Monday, December 29, 2008

'This will only hurt a little bit'

Tami, one of my high school friends, was in the area today, and she spent part of the day with me. She came with me when I got my lung biopsy, and kept me supplied with tissues while I coughed up blood for about an hour afterwards.

This was a biopsy guided by CAT-Scan. The handsome doctor, who looked not much older than 20 (why do they keep getting younger?) said it would not hurt. Ha. It was like a bone marrow biopsy only not at the base of your spine but in your chest.

He also said I would need to return for an x-ray in about two hours, because he might poke some holes that were a little too big, leading to a collapsed lung. “Maybe you could try not to do that,” I said. He assured me that he would do his best and said that if the lung did collapse, they would put in a chest tube. Okkkkaaaaay.

He numbed several areas of skin on my chest and then went in to get samples of what appears to be a pretty large mass on my right lung. I didn’t look at everything he was using, but I saw him use a needle for an aspirate. He stuck some other probes in and wiggled them while I lay in the machine, apparently so he could get the exact spot. I couldn’t even do relaxing breathing, because he had warned me that at any time he might need to say, “hold your breath.” If I was at a nice cleansing outbreath, there wasn’t much left to hold.

In any case, I survived, though the next hour was difficult with the coughing up of blood. The blood finally stopped, but hours later I am still having trouble breathing. It’s nothing terrible, and it is worse when I’m on the phone, so I tried stay off the phone tonight.

The biopsy is supposed to show exactly what is causing the pneumonia. Hopefully something will grow in a few days so they can target it with the right antibiotic or antifungal.

Tami (known as Tamar to her friends from adulthood) had breezed in this morning with a smile, only to be met by Ms. Doom and Gloom. I muttered about death, finding that actually saying some of my thoughts out loud took some of the power away from them.

Tami then used her no-nonsense, I-mean-business Tami voice.

“I’m sick and tired of the D-word,” she said. “I don’t want to hear it anymore!”


It was great spending the day with her. I think she may have given me a jump-start.


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you - and your incredible strength - in going through this painful diagnostic. Hope you are now breathing easier (and with less coughing), and will soon have some definite results.

Nelle said...

When they say "This will only hurt a little bit" they mean for them not you! Bone marrow aspirations are my least favorite medical procedure. Have had the bronchoscopy too. Often the diagnoistic procedures seem torturous but somehow we get through them. Coughing up blood is enough to evoke anxiety I am hoping they left the ativan in your room! So glad your friend Tami stopped by and recharged your batteries. We all need that once in a while. Hang in there and thank you for posting. I think about you and knowing what is happening makes me feel better. I hope the next few days will find you feeling better and breathing easier.

PJ said...

Keep Tami around, and beware of hunky doctors bearing long needles.

I do think it helps to talk about your fears. Not everyone (understandably) can listen, especially friends and family. Maybe your SW?

Soon you'll know what's up with your lung and get the proper meds for it. Keep breathing, Ronni.

donna said...

It is good to see that you are "laughing" through your writing again. The situation is far from being funny of course but, humor is one of the good medicines. You have people all over the world now following your story. You are the most incredible person and such a fabulous writer. I miss you and can't wait until you are better again!

Margaret said...

I am feeling very guilty for reading your blog AFTER calling and making you talk tonight. Sorry! I do think Tami perked you up. Ronni, you sound just a teensy bit more hopeful today than yesterday. Please keep moving in that direction even if it's an inch at a time. You are loved by multitudes ... we need you to be as hopeful for your self as we are for you!

Jim said...


I like Tami. Keep talking to her and listening to her. She makes sense out of stuff that's not supposed to make sense. We all have angels, and Tami is one of yours and you are one of ours.

I'm thinking of you often and in awe of your spirit. Keep returning serve and us posted.

Love, Jim

Susan C said...

My MacBook did not recover as quickly as yours and is driving me nuts, so until I get to the Apple genius bar on Saturday, I'm limping along or working from the library. A little thing called the Rose Parade is coming between me and laptop healing.

I'm hoping that your healing from that awful biopsy and the lung thing is much faster. EGAD, that biopsy experience sounded gruesome.

Wishing wonderful things for you in 2009, Ronni.

Michelle said...

Ronni - Your friends in South Hadley love you and your family. We are always available. Hope the breathing is getting better. Enjoy the sunshine on the 1st day of the year..
Michelle B

Anonymous said...

Yowch! That didn't sound like it "didn't hurt" at all! Young-man doctor should have just told you it wasn't going to feel good, but that it would be over as soon as possible! Great that Tami was with you, especially the hour after the procedure. It would be even less fun to cough like that with no one around to keep your mind off of things. Here's hoping something grows off of that sample so you can get some meds and get rid of that lump!!! Sending positive thoughts your way lady!


hockeychic said...

Sending positive, healing thoughts your way. Hopefully this painful biopsy will give some answers.