We arrived in London on Sunday March 8, 2015 in the evening. I had requested a hotel near the #clinic but instead they placed me in a location that was at least 45 min to1 hour of travel time. Anyhow there was a car waiting so that saved us the trouble for having to take the tube. We drove up to a quant little boutique hotel in Chelsea. Quite nice but also slightly claustrophobic for two people.
Monday morning came and it was time to finally acquaint myself with my soon to be second home, the #MacMillan Cancer Center. Little did I know for just how long it would become my second home. I met with Prof. Goldstone, sweet old man, and he took some #bloods and I gave him my #PET scan and biopsy sample. He said he would need a few days to go over the sample and so I was scheduled to come back on Thursday. He was also confused about my #symptoms (the #weight loss, #lack of appetite, #night sweats) that did not seem to go hand in hand with #Follicular Lymphoma. He wanted to discuss it with his team. Thursday came and I was given news that I did not want to hear. A #second bone marrow biopsy was needed as the one done in Istanbul was not enough to make a proper diagnosis. Surprise, surprise. It was scheduled for that following Monday March 16, 2015.
[In the meantime, and this would become an ongoing issue, the phone calls would never end. Someone from my insurance’s medical team would call me incessantly to check in on me; the team on the ground in charge of my accommodation were a bunch of idiots who could not seem to understand the concept of finding me a hotel near MacMillan; on top of that someone from their medical team would call me incessantly; HR was not helpful; basically it was an on going #nightmare. As if I didn’t have enough #shit to deal with. #Stress, on top of #stress, on top of #stress. I wouldn’t answer my phone sometimes because I just could not handle speaking to them and dealing with their incompetence. The second hotel they moved me to was even further than the first and finally I had to locate a hotel myself (within the per diem amount) and tell them to place me there! For fuck’s sake! It’s their job to do that, not mine!]
It was a very early Monday morning on March 16, 2015 when I was scheduled to appear at the hospital for my second bone marrow biopsy. I checked into my room, first class service on the private patient’s floor. Robe, slippers, private bathroom and a gift bag with toiletries! And I get a menu! #Insurance is useful for some things I suppose… So there I am all comfortable in my robe and the nice nurse comes in to put in the #IV into my hand. Since it was only going to be done under sedation they were going to do it in the room, and my crazy ass was going to have my brother film it… wrong! So the #IV goes in and the nurse starts to administer the sedative (Midazolam). 1mg, 2mg, ….etc. by around 6mg my eyes were dropping then 7mg, and finally 8mg. By 8mg my body started to fully wakeup. It said ok, I almost had a nice rest, thanks but no thanks I would rather stay awake. The #doctor, who was watching and waiting the whole time, was so perplexed that she went to speak with the #anesthesiologist. He told her that if she gave me anymore of the sedative, for someone my size, I could die. It was surprising that my body was even able to handle 8mg midazolam! She wanted to know if she could still administer anesthesia and he said no way. The doctor had already given me that max dose of Midazolam on its own, there was no way that she could add an anesthetic to the cocktail. Needless to say they seemed more impressed than concerned that I was able to handle that much. I was basically a medical experiment for them. I’m petite, 5’3” and 51 kg so it should have knocked me out! But alas, we had to reschedule for the following week to have it done under full anesthesia. (See “Medical Conditions’ page on my blog for additional information.)
A week went by and it was time to attempt bone marrow biopsy #3. It was Monday March 23, 2015 and again I had to be at the hospital extremely early. I was taken to my private room, I changed into my gown, put on my robe, then the nurse came in to attach the #IV bit in my arm this time for the anesthesia, and gave me those socks to help with circulation. This time I was #starving! No food from the night before. I waited for hours. Apparently the #operating rooms were all booked up and they needed to find a slot to get me in. It must have been about 5pm when I finally went in! But it was over and done with before I knew it. The #anesthesiologist was great. I think I made her day. As soon as they stopped the meds I was up and wide awake in the operating room while they were still patching me up. I even reminded them to give me my robe. She #laughed, along with the doctor, and the other nurses and shook her head in #disbelief. I found out later that during the procedure, which only lasts about 15 min, my body started to wake up and she had to give me an additional dose! And that my friends concludes the never-ending bone marrow biopsy story.
Moral of the story is give me a bloody horse #tranquilizer if you need to sedate me! Lol!
It goes without saying that for at least 2 days I could barely walk from the #pain. I had a hole in my ass! Trying to find a comfortable position was a #nightmare. But I got through it and soon enough I was up and about taking dance classes and enjoying the rare sunny days of London.