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Old Thu Oct 21, 2010, 09:28 PM
Greg H Greg H is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 660
An Exciting Bone Marrow Biopsy

Hi All!

I had an interesting Bone Marrow Biopsy experience a couple of days ago that I thought I'd share. I'm curious whether anything like this has happened to anyone else.

My fourth BMB, this was the least painful I have had so far. I think the doc used a very healthy amount of lidocaine. I have very hard bones, and the doc had to bear down pretty hard to get the instrument to penetrate the bones in my behind. Still, she persevered without actually bringing out the electric drill (Yikes!).

Once it was over and we did the usual lie on your back for 15 minutes, I walked to a shuttle bus stop, was transported to the subway, rode for 20 minutes, and rode another shuttle to my hotel. My hip started hurting a bit when I got up to walk off the train, but the pain subsided with walking. Little did I know this was but an appetizer.

Resting at the hotel trolling the internet, I discovered a quilt shop around the corner (but too far to walk), so we drove over, and I went for a long walk around the shopping center to get the kinks out of my behind while my wife shopped. We went straight from there to a Memphis-style BBQ joint (plenty of helpful antioxidants in that dry rub they put on the ribs).

After forty-five minutes or an hour, we paid the check and I headed for the men's room. About the time I turned the corner at the hostess station, the pain kicked in. Serious pain. Can't take another step with this hip pain.

I grabbed the back of a booth and made it to the bar, where I sat for a minute or two on a bench. Game for another try, I started toward the men's room, using the moulding on top of the wainscoting as a brace. I made it, with much pain, to the collection of kids' high chairs near the men's room. I stopped, braced myself on them, and thought I might throw up. I felt faint from the pain.

I woke up on the carpet.

I picked myself up and stumbled into the men's room, leaned over the sink, and threw cold water in my face. At lest a couple of other patrons wandered in and out, probably thinking I'd had too much to drink, before I texted my wife to come rescue me.

The nausea eventually passed and I was able to walk out to the sidewalk, where my wife picked me up and drove me back to the hotel. Some Tylenol and rest, and everything was better in the morning. No problems since.

I've never had this kind of reaction to a bone marrow biopsy before. I'm betting it was the result of my hip muscle or bone -- or both -- reacting to the intense pressure required for my doctor to get the special BMB tool through my very hard bones. Either that or it's not a real good idea to go for a long stroll a couple of hours after a BMB.

Sound familiar to anyone?

Greg, 59, dx MDS RCMD Int-1 03/10, 8+ & Dup1(q21q31). NIH Campath 11/2010. Non-responder. Tiny telomeres. TERT mutation. Danazol at NIH 12/11. TX independent 7/12. Pancreatitis 4/15. 15% blasts 4/16. DX RAEB-2. Beginning Vidaza to prep for MUD STC. Check out my blog at www.greghankins.com
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Old Thu Oct 21, 2010, 10:02 PM
mausmish mausmish is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 450
Yikes! I have to admit to chuckling over your story (you have a gift for telling) but your experience sounds horrid! I've had 4 BMB's with liberal quantities of lidocaine and never had any problems. The Nurse Practitioner did have some difficulty finding the bone one time due to my generously padded behind! After the BMB's, I never tried anything more strenuous than riding in the car to brunch and afterwards depositing myself in the recliner with my computer or ipad or a stack of movies for the rest of the day. I'm glad to hear you fully recovered by the next day.

Sounds like maybe a muscle spasm? I had something like that happen unrelated to any specific event in a grocery store a couple of years ago. I got a terrible pain in my thigh that instantly doubled me over the side of my shopping cart in the cereal aisle. I didn't even have the strength to push the cart. I grabbed the shelf and sort of hopped on one foot and, trying not to knock over the Cheerios, Rice Krispies, and Cocoa Puffs along the way, propelled myself to a bench in the nearby pharmacy section. After about 10 minutes, the cramp subsided and I hightailed it to the checkout and home without further shopping that day. Thankfully, I've never had anything like that before or since.
Karen, age 62, dx MDS RAEB-2 1/8/10: pancytopenia WBC 2.7k/Hgb 7.4/Hct 22.1/Plt 19k; complex cytogenetics -3,del(5)(q14q33),-6,+8,+mar,17% blasts. MUD BMT Johns Hopkins 11/30/10. Dx tongue cancer 8/31/12. ok now. blog mausmarrow.com
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Old Thu Oct 21, 2010, 10:11 PM
Greg H Greg H is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 660
Chuckling is good!

Hey Karen!

To tell you the truth, I thought the whole thing was kind of funny (though not while it was happening!)

I appreciate the "spasm" idea, because it was like the pain sort of turned on and off. I have a kidney stone that occasionally rolls out of its usual unpainful spot into a highly painful spot. I'm in agony, but then it rolls back and the pain goes away like turning off a light switch.

This was kind of like that. So maybe it was a spasm.

I'm going to ask, next time, about exercise after BMB, just in case.


Greg, 59, dx MDS RCMD Int-1 03/10, 8+ & Dup1(q21q31). NIH Campath 11/2010. Non-responder. Tiny telomeres. TERT mutation. Danazol at NIH 12/11. TX independent 7/12. Pancreatitis 4/15. 15% blasts 4/16. DX RAEB-2. Beginning Vidaza to prep for MUD STC. Check out my blog at www.greghankins.com
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Old Fri Oct 22, 2010, 08:40 AM
squirrellypoo squirrellypoo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 458
Wow, I'm impressed you could do that much after a BMB! Like Karen, the most I could ever do is go home and crawl into bed with a cuppa and the tv for the rest of the day.

And as a runner, it takes me at least 4-5 days before the pain subsides enough for me to be able to run again after a BMB. Because otherwise, with every foot fall, I feel the impact in my hip bone. Owwwwwwww.

BMBs were always very painful for me, but that's during the procedure itself. Thankfully I've never had any problems afterwards like you've described here. Scary stuff!
36/F - 1984 SAA treated with ATG [complete remission until] Oct 08 - burst blood vessels in eyes and low platelets; Jan 09 - AA & hypo-MDS; July 09 - BMT (RIC MUD PSCT) July 10 - 10k for Anthony Nolan (1yr post BMT! 53:48) Sep 10 - Wedding! I've run 5 marathons now!! (PB 3:30!)
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Old Fri Oct 22, 2010, 04:30 PM
cathybee1 cathybee1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Fort Jones, California
Posts: 399
This sounds similar to the kind of pain that Bruce has described after his BMB's. Tho Bruce has never passed out, he has talked about pain coming in waves for several weeks afterward. He has also been told he has extremely hard bones. He had a "better" BMB in a university medical center last month, his 4th, and because of his prior experiences, he demanded more than lidocaine for that one -- they gave him morphine and ativan. For whatever reason, he had much less post BMB pain. And he didn't do much running around afterward, because of the drugs, all he wanted to do was lie down.
Catherine, wife of Bruce age 75; diagnosed 6/10/11 with macrocytic anemia, neutropenia and mild thrombocytopenia; BMB suggesting emerging MDS. Copper deficient. Currently receiving procrit and neuopogen injections weekly, B12 dermal cream and injections, Transfusions ~ 5 weeks.
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