Chunks-of-Flesh Biopsy to Help Better Determine the Effects of Radiation Treatment on Healthy Skin Cells

This entry originated here » Didnt I Tell You that This Next Level Would be Hard to Keep Secret? (22 April 2019).

I was down at the Moores Cancer center earlier today ..

Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla | Main Lobby

.. for a biopsy on my right neck .. which has been bleeding nicely.

This seems to happen every time I get a chunks-of-flesh biopsy. The loss of blood can make me feel weak.

One of my doctors called me a 'bleeder.' It always stops, but I have notice that any bleeding continues longer now, ever since treatment.

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This chunks-of-flesh biopsy in on the outside skin. If I knew it was going to bleed this much, I wouldve worn a black shit.

When I bent down to pick up something off the floor .. that is when it started bleeding (.. after I got home).

I saw the bright-red drop of blood hit the floor directly below me.

It has also been hurting more than I expected .. ever since the numbing effect of the shot wore off.

I took some Tylenol a little while ago. It should be kicking in here shortly.

I have also been hitting the Ativan the last few days due to the anxiety that comes with certain types of stress. "Situational stress," as they call it .. which is that stress that arises out of your particular situation.

» Informational Biopsy About the Effects of Radiation Treatment on Healthy Skin Cells

But this biopsy is not looking for cancer. It is merely informational (RNA, DNA, cell structure, etc.) to help better determine the effects of radiation treatment on healthy skin cells.

I try to help move the science forward whenever I can.

They took the biopsy right where I received some of the highest doses of radiation .. on my right neck, close to where the tumor was ..because that is where they really blasted me with the radiation.

When the oncologist came in and shook my hand and introduced himself, I said, "Okay, let me ask you this one question. How do you know that you are not going to accidentily cut my jugular (vein) or my carotid (artery)?"

I know that these head-n-neck oncologists are experts in the structures of the head-n-neck area .. but if they happen to cut the wrong thing, then you are dead man.

He looked at my neck and said, "Okay, we'll take the biopsy right here next to this tendon .. which will keep us away from anything bad."

He gave me a nice, comforting sense of competence. Any time you start cutting on the neck .. you need to know what you are doing.

My normal radiation oncologist .. he fucks around with you about accidentily cutting the wrong thing. He is jokester .. a very smart jokester.

Anyway .. radiation affects your skin cells .. even the healthy ones. I no longer need to shave my neck .. because no hair grows there any more.

I had a permanent leathery tan on my next for a few years after the treatment ended .. even during the winter months.

The Clinical Trials girl told me that Immunotherapy is the future of Oncology .. for this very reason .. because radiation damages your good, healthy cells right along with the bad cancer cells.

Except, the radiation damages (kills) the bad (cancer) cells more than it does the good cells .. because cancer cells grow faster than your good cells. And radiation has the greatest effect on rapidly reproducing cells.

Different types of cells reproduce at different rates. The cells of a human fetus, for example, reproduce at a superfast rate.

This was a new Head-n-Neck Radiation Oncologist that I had never met before. But he is just like my other Radiation Oncologist.

All these Oncologist are very sharp cookies. You can tell they are very smart by simply talking to them for a few minutes.

This guy was from the Carolinas. I am nosy about personal stuff like that .. and none of them have any problem telling you where they grew up or where they went to medical school.

I like chatting with smart people who know what they are doing. My regular Radiation Oncologist .. he fucks with you. "He's a jokester," this oncologist said today.

"He is a jokester," I confirmed.

I also had a new Clinical Trials girl today. All of these Clinical Trials girls impress me. They are smart and nice, and they all have their shit together. They know what they are doing.

They are infinitely helpful, and have outstanding social skills. They know how to talk to a cancer patient .. which is not the easiest thing, especially when you are in the thick of it.

They crammed a buck of people in that little room .. with the reclining chair in the middle, where I sat.

First one person comes, and then another and another and another .. swirling around you. It's almost like a party.

They are all very professional. Everybody has their shit together. The feeling of competence is comforting.

Plus, I have had a number of biopsies before. So now I know what to expect. I am a successful veteran of the game.

My heart started pounding and I got lightheaded after he shot me up with the numbing stuff into my neck.

It burned a little, too, at first  .. and started to wear off maybe 90 minutes later.

He set one dissolvable stitch .. under a regular-looking band-aid .. which is soaked with blood and had some oozing out underneath.

It seems to bleed more when I lie down .. so I am sitting up for now. I dont want to wake to a bloody pillow.

I wrapped a piece of paper-towel around my collar near the cut .. to try and soak up up some of the blood and keep it off my shirt.

Once the bright red color turns brown, then I will know that the bleeding has stopped.

One time, during treatment, when my platelets had dropped very low (10K-ish), my Chemo doctor said, "Dont freak out if you start bleeding a little."

I think that this white t-shirt I am wearing is trash. It was stupid to wear a white t-shirt today. "What was I thinking?" I asked myself.

The end. ■

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on April 22, 2019 4:22 PM.

Didnt I Tell You that This Next Level Would be Hard to Keep Secret? was the previous entry in this blog.

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