A bone marrow biopsy is the most accurate way to measure progress and test the body for any possible lingering cancer cells. Your bone marrow is where all of your cells are made and blood is produced. On average bone marrow produces approximately five-hundred-billion blood cells per day. Bone marrow is also a key component of the lymphatic system. The lympatic system produces the lymphocytes that support the body's immune system.
The cancer I have is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). After reading everything above you've probably figured out that ALL is made in the bone marrow, hence why it's extremely important for me to have routine bone marrow biopsies. Bone marrow biopsies are a "simple" 20 minute standard procedure done in an operating room under anesthesia. Though anesthesia is not necessary, it's nice as the procedure is quite painful. The biopsy is obtained by breaking through the back of my hip bone with a needle/rod type thing. Once the marrow has been accessed a small liquid blood sample is taken followed by a marrow sample.
This morning, Thursday April 17, 2014, Dr. Greenwald came in and informed me that there were no operating rooms available for my routine biopsy. Yikes! Being said, Greenwald promised sedatives to qualm any nerves and pain meds for obvious reasons. So with a little thought and a lot of guts I let him go in without knocking me out. I'll be adding "bone marrow biopsy without anesthesia" to my list of reasons as to why I'm such a badass.
The beautiful nurse, Renata captured this video clip during the procedure. Unfortunately she started filming a bit late so it's a bit uneventful and doesn't show the gnarly part- the initial break through of my hip bone. Anyway, it's still kinda cool and gives you an idea of what a bone marrow biopsy is like. Enjoy! :)