The Pokings of the Spine

So yesterday was National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I was kind of sad that I didn’t really know there was a day, until this year. So, October 13 is the big day. Now you know. The MBC Alliance put out a really good report yesterday about what they are doing to combat metastatic breast cancer on multiple levels, and what we know that we don’t know.

I am home a few hours post spine poke and feeling a tad blah. An under-dose of Versed leaves me remembering the whole thing (not that it was horrifically bad, but I would have been fine not remembering, since you are awake for the whole thing). Maybe I am typing this and the Versed will kick in and I will have forgotten everything tomorrow ooo-eee-oo-ee. Then I will read my blog and smack myself. I think I am understanding why they haven’t been super thrilled about doing a biopsy on my lungs. Breast tissue was an easier experience, the lymph node wasn’t too bad (but they didn’t do anything to dull the pain on those two!).

I did have a moment lying facedown on the hospital bed waiting for them to start the procedure (I was on the table for at least an hour face down), taking a deep breath and welcoming myself back to cancerland, the new cancerland, metastatic breast cancerland. Tests, more tests, things that hurt, fear, things that make you sick, but hopefully everything is working to keep you alive – so you do this stuff – to stay alive. I may have left some mascara on the pillow.

I didn’t realize I was getting a fellow today (which is someone who has completed medical school, but is working on a specialty – accompanied by a specialist doctor of course). Which means they are new-ish to what they are doing. Which means it took them about 10 times to get into my vertebrae, this is a feeling of them PUSHING down on my vertebrae over and over again (I finally asked the regular doctor what the deal was, he said I have a strong spine, which I will take as a compliment). The procedure didn’t hurt while they were doing it (they use locally injected pain meds and IV ones during the procedure). I asked if they got enough tissue, they told me that they hoped so (which I guess they can’t make big guarantees, but I don’t want them to have to poke around more than once to make sure they hit the right spot. GAH).

Recovery didn’t take a super long. Rather than taking me to a recovery room, they invited my mom and Mike to hang out with me while I lay in the hospital bed in the hallway. Classy. After about 20 minutes they let me get dressed and go on my merry way (not in the hallway, luckily they let me go back to a room for that part).

They said that the results would take a couple of days and my oncologist would be in touch. Of course, my oncologist and I have a date on the 21st to make some decisions based on the results. I am also debating getting a second opinion after we discuss, just so I am more extra confident in what we decide to do. I haven’t fully decided, but I am keeping that as a wildcard somewhere – I really considered it with the lung nodules, and now that they have progressed to this point I am kicking myself a little bit. I figure we can call it a road trip and take the RV.


I am spending the evening cuddling with my puppies and relaxing. Tomorrow I meet with my radiologist to see what we can do to zap the crap out of these guys now that one has been biopsied..

Author: Mandi

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