Results of Bone Marrow Biopsy
I didn’t mention in my last post but I have been scheduled for my 180 day bone marrow biopsy for disease staging. Essentially they are looking for signs of leukemia. They are also looking for cytogenetic numbers. These numbers tell how many of the bone marrow cells are still my cells and how many are my donor’s cells. In April I was 93% donor cells. This number doesn’t mean a whole lot. I need to ask more questions now that we are getting farther out but if I never hit 100% donor cells that’s okay. Even with 100% donor cells there are reports of leukemia coming back so it’s not a guarantee of anything. I’m starting to realize that there is never a guarantee.
I still have a fair amount of insomnia from the steroids. Jeffrey complains cause I make too much noise and shine lights in his face but he doesn’t seem too bothered as he snoozes away all night. The steroids make me want to eat at 3:00 am. I try to keep it limited to a baggie of cereal but sometimes I get a little out of control. Tonight was one of those nights. The kids like to go to the grocery store with whomever is going at the time. They somehow keep us well stocked in mini marshmallows. There are a lot of things you can do with mini marshmallows besides just eating them straight from the bag (the children’s intent). Tonight I put a handful of mini marshmallows (don’t ask how many cause, y’all, it’s me, you know I don’t know) in a mug and then I sprinkled maybe 12-15 (again, I don’t know) chocolate chips on top. This goes into the microwave for for 20 seconds? 30 seconds? It puffs up and spills over the top and gets messy but when you take it out the mixture settles down to a concave meltiness.
Post Micro Marshmallow swirl:
After this I dig out my secret stash of Cocoa Krispies. And I fill that mug with little chocolate crispy cereal. Cause it’s just cereal and cereal is good for you.
Last up is scrape the marshmallow melt off the sides, kinda mix it with a spoon and then eat it in bed while futilely searching the web for curtains that I will never find.
Back to the important stuff? So, I was really nervous going into this bone marrow biopsy procedure. Not about the procedure itself so much. It’s not fun but I get a few meds to help and a friend to hold my hand and I’ve done them before. No, this time, for probably the first time, I was worried about the results. My platelets are low. It’s obvious with the bruising and bleeding on my arms and legs and torso. Many reasons could be possibly causing the low platelets including the obvious steroids that cause all side effects in me. I was also started on the medication Pepcid at the hospital to protect my esophagus from the GI issues. The NP and nurses came in Thursday with a note to discontinue the Pepcid because it can cause low platelets or Thrombocytopenia.
Good to know. Hopefully that will solve the problem. All of my other blood numbers have been great. Often times my blood numbers are in the NORMAL ranges.
The NP knew I was nervous this time so promised me she would do her best to get the pathology back by Friday afternoon. I had the procedure done Thursday morning and they say it takes a week. She was going to ask the doctor to call and bug them for at least preliminary numbers and they came through! I got a call late yesterday morning that everything looks good and there are no morphological signs of leukemia in my body. Once again, I get to assume that I am cancer-free. I would have to look at dates and looking at dates is painful but I started chemo in June of 2012 and my bone marrow biopsy two weeks later showed no signs of leukemia. I may be cancer free for a year. Of course, they can’t say this. There are too many unknowns. But I celebrate this.
For Leukemia it’s not as easy to just say that the cancer is gone. There is nothing to cut out like my breast lump and tangibly say, “here is my cancer and it is no longer in my body”. But all the signs in me are positive.