Bone marrow biopsy result

I had an email from my haematologist last night with some results from the bone marrow biopsy. While he is still undertaking immuno-histochemical tests on it, he has stated that “if there is involvement, however, it is minimal and the marrow function is well preserved. All it means is that I may have to follow you up more frequently if the tests are positive.”

So that’s good news, I suppose and it does mean that we will be able to take a few days off in August after all. We have decided to take the Eurostar for the first time, which will be interesting, and a friend and colleague who lives in Paris has offered to take us to dinner while we are there, which will be great. Looks like a half decent hotel too, which will be a first for Paris. Never had much luck with them in the past – definitely a city where you just have to bite the bullet and put your hand in your pocket if you want to avoid a sweltering box room on busy main road…
Saw my GP today, just to update him, and ask about a secondary symptom that I have – a swollen leg. The thigh, 20cm above the knee is 5cm larger in diameter than the left one. This is due to the fact that the lymph system is knackered, especially in the region where I had the surgery a couple of months ago. A quick bit of research on the web this evening also says that is incurable too, so I’m not having much luck at the moment. My GP is to write to the surgeon on my behalf to see if there’s anything that can be done, but it’s not looking hopeful on that score. Oh well, there’s always the bottle to turn to in times of crisis…
Have worked out that alcohol makes my condition worse. I read recently that, in some people with lymphoma, alcohol can make the lymph nodes and glands painful. This has been the case with me, so it looks like I will have to be even more moderate than I have been in the past ๐Ÿ™‚ Another crutch removed… going to save a fortune!

Good news and bad news and gory details.

Saw the specialist yesterday and he had the results of the PET scan that I had a couple of weeks ago.

As I expected, my disease is at Stage III, as it is also present in my neck and my armpits. I knew this without him having to tell me, as in both areas feel the glands, as if recovering from a dose of the flu. The recommended therapy is still “no treatment” though. Just have to keep waiting. At least I don’t have any “B” symptoms as yet – something else to look forward too!

He also did the bone marrow biopsy yesterday. If you’ve never had one, you just cannot know what it’s like. A bit like childbirth, I suppose ๐Ÿ™‚

I had to lay on the table, with my trousers round my knees and my lower back exposed. Knees are drawn up to the chest in order to stretch the skin and muscles at the base of the spine above the buttocks. The skin is then anaesthetised and a needle inserted so as to mark the route for the biopsy needle. The doctor then takes this needle, which is about 5mm in diameter, hollow, about 100 mm long and with a t-bar handle. Very much like a gimlet, or the tool that cheesemakers use to extract a core of cheese from the middle of a round. With the tool (it’s not really a needle…) he then pushes into the flesh, and ultimately into the top of the pelvis. Merely by pushing and twisting very, very hard, he gets the needle through the hard outer bone, and into the softer marrow inside. At least, that’s the theory.

And this is where the good news comes in. I have very hard bones. So hard, that he was struggling to get this tool into the bone and through to the marrow. After about 20 minutes, in which time the patient has to keep still, yet push against the force of the tool, (so as to avoid being pushed onto the floor) he managed to extract a core of marrow about 5mm long – just enough to do the biopsy. Although it doesn’t hurt as such, it’s a very odd feeling having someone try to force his way into your skeleton. I could feel the pressure in my coccyx and even in my toes. It’s hard work for both patient and doctor.

As always, the tests on this small piece of marrow ill take a couple of weeks to come through. I am hoping, of course, that the disease hasn’t spread into the marrow already (that would take me to Stage IV), but we just have to wait and see, again. If it’s clear, the doctor doesn’t want to see me again until October. Otherwise, he’ll see me straight away and decide what to do about the marrow.

The Leitax mounts arrived yesterday, as predicted, and I fitted them to the 28mm and the 60mm Macro. Although I haven’t had much chance to play yet, I am very impressed so far. More at the weekend.


Got an email yesterday to advise that the replacement lens mounts to convert my Leica R lenses to Nikon mounts are on their way (from Spain). Likely to arrive next week, I suspect.

While it will be a little daunting to take the back off the Leicas, the website from where they are coming suggests that it’s not a difficult job. We’ll see. However, I am looking forward to using the R-glass again, especially on a full frame digital.

The correct negative has also been sent to Washington, so maybe we can make some progress with that next week too ๐Ÿ™‚

Bone marrow

Been a good week this week.

Edward has graduated from Liverpool, and we went to the award ceremony at the Philharmonic yesterday. See the photo on the right. That’s Ed with his girlfriend Nicki. He gave me a bottle of Laphroaig as a Father’s Day present afterwards, which is very generous and for which I am grateful.

I have heard from my man’s P.A. and definitely have an appointment to see him on 14th to discuss the results of the PET scan. I don’t know what they are yet, until I see him, but I anticipate that we are in stage 3.

He also wants to do a bone marrow biopsy, apparently, so that will no doubt entail some more prodding and needling… Just leave yourself in their capable hands and do as you are told…

I am going to ask about whether there is anything I should be doing diet-wise, or other-lifestyle-wise. Stop drinking Laphroaig would be a good start, I suspect. ๐Ÿ™‚

Turns out I sent the wrong negative to the printer in the US who is doing my gift print from the Leica Forum guys. Doh! Have found the correct negative, and will AirMAil it out to him tomorrow.

Also, had an email from the guy that makes the replacement mounts for the Leica lenses so that they fit onto Nikon cameras. He will take 3 days to get them out to me. Not a problem, and encouraging that he felt the need to email me to let me know. Should have them early next week, I suppose. 14th probably.