WT(EF)?

Next up, a visit with Dr. G (neurologist), who had seen a few cases over his career that were somewhat similar to mine.  He checked me out and did an MRI on my thighs (because they were some of the most affected muscles) right there in his office.  The following day, I went to USC with Todd and Rex to visit Rex’s choice for school this fall.  We were admiring all the Heismans, right in the middle of singing “Fight On,” when my cell rang.  It was Dr. C.  My blood work did not look good and she told me there was a decent chance I had leukemia or lymphoma.  WTF!  I was numb.

July 6  was one HECTIC day.   First up, back to Dr. G’s for an EMG (electromyogram) test, which after foolishly Googling it, had me so nervous I was sweating and shaking.  The test consists of inserting wired needles into the muscles of your arms and legs, then measuring the electric activity of the muscles.  Most of the time, the needles needed to be manipulated and moved around while inserted to re-position them.  Not at all pleasant, but bearable.  From there I rushed to see my new oncologist/hematologist, Dr. S1.  He told me that he was going to do a bone marrow biopsy right there and then, since there was a possibility of cancer.  OK, I admit it – I did not learn my lesson from Googling the EMG test – I had also Googled bone marrow biopsy, knowing I was probably going to have one, and it had me even more freaked out.  I looked over at Todd in a panic.  I had read that you MUST ask for conscious sedation, and not all doctors offered that.  Dr. S1 became my new BFF when he told me that they used conscious sedation.  When the nurse put in my IV, I told her to open that sucker up all the way and shove in the meds.  I remember counting down to 99, then I woke up with about a dozen slides next to me on a table with pink slime on them.  It was over.  I was stoked.  I was on a procedural roll, and I thought, LSIOMAT (Let’s Squeeze In One More Appointment Today), so just for fun, I rushed back to Dr. G’s office for a second MRI, this time with dye.  I was so clever, I told the nurse at Dr. S1’s office to leave the IV in, so I could avoid OMP (One More Poke).  I was wiped out, both physically and mentally, as I still had the leukemia/lymphoma thing hanging over my head.

Bone marrow – not gross at all!
Eosinophil infested thighs (or nicely marbled filet mignons)

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I am a survivor of two extremely rare diseases, thanks to over 100 blood transfusions and ultimately, a bone marrow transplant. My blog, joselynsbrawl.com, chronicles my adventures through medical offices, operating rooms, clinics, transfusion centers, hospital transplant floors, victory celebrations, and finally my bucket list items – all with a humorous and sometimes profane twist. My goal is to inspire others not to give up on life or anything else, and to understand that it’s actually possible to enjoy any experience, even battling a life-threatening illness (or two).

2 thoughts on “WT(EF)?

  1. OK, this sounds terrible. Your humor is fantastic and sounds like it could be worse, but WTF? Bottom line, what’s the prognosis and how is it treated?

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    1. Hi Laura – The prognosis should be good, as long as my blood starts to cooperate and gets back to “normal” levels. All 3 major components are screwed up: red cells, white cells and platelets. They have tried many different treatments: Prednisone, Solumedrol, IVIG, transfusions, and now I’m starting with Cyclosporine and Neupogen injections. Thanks for checking in! Sounds like you had a great visit with Greg and Len 🙂

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