Time ticks on and there has been little to say in recent weeks. Both my wife and I remain off work on sick leave, following her heart attack and my slow recovery from the stem cell transplant. We both are recovering well and have started to do a little more as we gear up for … Continue reading Where I’m At
It never rains but it pours. This English idiom describes the fact that just when you think it can't get worse something else comes along to make you re-evaluate your thinking. Such has been the past 48 hours or so.
It had been a good day. Anita and my daughter had been up to visit and we'd had a nice walk around Whisby Nature Reserve. I was feeling tired but good. Glad to be out. At about 8pm I began to feel nauseous and sadly emptied my stomach. Taking my temperature, it was 38.3°C. I … Continue reading A Trip to A&E
I was released from hospital a day earlier than expected and given transport back to Lincoln. It is here I will be staying for the coming few weeks as I recuperate. Lincoln is my family home. It is also the UK hospital where I was first diagnosed and treated for Myeloma. When my wife (Anita) … Continue reading Why Lincoln?
It was quite a surprise to be visited by the Professor (senior consultant) this morning and told I was leaving today. All week long the plan has been that Anita would pick me up Saturday and take me to Mum's in Lincoln. This had been agreed with doctors and nurses. I want to leave but … Continue reading Out
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
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
My head has been itchy for the last few hours. It was a little disconcerting to look down at the keyboard this morning and find lots of hairs. This is consistent with the Melphalan chemotherapy I have had, occurring 7-14 days after treatment. It may be that I lose all my hair or that it … Continue reading Hair Loss
The doctor came to see me this morning. My white blood cells on the way up, having been 0.1 for days it is now up to 0.2. This is a small change but the pattern is usually exponential and can be expected to rise rapidly in the next 48 hours . They are even suggesting … Continue reading Progress
This past 24 hours I have started to feel more unwell. This has mainly been a low level nausea and an accompanying headache. I have completely lost my appetite and find it particularly hard to eat any form of meat. I have been given anti- sickness and anti-diarrhoea medicines which has helped. My mouth and … Continue reading Ups and downs
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
The body is a complex organism. There are many chemical reactions going on inside of us all of the time and we never give it a second thought most of the time. As processes happen others are triggered which compensate and result in a consistent environment which keeps us healthy most of the time. Biologists … Continue reading Get the Balance Right
Today has been busy, after a quieter morning. I managed to get reasonable sleep in spite of regular trips to the loo, due to the diuretics. They were worried I was retaining too much water, but the body is a complex organism and getting the balance is difficult. In recent days they have increased my … Continue reading Day 0/1
As ever things are slightly different to expectations. The general guide to this treatment quoted this morning is modified here in Nottingham. The procedure itself will start at 4pm and not 3pm as originally written. I will be given Piriton and Hydrocortisone to prevent any allergic reaction to the DMSO The stem cells will be … Continue reading Day Zero – Part 2 (Update)
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