The actual procedure for the biopsy and bone marrow aspirate is by far the most excruciating pain I ever experience. It is so much worse than child labor. I almost pass out from the pain. When Dr. Sanchez says to hold on tightly to the table I was lying on, it’s a good thing I listen to him. I may end up on the floor if I don’t grab onto the table. It only takes about 10 minutes, and is followed by 10 minutes with a cold compression on the biopsy site that Shelley applies.
Afterwards, Shelley calls in Rich and Bob. The doctor assures them the biopsy went well and tells them it was nice to meet them. He tells me to come back in a week for follow-up of the biopsy results and he will make further recommendations. He says he expects me to obtain my prescription for Gleevec at 400 mg. a day and start it as soon as possible.
As I walk out of the building I am surprised to feel no pain. I feel the cold, but no pain. I want to make everything alright. I say, “Let’s stop at IHOP for breakfast.”
Rich and Bob look at each other, then at me, and we all laugh. I feel better to see them laugh and we are off to IHOP. We talk and try to forget CML for a while. It isn’t until we are waiting at the register while Rich treats us to breakfast that we have some real comic relief – my cold compression becomes loose and slides down my leg and hits the floor! I pick it up and we laugh a good laugh.
November 11, 2003
Medco calls to confirm a delivery time for Gleevec on Thursday. The pharmacist says I need to sign for it as it cannot be left at a door. A delivery for after 4:00 p.m. is set up.
November 13, 2003
Fed-Ex knocks at the door at 4:10 p.m. The delivery man hands me a large box and asks me to sign for it. It reads OPEN IMMEDIATELY and DO NOT LEAVE IN SUN stamped on the box. I can’t understand why the box is so big for a container of pills. Inside the box was a Styrofoam cooler packed with four dry ice packs. Gleevec is wrapped in bubble wrap inside the cooler.
I cut the bubble wrap and open the container of Gleevec pills. I stare at them for about five minutes. How can a little gold pill be so intimidating?