What a Year!

This post is scheduled for 9pm UK time which is coincident with the start of the New Year in Tanzania. 2017 is not a year I want to remember in so many ways and yet it will be hard to forget it too. It ended much the same way as it was spent i.e. in … Continue reading What a Year!

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Christmas Cold

It had to happen eventually. I rather wish it hadn't happened at Christmas. In recent weeks I've been getting ready for the festivities. Present and food shopping and decorating the house. Making use of the extra time I have this year as I continue to recover from the effects of the chemotherapy. In the last … Continue reading Christmas Cold

So Irritating

It's just over a week since I was released from hospital. It has been great to be out. After the excitement of the trip to A&E last weekend the rest of the week was uneventful as my temperature returned to normal. On Thursday I visited my consultant back in Lincoln. She was very pleased with … Continue reading So Irritating

Changing Tastes

One of the strangest outcomes of my recent chemotherapy is the effect upon my appetite and tastes. This maybe partly due to the hospital food, which was not particularly appetising. However, during my most neutropenic period I lost all desire for food. One of the effects of the Melphalan is to strip the lining of … Continue reading Changing Tastes

For the Chop

In just three days I have lost most of my hair. The speed of this had perhaps been the most surprising thing to have happened in the whole treatment process. Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Though it will eventually grow back, there will be a substantial period of baldness or partial baldness for as much as … Continue reading For the Chop

Transfusion

The featured image shows my room from the outside. The long thin widows nearest to the grey tiled building are mine. As my neutrophils have continued to rise up to 0.6 at last count. The engrafted stem cells developing into neutrophils, red blood cells and platelets among other things. I have also had GCSF injections … Continue reading Transfusion

Neutropenic

I am now neutropenic. This means that there has been a significant drop in the number of neutrophils in my blood stream. Neutrophils are a particular type of white blood cell which are used as part of the bodies immune system. The neutrophils contain sacks of enzymes which digest microorganisms. The effect of the Melphalan … Continue reading Neutropenic

Calm Before The Storm

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 … Continue reading Calm Before The Storm

Day Zero

Day zero is the name given to the day of your stem cell transplant. This will happen this afternoon, 48 hours exactly after my chemotherapy took place. The extra day has been to allow my kidney time to flush the Melphalan out of my body, so it won't kill the newly introduced stem cells. I … Continue reading Day Zero

Poison Remedy Playlist

A series of tracks from my iTunes on the theme of poison and remedy (incorporating pill disease and cure). It's an eclectic mix ranging from the 80's new wave bands ABC and Depeche Mode , alternative 80's band The Cure (with a suitably titled song In Between Days as I'm between Chemotherapy and Stem Cell … Continue reading Poison Remedy Playlist

Noises in the Night

Tick, click, whoooooooo The clock The drip The air filtration unit It's constant, rhythmic noise Not easy to sleep with all this racket Whoooooooo, Tick, Click, Whoooooooo Whoooooooo, Tick, Click, Whoooooooo Whoooooooo, Tick, Click, Whoooooooo Tick The clock marking time Tick Reminding me that it's late Tick Counting the seconds Tick One by one Click … Continue reading Noises in the Night

Ice Pops and Poison

It's a strange thing to sit here as I've just been poisoned for my own good. The chemotherapy has started. Melphalan has been injected and I'm sitting here sucking on an ice pop. I've not had one in years but it's a necessary medical treatment. The purpose is to keep my mouth and gut cool … Continue reading Ice Pops and Poison

Kidney Matters

This afternoon I met with the kidney consultant. His aim was firstly to assess me ahead of any potential chemotherapy/stem cell treatment in order to determine whether I needed dialysis first. Secondly to answer questions about the way forward. There are a number of different scenarios but before I delve into each one the answer … Continue reading Kidney Matters