fact say that my bones were the strongest that he's ever had to deal with, other than trying to get through calcified crap. The second go around was just lovely. The doc was determined not to lose this core sample this time and I was praying to not have to go through the torture again. He really bent the hell out of this needle but this time the doc finally got the sample.

He showed me the needles afterward and explained that most bone will give way before the needle will. When he asked me in jest about how I got such strong bones I just told him I just drank my milk was all. That and never having worked a job that didn't involve hard labor. He confirmed these two points matter of factly after all the joking was over.

So, if you want to have strong bones, go ahead and drink some milk and become a beast of burden. Your bones will be strong as hell, your muscles sore, and all your joints will be ruined. Just think how beautiful they will look all bleached and on display in an anatomy lab.

I finally found a way to get into Harvard, ma--C-Boy out!


EBEZP said...

So drink all your milk kiddies!!
Superman type bones, that's good LOL!


Crystal said...

i am so sorry you have to go through that.

i wish i could be there to take you to the hospital. i would crack dirty jokes and point out hot nurses to you.

Scott said...


That story gave me the shivers. You are a tough son of a bitch. I love it. As for the anxiety, I completely and totally get that. I get anxiety going for a check up so I can appreciate how hard you are working to get at this thing. Keep it up!

Logophile said...

OK, my hip hurts now.

about a boy said...

my thoughts are with you.

Barbarian02003 said...

Good thing they didn't need a brain sample, huh?

Kayla said...

Man, I can almost feel your pain!
Great description of the biopsy.
They should have given you a shot of Valium or something to do that!

I'm sorry to say I have missed a step somewhere...I didn't realize you had cancer. I looked back through your previous posts to try to inform myself, but must have missed it. I did see where they were checking out a lump in your neck. I don't want you to have to do a recount, but do point me in the right direction so I can read about it. I care about you, and hate to hear this!

Christielli said...

Oh my... maybe I should hold off on those frappuncinos that I rationalize as "healthy" because they contain 40% of the DRI of calcium. That sounded painful dude. Hats off. Typically, women consider men as wimps when it comes to physical pain (ie you don't have the joy of feeling your insides cramped each month, nor have to give birth - not that I intend on doing that anytime soon), but you've represented your gender well there.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as always, my pal. :)

The Grunt said...

Ebezp~ If you don't drink milk you'll play for Accrington Stanely.

Chica~ That would kick ass. I'm thinking that the women would be doubley drawn to me since I'd be sitting with an already hot girl. After we get me a nice catch you could return to your boy safe and sound. Plus, God would totally let you swim in his pool for it.

Scott~ Thanks! I know how you are with hospitals and now I am starting to appreciate that kind of anxiety. I'm going to keep on being the moose!

Logo~ Just for that I'm going to have to bug you tomorrow.

About a Boy~ Thanks! I see you over at Jules place and I am fast learning that any friend of Jules is a friend of mine.

Barbarian~ You are correct in that a needle would not have even penetrated my dura matter because I am exceptionally hard headed.

Kayla~ It was a week ago Monday that I heard the news. This post here is the one where I made a brief statement about it. This is just what the pathology report found in the removed lymph node. I still don't know how far advanced this cancer is yet, but I do know that it is very treatable. This post here is about having the node removed. That was two weeks ago today when I had that done. Anyway, it really touches my heart that you do care for me. Feeling that way really is what gets me through all of this.

Christielli~ Oh, I know just how tough women are. My mother had the other kind of lymphoma and it was real nasty. She had to do chemo for a whole year and spent ten weeks straight in the hospital. She almost died there, but she beat cancer. She is now an unstoppable force and has really been guiding me through this experience.

egan said...

Yeah, what Scott said about being a tough son of a bitch. I almost had to stop reading because I'm not good with pain situations and the bone drill sounds awful. I figured I have to read on considering what you're going through now. Man, you're a trooper! Maybe I should stop eating so much damn yogurt and ice cream. Hmm...

Karyn said...

The sound of the drill would get me, I think.

Quit callin' yerself C-Boy; don't give that sumbitch disease even a moment's delusion of being part of what defines you.

You're so much more - and better - than that.

Kick its ass, Grunt. Kick it hard.

Scary Monster said...

Cap'n, me feels for you, but me be sure that however difficult and yucky feeling the shit you be going through is, you will definitely come out on top.

Keep it STOMPY!

goldennib said...

I am so sorry you must go through all this. My father gave bone marrow to his brother and had to do all this. He said it hurts and he's no slouch in the pain department either.

blog Portland said...

What the hell dude? I'm gone for one week and you get cancer? You're totally stealing my "I fell down and hurt my knee on vacation" thunder.

Nonetheless, I'm here for you like everyone else. Well maybe not as much as Crystal, because I'm not touching your dong.

Trundling Grunt said...

Fuck me, you're a tough (and well boned) bugger. When will you get the results?

I suspect you'll have a ripe old age to develop osteo so you're bones won't be so impressive. Or is that a bad way of looking at it?

Take care mate!

Soul Seared Dreamer said...

Flipping hell, thats a horror story if I ever heard one. I do feel for you having had to endure that.

I'm one of Jules mates stopping by to offer hugs at her behest...


Here's to hoping Hodgkin's stats work in your favour - I believe almost 75% inflicted are curable.

Clearlykels said...

I'm glad that you are drinking your milk and really have strong bones... that is good, at least we don't have to worry about oesteoporosis (did I spell that right?)-- Have a great day!

The Grunt said...

Egan~ Supposedly, there is a difference between pain and pressure. All I know is that when a doctor says that I'm going to feel some pressure it is usually painful.

Karyn~ That was just a one time pun. The drill was not a power drill; it was hand twisted. So, that means it took longer. Wheeeee!

Scary~ Oh, you can definitely count on me coming out of this on top.

Nessa~ Yeah, it sucks. I've had more painful things in my life happen to me than this. This thing was just weird painful--like fingernails on a chalkboard painful.

JJ~ Yeah, I'm kind of a bastard like that, stealing your thunder and all. Bwahahahahahaha! Well, Crystal had to go out and get a serious boyfriend. So, I don't think there will be any dong touching there--rest easy.

T-G~ Hey mate! I have my soft moments too. I try to stay well balanced--a bit of Yin and Yang. I suppose my good health, despite my current disease, will come in handy down the road. We all have to die sometime. I just want to die of exhaustion on the Hawiian Tropic tour bus.

Soul Seared Dreamer~ Welcome! Thanks for dropping by and showing your support. Yes, Hodgkins has a high recovery rate. I am lucky that this is the kind of cancer I have. Of course, it would be much better if I didn't have to go through six months of chemo, or better yet, no cancer at all. I'll triumph!

Kels~ I was called "Mr. Strongbones" by a nurse the other day. It's funny that I'm already getting a reputation there.

Keshi said...

**The most pain I felt was the shot to deaden the bone.

I'd pass out. Im not like u Grunty. Im terrified of needles.

U r indeed a Superman! HUGGGGGGGGZ!

Jules said...

I know I'm late on this, but I was on holiday...

Geeezzz, Matty. You're starting to sound like me. A medical enigma. You with your superhuman bone strength....

Remind me never to get into a physical fight with you.

... That excludes playful rolling around.