Thursday I heard from the specialist lymphoma nurse at the hospital and she said they wanted me in for a biopsy the next day. Although they knew that it was lymphoma, they needed to determine what type it was to tailor the treatment.
The next day came around all to quickly and I was back at the hospital, this time to have a biopsy, definitely the most scary procedure to date! 'A biopsy is a medical test involving the removal of cells or tissues for examination. It is the removal of tissue from a living subject to determine the presence or extent of a disease. The tissue is generally examined under a microscope by a pathologist, and can also be analyzed chemically'.
The biopsy was taken from the lump in my thigh. The doctor had already looked at my CT scans and decided on the area he was going to biopsy. He said he wasn't sure if the lump was a lymph node or not because it was in a slightly unusual place, but we decided to biopsy anyway and if it wasn't we would deal with that bridge if it came to it. He used an ultrasound to exactly pinpoint the area, then made my leg pink with anesthetic and antiseptic stuff and then he got the needle out! Mum had been watching up until that point! She said the needle was pretty big, I am glad I didn't see it. The biopsy was taken with a core needle and basically he made a small incision in my leg, inserted the needle and then it 'clicks', which is when the biopsy was taken. Had to do three of those! It wasn't painful but uncomfortable. The doctor who did it was very good and talked me through the whole thing. Afterwards I had to wait in the waiting room again for a short period of time to make sure the wound stopped bleeding. As the anesthetic wore off it became very painful.
After my biopsy we had to go up to the haematology day unit to get some medication for me to take in preparation for chemotherapy. Was a bit unprepared to walk into a room with people all sitting around having chemotherapy, it was a real shock. Managed to collar one of the nurses and have a chat about what has been happening and is going to happen as all this has been going on and I haven't even seen a consultant yet, the feeling of being kept in the dark comes to mind. She was very nice and once she realised we hadn't seen anyone yet, as such, she sat down and answered our questions. She said all these scans and tests were needed to diagnose the type of lymphoma and she appreciated that normally you would see a consultant first but she guessed I was kind of being fast tracked. Came away feeling more knowledgeable and less scared.
In the evening I popped out to see my friends down the pub and basically told them all what has been going on, one of the hardest things I have had to do. A very draining day all around.
Saturday I popped out to take some photos of another church!