As some of you may know, i was diagnosed with ET (Jak negative) back in April. Symptoms are manageable and things are going fine overall. It struck me, after talking to my doctor and getting some conflicting information (and already meeting my deductible), that maybe a second opinion would be a good idea. Seeing as I live in Texas and MD Anderson - one of the best cancer centers in the world - is just a few hours away, I made an appointment. I was fortunate to see Dr. Srdan Verstovsek, Chief of the Section for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms... The big cheese of MPNs at MD Anderson, if you will.
Well, he after ordering up a ton of tests, including a BMB, we met and he confirmed my diagnosis based on historical information and preliminary blood tests that had already returned - that was great news. He explained that over the next couple of weeks, he will be testing for over 30 different mutations and that the results of those tests will help determine future outcomes. So, I was feeling good about things so far.
I went back that afternoon for the BMB. I'd done this before, so I was mentally prepared. I didn't realize there were a couple of differences this time around. It seems before, I'd only had a bone marrow aspiration (like drawing blood from the marrow). This time around, I was going to have an aspiration AND a biopsy. I'm not sure exactly what the process was, but it sounded like a dentist's drill going in during that part of it. The other difference this time is that I was awake - the time before I had been under sedation. That sort of negated any mental preparedness I had mustered up!
The good news is that it really wasn't too bad. Is it uncomfortable, yes. Is it weird to feel someone poking around in your bone? Definitely. Is it horribly painful? Nah. Five minutes later I was on my feet and headed out the door. Only one hitch... I have a history of vasovagal response when I get poked on. In essence, high anxiety (needles, stiches) can make me pass out. Well, after the procedure I headed to the restroom to wash my face and whatnot. Five minutes later I woke up on the floor with a bloody gash on my forehead and my entire left side bruised and aching. I'd passed out entirely :/ My 15 minute visit to the BMB center turned out to be a four hour visit to the ER...
Anyhow, it's water under the bridge and we're all laughing about it now! I just wanted to share in case anyone is going in for a BMB. It's really not that big a deal - just lay down if you feel lightheaded!