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Ask Caroline, a Macmillan Nurse working with people who have Leukaemia, Myelodysplasia and Myeloproliferative diseases. She'll aim to respond within 2 working days.

Dry aspirate at biopsy

jaymacabc123
Posted by

hello Caroline 

i hope all is well and it’s great to see you are still on this site answering everyone’s questions (I used to ask u a lot in the early days !

Husb background :  Inv 16 aml in remission 2+ years and bloods 3 weeks ago all normal.

I have questions about 2 different aml related things pls:

Insufficient aspirate:     Husb has aspirate biopsy today (to check for mrd).  The first dr cld not get enough aspirate and she asked another doctor to try.  2nd doc also had probs getting enough but then they changed to a bigger needle and got enough.  Both these docs Are very good and experienced and both have done my husb aspirates before with no issues and now today they both struggled. Took a total of 4 tries.  I’ve done  the silly thing n googled and of course “dr google” shows that a dry pull is nearly always clinically significant... so I’m worrying (as always).  Also they nearly always use the right hand side (near hip).  Today husb asked if they cld use left but they said the right is always easier(??) any idea why right side preferred? 

remission timeline:

husb dx jan 2017 - went into remission after round 2 (I think) which was approx June 2017.  His mrd returned jan 2018 but then started to reduce and disappeared again within 6 months (no treatment).  When does his “remission” begin ? From June 2017 or from the date no mrd was found (June 2018). 

 *Learning God is in control and every day holds the chance of another miracle.*

Caroline- Macmillan

Hi there,

I was thinking about you the other week! The reason that it was a dry tap may be because they always use that side! Most Drs are right handed and this makes the right side always easier for them as they have their left hand easy to stabilise the patients body.

Simple explanation! I'm glad you and hubby are doing well.

Caroline - Macmillan  Information Nurse Specialist

Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.  

jaymacabc123
Posted by

Thank you Caroline!  You’ve eased my mind!   What an amazing memory You have to think of us recently -esp as u have so many people on here asking u questions!  

Husb looks better than he did even before aml!  So healthy.  He takes better care of himself now that he realises even he is not invincible

Also: husb dx jan 2017 - went into remission after round 2 (I think) which was approx June 2017.  His mrd returned jan 2018 but then started to reduce and disappeared again within 6 months (no treatment).  When does his “remission” begin ? From June 2017 or from the date no mrd was found (June 2018).  I think prob the June 2017???

thank you for all you do for everyone on this site. !

 *Learning God is in control and every day holds the chance of another miracle.*

jaymacabc123
Posted by

Hi Caroline hope all is well with u.

an update ...my lovely ((well most of the time he’s lovely not always lol!)  is still in remission!!!

then plan seems to be to continue with 3 monthly biopsies for a bit longer.   That’s good to keep a close eye on things (I prefer the “belt and braces” approach lol whilst husb is however a bit disappointed- he’s tired of biopsies and wants to “get on with getting over aml” but he does understand that his team suggest these for a reason.

on a Sep note .... any idea approx of what the average biopsy aspirate (to check mrd) costs the nhs?   Just trying to figure out a figure of how much they have spent on him!  Grateful EVERY day that we have the amazing nhs!

 *Learning God is in control and every day holds the chance of another miracle.*

Caroline- Macmillan

Hi there,

That is a great question and one that I have tried to find out the answer  before, with no success! I even asked the trial people when I was a research nurse!. 

It is getting more expense, I suspect, as the tests are becoming more sophisticated. Given the amount of treatment that your hubby has had; the bill for treatment for him alone would be in the hundreds of thousands - then the price of the stays in hospital ( about £600 per day) and the staff!. Added to that the small vital things...

For example the injections to boost his white cell count are £264 each and each blood test costs about 25p each! If you were paying for an icu bed £3000 approx. per day. A Hickman/PICC line costs about £850 and a pump to put the chemo through £150. 

Then you have ultrasounds (start at £165) and CT scans ( start at £500).

He has a very expense habit!!! Isn't the NHS wonderful!!

Caroline - Macmillan  Information Nurse Specialist

Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.  

Thehighlander
Posted by

Hi Jane, what an interesting question and a great answer from Caroline.

I have often thought through the cost of my 20 years journey with NHL and other issues including my two Allo SCTs and the figures I find are eye watering........ but Glen is worth every penny that has been spent on him.

On the day I was discharged from the care of my SCT Team and from Heamatology, my head SCT consultant said that I could have a very posh house in the best part of Edinburgh for the money  that has been spent out on me over the years.

Long live our wonderful NHS.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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