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Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Crack of dawn trip to Boston during am rush hour traffic wasn't too bad, we were sitting still on the freeway before we left NH. My most notable memory of the morning was the extreme depth of our parking spot 5 levels below the earth's surface in a garage that just didn't seem to be 100% structurally sound. Lab work & exam room waiting was relatively quick compared to previous experience, then we met the P.A. who would be doing the stem cell harvest for the G-Vax trial, Melissa Cochrane. This would become the (so far) most excruciating and horrible procedure Lora had yet to experience. It seemed that Melissa couldn't quite achieve the same needle path with the biopsy tool (which is a large T-handle screwdriver with a point) as she had established with the lidocaine needle (local anesthetic). The result of this ineptitude was her running the biopsy tool in and out of Lora's back, probing through muscle & nerve tissue for about 45 minutes. On multiple occasions, she removed the large needle & reinserted the smaller lido needle to the bone as a feeble attempt to train her muscle memory in locating the same spot with the screwdriver. As she hit nerve bundles, Lora's body would involuntarily flop upward from the table & she'd let out a painful shriek. It sounds horrible, but the visual imagery actually nearly made me burst into laughter. Lying flattened, face down, her feet and head would pop upward in a backwards arch like a fish out of water. I had to bury my face in Lora's purse and my laptop bag to maintain my composure. Poor Lora would have smacked my head off my shoulders had I burst into "the laughness" during the most painful experience of her life. (Be advised that both of our children were scheduled C-sections with no labor). Like magic, something clicked and it was over. Lora was a wreck & now we had to drive 2 hours back o NHOH and take her first ever dose of chemo. Lora still swears to this day that she won't have Mrs. Cochrane back for another try. I say we'll see, because it's likely we'll have many of these in the years to come. I don't personally have enough experience with BM aspirations to comment on whether this was something normal, or if Cochrane had a bad day. I do know two others Jaime and Dr. B, had a much easier time of it. Maybe the issue was anatomically induced, as both previous attempts were on the right hip bone, this one was on the left.

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