To determine the type of cancer I was dealing with, my drug dealer decided the safest way to do a biopsy was to operate on one the four nodes on my lungs. The largest cell, which he planned to biopsy was approximately 23mm wide. At this stage it would have been too dangerous taking it from my kidney for fear or rupturing the cancer cell and having it bleed out into my body, since it was so large in size.
When I arrived at the Mater hospital I started filling out my forms. It was interesting because I usually raced through them ticking ‘No’ to everything including heart disease, asthma, am I a smoker, am I pregnant etc., however this time I ticked, ‘Yes’ next to Kidney Disease and wrote, ‘Renal Cancer’.
The nurse then greeted me and asked me to follow her into a small room, where she went through my paper work. She then stopped, looked up at me and asked, “I see you have a history of Renal Cancer?” drawing her eyebrows together. I had a small chuckle and replied, “Does five days count as a history?” She was a bit taken aback by my answer and asked me if I had only just found out, to which I replied, yes. As she read further along she asked me if this is why I was having the biopsy on my lungs. I had to explain that unfortunately they found it too late, which is why it had already metastasized and gone to my lungs.
She needed to weigh me so I jumped on the scales and read 68kg. I was surprised because I don’t normally weigh myself but I know that I’m usually between 72kg and 74kg. Although when I asked my friends and family members, they had all agreed that I looked like I had dropped some weight in the last week, most likely due to stress.
The nurse then handed me a gown and asked me to put on and some very sexy paper undies. When I was dressed, I went into the room and laid down on the bed. As the nurse was putting the cannula in my arm, preparing for the operation, I was starting to feel a little nervous just thinking about the fact that they were going to put a needle through my chest, into my lungs, to hit a cell which was 23mm in diameter.
I tried not to think about it as they wheeled me down into the radiology room. This is where they were going to guide the needle into my chest under a CT machine. When I got to this room I had to transfer onto a CT bed. As I did this, I looked behind the glass screen and noticed about five or six people standing there watching. I commented to the nurse that it seemed like a lot of people for such a small procedure. She explained that they were mostly university students here on prac.
As I went to laid down on my back she stopped me and asked me to face down but with a bit of a twist to one side. Just as I got somewhat comfortable she ripped open my gown from the back, exposing my super sexy paper undies to all of the university students. I was mortified, scrunching my face, thinking just kill me.
They didn’t completely knock me out for this procedure, they only sedated me. Therefore, I remember getting off the CT bed, then hopped back onto the wheely bed where they took me back into the recover room. The nurse that looked after me was incredibly nice, chatting about choosing the right oncologist and urologist, hoping they could operate. While recovering and chatting to the nurse my phone rang and when I answered it and heard the voice of the receptionist from the other oncologist, I realised that I had completely forgot to cancel my other appointment. I felt so bad, apologising a number of times and had to explain that I had just had my biopsy and would get back to them as soon as I could. With everything that was going on, so many things had been slipping my mind.
As I was laying there, with the minutes counting over, I realised that my breathing was getting difficult. Every time I breathed in, I felt this awful pain in my chest. I let the nurse know and she checked over me saying that she would be back in another 15 minutes to see if it was getting worse. When she came back and discovered that the pain wasn’t going away she decided to send me back downstairs for an X-ray of my chest. They found I had a small pneumothorax, which is where air gets caught between the lung and the chest wall. In severe cases this can collapse the lung. The doctor who performed the procedure then came in to see me, telling me that when he removed the needle a small pocket of air got in and that it should go away in a day or two. He then gave me some Panadiene Forte for the pain and advised if it got any worse to come straight back in. After a long day, a very embarrassing procedure and a new found pain in my chest, my brother finally arrived to take me home.