T – 2 days till Stem Cell transplant

Check in on Friday 12th February was smooth and painless – except for the wee blip of having to have my trusty Hickman line removed by ‘team Edinburgh’ just before heading to the Beatson. New line is now in place and working well.

The staff are all very welcoming and day one was filled with the usual admin, bloods, sharing my ‘protocol’ for the next Year! It’s really a bit like a project plan – which I’m very familiar with – and lays out what chemo, other drugs and procedures I should expect and when. There are even slots for my childhood immunisations (MMR, polio etc)

This week in the run up to my re-birthday on the 19th is mainly conditioning chemo to obliterate my immune system. I’ve already done 4 days of one hour sessions and then an additional 2 lots of 4 hour sessions – no ill effects thus far.

Today I have a one hour session, followed by a big bundle of preventative drugs then a 12 hour chemo shift which means I will be tied to my room 😦 Same regime tomorrow then it’s the big day. 

My donor is having his stem cells collected today, and I’ve got a crazy vision of them being frozen in dry ice, and rushed into a blacked out James Bond-Esk helicopter and raced to Glasgow.

Been talking to a number of folk around the hospital and it’s amazing how many think a stem cell tranplant is a big, invasive operation. When they hear that actually it’s really just like a blood transfusion for the recipient and a blood donation for the donor they are really surprised.  

To me this presents a big opportunity to communicate and demystify the process – which will hopefully encourage more reqistratoins to donate stem cells. 

And in some wonderful news from across the pond my pal Audrey “rang the bell” a tradition in the Moffitt Centre stem cell transplant ward when a patient grafts and can be discharged as she left yesterday at day 21 after her transplant to get rid of her AML. Still a way to go but that’s a huge mountain climbed my friend.  #goAudrey #inspirational

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12 thoughts on “T – 2 days till Stem Cell transplant

  1. Hi Jennifer, afraid not. We (me and the hospital) are having to be hyper vigilant so no one at all with colds or recent contact with colds……I’m so sorry as I’d have loved to see you, but better play it safe as my immune system is only 12 days old 🙂

    We will get something organised soon, promise x

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    1. I suspected as much and I am so sorry. I am into week 3 of this cold and pretty fed up with it but compared to what you’re going through I have no right to complain (but that won’t stop me). Anyway another week or so and I should be completely bug free so I’ll catch up with you then (let me know when you are being released) and I’ll either see you in Glasgow or in Edinburgh.

      Awoke to a sprinkling of snow in Dunoon but had a lovely sunny walk with the dog overlooking Bute and Arran. However it has clouded over and is now smirring so won’t have such a nice afternoon walk. Was in Dundee Monday/Tuesday so today is my working at home day…….working in fits and starts. Off tomorrow for a night in Stirling to catch up with a girlfriend from Aberdeen then Friday lunching in Glasgow with college friends – I don’t really have time to work!

      Jennifer xx

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    2. How’s it going with you? Is your immune system beginning to pick up yet? My cold is finally on the retreat and I was wondering if you would still be at the Beatson next week, either Thursday or Friday?

      Just back from dog walking – hills have icing sugar tops and the sun is shining – it’s really lovely.

      Jennifer xx

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        1. That’s great, you must be so pleased that your new cells have kicked into action. Behave yourself and I’ll get in touch about a catch-up in the east.

          Jennifer

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  2. Aileen

    Just discovered the news about your journey since October 2015 from Alison. I certainly need to improve my jungle drums! All the very best for tomorrow – go, girl, go.

    Now you know I am always looking for an excuse to visit Glasgow from sunny Dunoon so when you are up for a visit just let me know.

    Jennifer xx

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          1. After 11:00 will suit me just fine. I’ll confirm the day before to check that it still suits you. My mobile is 07885 365782 if you want to call. Take care J xx

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          2. Hope you are still doing well. I’ve got the tail end of a cold so is it still okay to see you tomorrow? I promise I won’t have any actual contact with you! If okay all being well with travel I should be with you by 11:30.

            Jennifer xx

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