The core needle biopsy on my neck 

16/05/2020

A core needle biopsy is when a local anaesthetic is given and a hollow needle is inserted through the skin and into the area to be examined. In my case, one of my swollen lymph nodes which I decided to name Barry and Bill haha. An ultrasound is normally used to help guide the needle to exactly the right place. The needle then cuts out a small sample of tissue. 

I was so nervous to get this procedure done as I knew I would be awake during the whole process. The doctor was a very lovely man who tried his best to calm my nerves. I remember the nurse holding my hand as the doctor gave me the local anaesthetic to numb the area before proceeding with the biopsy. The anaesthetic injection did hurt and I felt the doctor pushing the needle right into the lymph node to make sure he numbed it all which felt rather strange. For some reason a local anaesthetic does not seem to work too well on me, so you can imagine how I felt when he had to give me another dose.  

The biopsy itself was not painful as the area was numb but I was still very frightened as I didn't know what to expect as I had never had this procedure done before. I remember feeling my heart beating like crazy as if it was going to pop out of my chest as I was so afraid. When the samples were being taken i could hear and feel the click of the needle, it was such a strange feeling that I remember having a wee jump each time a sample was taken, but at least it didn't hurt.  The doctor took about 4 samples of tissue to make sure that they would get a result, so you would know my disappointment when about another week later I was told that the results came back inconclusive and that they would have to remove the whole lymph node to get a proper diagnosis. 

I felt quite angry and frustrated at this as once again I was nowhere further on to having an answer to what was wrong with me. I felt like I had just been through that procedure for no reason at all, but I tried to stay positive, thinking to myself well they didn't find anything so that may be a good sign.

The thing is with my type of Hodgkins Lymphoma there is only a small portion of the lymph node that has cancerous cells in it, the rest is normal. So the 4 tissue samples they had taken must of been normal cells. I am grateful though that they kept pushing to find a result but at this stage my anxiety was going through the roof. I couldn't focus on anything, really felt like my whole world was falling apart. I should of been planing for my wedding and getting a house with my fiance at 23 years old, but now I also have to deal with this. It just didn't seem fair. 

On a positive note I had my 9th session of chemotherapy yesterday and in exactly a years time I will be married. I am beating cancer, I am in remission, and I won't let it destroy me.