It’s a little weird being here in hospital. Although I am not well (obviously) I am not feeling really ill. So whilst they monitor and measure I remain for now in relatively good health. My neutrophils remain high, so for now my body remains protected from the environment around me. I do know for certain this will not last.
The Melphalan given to me destroyed my existing stem cells five days ago. The stem cells which were implanted into my body three days ago have migrated into the vacated bone marrow but there is a delay. These stem cells will eventually replace my neutrophils, platelets and red blood cells but in the short term the cells will die off and will not be replaced. In this time I will face the following problems.
- Low Neutrophils – leading to a greater risk of infection
- Low platelets- leading to an increased risk of bleeding
- Low red blood cells – leading to anaemia and causing tiredness, breathlessness and a lack of energy
In the latter cases I may indeed a transfusion of platelets and / or red blood cells. It is almost certainly need to happen at some point.
The delay in producing stem cells is between 12 -14 days after engraftment (10 days or so from now) beyond which begins the slow recovery.