As part of assessing my progress post transplant, today it was necessary to take a bone biopsy. This is standard procedure in Milton Keynes where I am now registered. It takes place three months after stem cell transplant. It is not the first time I have had this done. Way back in April last year, whilst in Lincoln County Hospital I had my first biopsy. I recall very little of the procedure of her then it did not particularly hurt. I was mistaken!
The procedure took about 15 minutes and involved anaesthetising an area of my backside before a long needle was inserted into my hip joint. Some fluid was drawn off ant then a small core of hip bone was removed. To begin with this was painless enough and then the most excruciating pain. Thankfully gas and air was on hand and the symptoms were relieved a little, though not completely. To make matters worse the procedure had to be repeated as insufficient bone was obtained in the biopsy. It seems that although the Myeloma is in remission and the light chains remain low the bone damage is such that it is too soft and gives way too easily under the pressure of the needle. One of the reasons is that I have not had any bone strengthener, due to my poor kidney function.
The plan is to request a different bone strengthening drug which is used successfully in instances of pancreatic and breast cancers but has not yet been licensed for Myeloma. This is nonetheless and effective treatment. Before this can happen I need to have dental work to repair a broken tooth (as a side effect of the bone strengthening drug makes dental work problematic).
Meanwhile I am starting to raise my exercise level. I am going for daily walks, swimming twice a week and have just started running again (following a couch to 5k program). This in itself will strengthen my bones and is good for general health provided I don’t overdo things.
The events of the past two weeks (see previous post) have inevitably made me more active as I need to take on a much greater burden in terms of housework. I remain on sick leave but counting down the days to a time when I will need to start work. This in itself provokes action as I need to find new employment. I will post more on this in the days to come.