Sarah W
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Sarah W
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29 Jul 2014

Phase 1 of Clinical Trial entry complete

Yesterday I went for the first of three bone marrow aspirates as part of the IcICLLe trial requirements. Before the aspirate some fairly extensive blood testing happened - it seemed like there were at least 10 x 5ml bottles - and a saliva sample. Turns out I'm not very good at that bit but we won't dwell on that.

It's becoming apparent to me, having overheard some rather loud talkers in the haemotology outpatients waiting room, that everyone's experiences of the bone marrow aspirates are different. I don't go for the gas and air or any type of sedation but it is certainly a very strange sensation. It's a bit like root canal, but the pelvic version. In order to take my mind off the fairly uncomforatble feeling (it takes the expression 'I feel it in my bones' to a new level for sure) I decided to focus on two things.. 1) The pain a very good friend of mine must have been in when she gave birth and 2) the pain Mark Cavendish must have experienced when he hit the deck and crashed out of the first stage of this year's Tour de France. I'm pretty sure what I was experiencing was nothing compared to those two events so I don't think bone marrow aspirates are that bad, but don't hold me to that.

After my BMA I went through to what I think must be a fairly new room at Kings dedicated to Clinical Trial patients, it's a positive haven compared to the hustle and bustle of the outpatients waiting room (that's not a complaint though!), helped by the big windows letting in lots of natural light. The best thing about this part of the morning was the coffee and Bourbon biscuits I was given, it really was a nice environment to be in and everyone I met yesterday, whilst undergoing some fairly unpleasant procedures, was lovely.

Next came some more blood tests, another 40ml I reckon, another embarrassing saliva sample experience and then finally a Fine Needle Aspiration on each side of my neck for research purposes. I'm determined to help research into blood cancer however I can and although taking samples from the glands in my neck does involve yet another needle it really is only a momentary sharp scratch so I think it's worth it.

It does all feel surreal still, especially when I don't really feel unwell (the doctors don't believe me when I say that...they look at me until I admit I might have been feeling maybe a little tired, occasionally...) but experiences like I had yesterday at Kings, of friendly and caring medical and admin staff, really do help me get through.

So, onwards and upwards, Phase 2 is a CT scan next week.




Hi Sarah,

Only just seen this post! 

Thanks so much for the update and your excellent description of what a bone marrow aspirate is like. I don't miss having those and think you hit the nail on the head when you say it's like having a route canal. They get less frequent over time and I've got everything crossed that you'll get to a stage where they are no longer necessary.

I hope treatment is going well and that you had a good weekend in the sunshine. Cannot believe that the Bikeathon was now a month ago - time has gone so quickly!