zen.org Communal Weblog

April 4, 2011

Marrow Pr0n

Filed under: — brendan @ 17:18 GMT

This morning I had a followup bone marrow biopsy, the results of which will decide what the schedule is like for my first exit from the hospital.  (Go away for some period of time, unsure how long, then come back for the second round of chemo.)  Thump thump, thump thump—I’m trying to accept that I’ve no idea what they’ll say, so there’s no point in trying to predict it.

I had a biopsy sometime in the early part of my stay here; I was feeling like crap, so I wasn’t sure of the date.  (Elana remembers it’s was the morning of the day after I was admitted, with results of identifying what kind of leukemia I have and chemo started that night.  Good memory!)  Anyway, that biopsy hurt a lot more than this one, maybe because of how deep they went with the local anaesthetic, maybe some other reason.

I learned that in Ireland, in contrast to the US and possibly other countries, they always use only the local anaesthetic for a bone marrow biopsy, since they don’t see the need to have the patient unconscious for the procedure.  (As long as they do a decent job with the local. 😉 )  Others, like muscle biopsies, do use a general anaesthetic.

The end result today was a bunch of microscope slides with the fluid from the bone marrow, and another container with a small physical sample of the bone marrow itself.  (Like a tiny red-colored peppermint stick, sort of.)

I actually took a picture of the marrow sample, because I find it absolutely fascinating, but after very little reflection, I decided it’d probably gross out way too many people if I actually posted it. 🙂

The results of these samples are what will help the doctors decide when I get to leave the hospital for some length of time—we don’t yet know how long—before I come back for my next round of chemo.  (As I understand, there can be a few.)

Skype just plain rocks v2

Derry and I got to have a nice long video chat today, using it for the first time.  We took advantage of the video and gave each other tours of where we were. I moved my laptop around so he could see my whole setup, and so I could hold it up to introduce him to the nurses who were working then.  (They loved the idea that someone in the US was on the other side of the screen.)

Our remarkably similar haircuts (heh) made me feel like I was looking in the mirror once in a while.  We got to talk about all sorts of things, which felt great.

We’re going to try to remember this as a resource now that we know it works.  I just have to make sure I meter my time so my energy doesn’t get sucked into the Internet tubes.

Apple could have an untouched market

One of the patients across from me (there are two) heard me say to the other patient that I’m a software engineer.  After my other conversation was done, he came to me and asked if his wife could bring in their Macbook—which the 3 year-old apparently dropped and made something stop working—and would I be able to say what’s actually broken?  I said of course, I’d be happy to.

It’s impossible to escape the inclination to want to help fix computers, even in as unique a place as a hospital.  You’d expect them to cure you of anything.

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