Of all of the tests I needed in order to properly stage and analyze my cancer, this one probably made me the most anxious. Bone marrow exists in your bones and is used to make most of the body’s blood cells. Unfortunately lymphoma ( and specifically Burkitt lymphoma) often includes bone marrow involvement. In order to check for bone marrow involvement, the provider will go through the process of using a syringe to pull a liqued sample of bone marrow and then use a hollow needle to remove a small solid piece of bone marrow. This is frequently done on a hip bone.
I read plenty of horror stories after searching for other experiences online. Luckily for me, the anxiety over these stories was the worst part. The team that performed my bone marrow biopsy did a great job and it truly wasn’t that bad. First, I was led to the room. I was able to continue wearing the clothes I wore in. An IV was started and I was given a sedative (Midazolam) to help me feel relaxed. When they came in to start the procedure, they first provided local anesthetic to the area they would be doing the biopsy. Fially, they provided IV Morphine. This is used to change the way the brain perceives and reacts to pain. It must have worked because before I knew it, they got what they needed and were done with the biopsy. Relieved to have this over, the next day (April Fools Day!) I was scheduled for an echocardiogram.