Upcoming adventure…

So I had an appointment with my hem/onc this past Wednesday (8/20). As is customary at these appointments, the physical exam was performed by a med student. Pretty sure that other than the handshakes at the beginning and end of the appointment that my doc has not touched me once in the 8 years I’ve been seeing him. Is that what it’s like for you guys too? Just curious 🙂

Anywho…after listening to my heart and lungs, he decided it was time to poke around my abdomen. He lifted up my shirt, and just sort of stared at my belly for a bit. I think I mentioned before that the ribs on the left side are pretty distended/misshapen, presumably because of the size of my spleen. But this guy was surprised by that. As he starts poking around he’s trying hard to find the end of my spleen…he finally seemed satisfied that he had found it. Down by my navel…Now for those who may be unfamiliar with where ones spleen normally should be……The spleen is on the upper left side of your abdomen. Generally completely housed by your rib cage. See image below…


As he was poking around trying to find it, he seemed very surprised that it was as large as it is. How do I know? He muttered “holy shit” under his breath…soo yeah. Fairly indicative of surprise, I’d say. 

After he was done with the physical exam, he went and conferred with my doc. When he came in, we exchanged the usual pleasantries. He asked how I am, how’s work, how’s my husband etc etc. Then he starts in with “So how are you feeling…?”. At which point I pulled out The Infamous Binder, flipped to my “new/recurring symptoms” section. There is a lovely long list of things – Headaches, fatigue of course at the top, but also Night sweats, itching, fevers, body aches, bone and join pain etc etc. And as I’m reading off my list, I can tell he’s thinking about what he’s going to say, so I finished my list with “And I think that it might be a really good idea to get a new biopsy done, since all these changes, plus the lowering blood counts seem to be indicative of something new”. And he just nodded, and said he felt that was the best course of action. If nothing else we’ll get a new baseline. PLUS we’ll get the results of the genetic testing that I’ve been curious about for so long 🙂

So, this Friday (8/29) I’ll be going in for my 2nd bone marrow biopsy. I WILL get some sedation for this, thankfully. The first one I ever had was pretty awful. Just a local to numb the skin…nothing more. That was not cool. We should get the results by the following Friday.

I’m thinking about attempting to either tweet or blog DURING the biopsy (if they allow it, and if I’m not too goofy…) We’ll see how that goes. M will be there, and has agreed to take pictures for me. I’m one of those weirdos who is REALLY intrigued by medical procedures, especially when they are being done to me. 

But that is enough rambling from me for now.

You are your own best advocate, if you do not take care of yourself, who will?

Until next time,



4 thoughts on “Upcoming adventure…

  1. Hi Lina
    My Hematologist is at Stanford University which being a teaching hospital comes with the exam by a fellow before I see my doctor but he come in the room after the first exam with the fellow in tow and re does the exam and asks me the same questions all over again. So I have the same thing twice with a finish of plans for treatment. It is kind of funny sometimes because I will get a fellow who tries to tell the doctor he already did the exam or that whatever the conclusion is he had already thought of it.
    I am curious the symptoms you say you experience(night sweats, muscle/joint pain, fevers, headache) are these your ET symptoms or from treatment? I ask because I have the same set of symptoms without the itching and my doctor thinks the symptoms are not ET related or treatment related (currently off everything but Aspirin) and won’t do any platelet lowering treatment until we find the cause of my symptoms as they are fairly new for me. What does your doctor think?
    Sorry to answer your question with a question but knowledge is power.


    • Hi Aylsa! With regard to the fellow situation, I am treated at a teaching hospital as well. I understand why the fellows do the physical exams, but I’m always surprised that my doctor does not perform one as well. But it doesn’t surprise me much – he’s always been more interested in the results/paperwork/case notes.

      As for the symptoms, they are not related to a treatment. I am also off everything but baby aspirin. The symptoms that I am experiencing are potentially indicative of MF, but we really won’t know until after the biopsy 🙂



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