Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why liver biopsies suck

For those of you following along at home, last week was my first chemotherapy. The week before that I'd had an MRI of my abdomen and the doctor spotted some lesions on my liver, so I needed to have a biopsy done. My oncologist hoped to have it done right away so I had all the right chemo meds from the start, but alas it was not to be; the biopsy was finally scheduled for today.

Now, last week I had a port implanted, and while they numbed me up very well, they didn't manage to sedate me. I was alert through the whole procedure, so today when I went in I made a lot of noise about not wanting to do that again. Well, they gave me some fluids and then started doping me up and voila, I was out. Until the doctor stuck the needle into my liver. That woke me right up... screaming. They put me under again and tried again with the same results. Apparently they did finally manage to do the trick, because I was finished and taken to recovery and finally back upstairs, where I waited for 4 hours just in case it started bleeding or something.

They said the needle they used to punch through to my liver was smaller than a toothpick. They said that the lesion was close to the surface. They said I shouldn't feel anything because they would numb up the area before they did the procedure.

THEY LIED!!

This was almost as bad as a barium enema. The only difference being with the barium enema there was absolutely NO attempt to sedate me or reduce my pain, so it still remains the most painful procedure I've dealt with.

Next week is my next chemo treatment. I have them every two weeks. I want to thank all of my wonderful friends for their support, encouragement, and gifts over the past few weeks. It has meant the world to me.

16 comments:

  1. I wish you all the best through this scary and difficult time, Katy.

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne. The positive energy coming from all my friends and acquaintances around the 'net has provided me courage and strength. *hugs*

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  2. Prayers and good luck on your speedy recovery :)

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    1. Thanks, Heather - very much appreciated.

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    2. I don't think we give as much general publicity to the countless success stories when it comes to cancer - bad news sells, I suppose. I pray you will join those numberless success stories. Go forward using all that 'positive energy' as your shield. Love and the best of wishes - Peter.

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    3. You are likely correct. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, much appreciated!

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  3. Katy, as you know I write epic fiction with strong female lead characters, but you are the real thing. Hang in there, my thoughts are with you. (P X Jones)

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    1. Thanks, Paul, I appreciate that so much!

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  4. Sounds awful! Hoping things get better soon.

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    1. Thanks, Dale! Unfortunately, my oncologist said that one often feels much worse before feeling better when treating with chemo. We'll see.. :-)

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  5. I've had both a barium enema and a liver biopsy. Like you, I was told it wouldn't hurt. Much. It felt like I was being kicked by a mule. But yes, the barium enema is much worse because the "discomfort" lasts soooooooo long.

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    1. Oh, man, that barium enema really sucked, and I made such a fuss about the pain that the doctor actually left the room and let the nurses finish up. Anyway, I made it home, I'd been fasting for 3 days because they tried a colonoscopy first, then the BE the next day. Anyway, I grabbed a yogurt, but the smell of food made me throw up. I was apparently so hungry that I was nauseated, I'm not sure. Anyway, that's when the nurse called and said the doctor wasn't happy with the images and could I come back and do it again. And I told her hell to the NO. If they say to me, "In order to save your life we need to do a barium enema," I'll say, "Bring in Dr. Kevorkian, then, 'cause I ain't doing THAT again..."

      As far as the liver biopsy, I mostly felt like I was being stabbed with a big needle... LOL

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  6. Man, this sounds so awful. But you sound like an incredible trooper for doing it all and still finding the strength to be so positive. I'm hoping the next few steps are going to be less invasive and yield only positive results :)!

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    1. Thanks! Next few steps include chemo, then tests to see if the chemo is working (MRIs and CT scans mostly, I think), so those are okay. Well, the chemo maybe not, but ... Anyway, thanks so much for your support and encouragement!

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  7. Oh heavens. That is terrible. I hope things show up better in the next tests and that no more with the liver testing. **Hugs** Take care!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. I hope the chemo works to shrink the tumors and kill all the little ones attaching to my abdominal walls like little spider plants... :-)

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