Out

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

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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

Night Light

Could you sleep in a room which was as brightly lit as this? I imagine not. Yet this is what I'm supposed to do tonight. Some bright spark electrician decided to 'fix' the lighting this afternoon, The result, one of my lights does not go off. In truth that's not completely true. It does go … Continue reading Night Light

Hot and Cold

As I reach the bottom of the neutropenia curve, I am experiencing temperature fluctuations. Although generally I feel cold I have actually had a temperature of 38°C or above on a couple of occasions in the past two nights. This has required urgent action. Last night at 1am I was having blood extracted for culture … Continue reading Hot and Cold

Ups and downs

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

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

Time Shifts Slowly

A matter of routine. The days morph into weeks. One week down already. A long and slow descent. As my cells die slowly.   Within this room I lie. With four familiar walls. Shuttered window viewpoint. On Autumn world outside. It's a limited life.   Here in isolation. Yet not alone at all. Friends and … Continue reading Time Shifts Slowly

Get the Balance Right

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

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 0/1

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

Day Zero – Part 2 (Update)

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

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

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