On May 23rd 2014, My medical Oncologist Amir Raffia, MD performed a Bone Marrow Biopsy on me. This is a procedure to collect and examine bone marrow. The spongy tissue inside some of your larger bones. This procedure was performed using a long fine needle inserted into my hip bone.
You’re probably wondering why is this exam being done and I already knew that I had Cancer? But a Bone marrow biopsy and bone marrow aspiration offered my oncologist detailed information about the condition of my bone marrow and blood cells. My doctor ordered a bone marrow exam because my blood tests were abnormal and didn’t provide enough information about a suspected problem (Cancer) this is also to determine staging. This exam was to see if the Cancer had spread into my bones as well.
As I laid on my side on the exam table, “Breathe in, Breathe out, this is going to hurt” were the last words I remember Dr. Raffia saying to me as he slowly inserted the thin needle into my hip bone. I gave a dead stare and then I SCREAMED.
The pain that I endured was worse then pregnancy contractions and giving birth. I laid on the table and knew in my heart that this disease was going to kill me and beat me to the core the entire time I tried to fight it off. God was punishing me for some strange reason, for a crime that I didn’t even commit and all I could ask him was why me? Being strong wasn’t an option anymore, so don’t even fool yourself Raquel, just die already your time is NOW. As I snapped out of my daydream all I felt was yanks and tugging, the numbness didn’t help much and all I heard him say was “Hold still Ms. Duncan, it’s almost over, hold still“.
After the exam was over I got up, thinking that the pain was finally over, but little did I know the Bone Marrow Exam was nothing but flowers, candy and sunshine compared to my next mission on this life changing journey. Dr. Raffia spoke to me about the next steps of my staging after I receive my bone marrow results. I was worried for a week straight thinking about the possibility of the cancer spreading into my bones, I could hardly sleep. I thought that this would be the end of my sleepless nights, but nooooooo, hold tight Raquel this isn’t a simple roller coaster at Coney Island, if you’re not ready to skydive be prepared, because it‘s happening, whether you are ready or not. The Battle Was Just Beginning for me.