Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Today's Word of the Day =

Snuffling! At this very moment, there is a brown/grey rabbit snuffling through the shrubbery at the bottom of the fence in my back yard. I am desperately trying to make friends with these rabbits -- there are two of them -- but I feel my efforts are in vain. They want nothing to do with me. And soon, I'm sure, there will be a multitude of smaller rabbits snuffling around the vast world that is my backyard. Aww.

And for the cancer-curious, I would like to revisit a point I made in passing about a week ago. The anticipation is always substantially worse than the actual event. Case in point: today's bone-marrow biopsy. I was not looking forward to it a week ago. Last night, I didn't want to think about tomorrow, me, who is usually so forward-looking. This morning, I woke up at 8:30, giving myself ample time to shower before we had to leave for the clinic. 11:00 am, I check in at the clinic, all hyper from the three shots of espresso I had in my latte. By this time I'm freaking out a little bit. It doesn't help, either, that everyone at clinic always looks so unhappy. I guess they all have decent excuses though. People sitting in wheelchairs, the woman across from me in the waiting area wearing her mask, the woman down from me on the chairs totally passed out with mouth open and arm hanging down (I may or may not have been watching her, hoping she'd slide out of the chair...). But anyway, so they send me into the back room to get my blood drawn. Now, because of the study that I'm on, on the days they do the biopsies, I get extra blood drawn for study purposes. Ordinarily they draw about 10 cc's (two small tubes) of blood, and they draw it from my catheter; they don't stick me. Today, however, while I was sitting in the plastic chair waiting for my nurse, I noticed that there was a needle hanging out on the tray next to me. The needle that they stick into your vein to draw blood. And then I started counting the tubes lined up next to the needle. That they stick into your vein. There were eleven tubes. Eleven. And six of them were 10 cc's each. They all added up to about 85 cc's. (Incidentally, I think cc's are about the same size as mL's). So the nurse finally came over and told me they had to draw the blood from my arm to make sure there was nothing (no chemo) that would skew the results. So fantastic. Eleven tubes of blood from my arm. Grimace, grimace, and really, it wasn't bad at all. I mean, they draw a litre of blood when you donate blood. So mine was a piece of cake. But then I had to go wait for the biopsy. And wait. And finally they called my name. So I walked to a different back room... and waited. And anticipated. And then the Physician's Assistant showed up, marked the spot on my hip where she would be drilling, placed a support under my "lower belly" (i.e. my hips), and we waited for the lab technician to show up. Finally, after much dreading and a little bit of hopping around on my part, they did the stupid procedure. And it wasn't that bad. Some pain, some blood, but, of course, it was not as terrible as I thought it would be. Either way, I'm just happy to be finished with it. Mmm, so tomorrow's Thursday. Should be a good Thursday... Not too much waiting. Pax.


Megan Amanda Steffen said...

"I mean, they draw a litre of blood when you donate blood. So mine was a piece of cake."

Let me remind you that for some of us, donating blood is no "piece of cake."

Also, I am glad you are trying to make friends with the bunnies. The bunnies are cute, but the chipmunks are totally cuter.

Andrew said...

Not that I'm reading your entire blog, or anything...but in case you were curious or haven't already figured it out in the last two months, 1 cc = exactly 1 mL. A milliliter is defined as the volume enclosed by a cube with sides exactly 1 centimeter long, or a cubic centimeter, which of course is now defined as the length that light travels in 1/29,979,245,800 of a second.