Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This report will be as brief as possible concerning the experience of having the probable thyroid cancer in my 5th thoracic vertebrae biopsied.

Just to reiterate, the idea driving the biopsy was that, very few cases of papillary (my type) thyroid cancer have ever been reported going to bone in a young person. And since I'll certainly be having further treatments in the next few months, it would be good to confirm what the evidence supports at this point in time. To put it bluntly: world experts who deal with thyroid cancer all of the time, are surprised to hear about the 'appearance' of my vertebral met, so we just want to make sure of what we're dealing with.

My day started early. I didn't sleep well last night and decided that since I probably would be hurting after the procedure, that maybe I'd be more content if I get my ride in early. So, I was out and about on my road bike at around 5:40am. I went and did some sprints in forest park, then on my way home, as I was thinking about the big cup of coffee I was going to drink and the massive bowl of oatmeal which I was going to destroy, I remembered that I wasn't supposed to eat anything the morning of the procedure. Oops.

At 11am I was in my gown with my IV in, and I was kicking myself cus I was HUNGRY and seriously tired. The doc came in and told me all about the risks of the procedure...of which I immediately stopped listening since the first thing he said was, 'collapsed lung if the needle misses'. Yikes. I then asked for him to repeat the other stuff, since I had stopped listening, and he started talking about paralysis. 'Ok', I thought, that's enough...let's just get this shit over with.

For the procedure, I was told that I would be awake and would remain responsive but probably wouldn't feel much. Since that was a state of consciousness I was not yet convinced could actually be produced, I remained dubious and indeed rather scared about the idea of a bone marrow biopsy in my vertebrae since they hurt.

I have had a 'real' bone marrow biopsy before, which is a fabled procedure among medical people as one of the more painful procedures that patients can undergo.

When the time finally came, all I know, is that when I finally got on the table for the CT scan, I remember about 5 minutes of the entire 60 minute experience. They gave me Versed (fast acting benzo) and fentanyl (crazy strong opiod) and I don't remember a thing and didn't feel a thing. The insane aspect of that, is that I was told that I never actually fell asleep and that I carried on a conversation when engaged. Even my wife says that when I was brought back into the recovery room, that I did X, Y, and Z...yet I remember nothing.

I'll find out the results on friday. Until then, life goes on...

ps- I got another ride in this afternoon. I rode easy, but for a full hour and 50 minutes...so overall, managed over 50 miles today!


James Nelson said...

Hup hup Dan. The engineer geek in me likes the insight you are providing. WIN! I need a 100 miles to nowhere riding partner. 4 mile loop around Lone Wolf on May 7.

Losing M. Mind said...

I really dig your blog, awe inspiring!!!! This is Scott Fraundorf.

CockPuncher said...

Dan, sorry to have missed you at FoPark today, man. Glad to hear the procedure wasn't too terribly painful. And congrats on a great job at the crit. Was cool to see you racin' on skinny tires!! Punchor