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