Brandea Paulk, PA answered this one: "We are not expecting to find cancer in your marrow. We have to check on the condition of the graft and see if all the threads of the graft are developing."
What a difference one question and answer can make. There is a world of difference between being eager to check in on the graft and looking for cancer with dread. I went to the bone marrow biopsy and asked for Rebeca who has had her hands on me before with the big needle. She does a great job. She sat and asked me how I was. She showed me a picture of her son. We chatted together like we were having a cup of tea except that I was under a warm blanket on the procedure table. Then she positioned me. "Am I in the best position?" I asked. "Yes," she said. "But, I want to be in a perfect position, like Greg Louganis entering the water without splash from the highdive and a score of 10," I explained. "Being in the perfect position is doing what I can to help." I felt like I was going to throw up. Kathy LeClair was there to hold my hand but Kathy wasn't making eye contact. She was looking over me to what Rebeca was doing. A nurse had looked me in the face once and said "lots of nurses can't be in the room when a bone marrow biopsy is happening, they can't take it." I wish that nurse hadn't gotten into my face and said that. I can still hear her and see her bending over me as I was laying in the hospital bed. I couldn't see behind me and knew that Kathy was doing it for both of us. I didn't want to see behind me. "Is it going to bother the procedure if I sing," I asked. "Not at all," replies Rebeca. So, I start to sing. Humming, making up songs and zoning into a place where music carried me. I was no patient. I was no guinea pig, I was no body being drilled, I was a music maker and I made it sweet. I could feel Rebeca tapping on the bone as she pumped the lidocane. "Just tell me if you feel anything sharp," she cautioned. "Nothing sharp," I sang. "Just like you are knocking on heaven's door." She laughed. I kept singing. And, when she said it was over, when the marrow was drawn, sucked up and out and into the dish, I sang Alleluia, Alleluia and I think they could have heard me in Tacoma. Rebeca laughing. "It's over, it's really over," I kept exclaiming. This holy moment enveloping us all.