Paul Lockyer
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All set for my Bone Marrow Transplant

Paul Lockyer
Posted by
16 Dec 2015

Several days of intense chemo & full body radiation before l was ready for D-0, two very long days attached to a "Dave" during which l recieved my new bone marrow & l am forever greatful to my donor.

My blood samples were sent to Anthony Nolan for matching with a donor, l can remember when the story of this little boy first hit the headlines, l was around fifteen at the time. His mother fought so hard for him before eventually launching the register in his name. Their tireless work has saved thousands & little did l know back then that one day l would need the service of this fantastic charity. 

Mid January l revisited the Royal Marsden to be given the good news that they had found several acceptable bone marrow donors and was given a timetable for the transplant. I was getting used to the idea now, my donor was to be German so l learned a few random phrases to amuse everyone. The nurses always laughed when l told them " ich habe ein Zwiebelkopf " (l hope it said you are beautiful). February arrived and l had to attend various appointments in preparation for BMT, they checked the function of everything heart, liver, kidneys & lungs & the dreaded bone marrow biopsy, at this point l had the Hickman Line fitted. 

Monday February 24th was D-4 the preparation begun for my BMT my body was bombarded with chemo over the next few days, l also received full body immersion radiotherapy. Although l kept reassuring the doctor l felt fine, the last few days of intense treatment had started to take a toll. I was finally declared neutropenic, where the white blood cell count is less than one & l was ready to be "be reborn" for want of a better description.

Day 0 arrived & treatment started very early 06:00 with bags & bags of fluid going up, around 11:00 l was given the bone marrow (surprisingly two small bags of fluid) which took around forty minutes. It wasn't over yet, l was connected to the drip til past midnight. I was awoken on day +1 for this to be repeated 06:00+/- through past midnight (apart from bone marrow). 

The doctor had continually asked me how l was feeling... "Fine thanks" l would stupidly reply... You won't be he kept adding... I was soon to find out why ! Its very hard to use the exact words but here are a few SLAUGHTERED, BATTERED, WIPED OUT, ROUGH!, TIRED oh so, l virtually went to sleep on D+3 & didn't really fully come to until the 27th March & COLD. I remember getting out of bed for the bathroom & feeling frozen to the core.

There was no way l could face food, l tried a few things but oh the smell just turned me off. I eventually managed some jelly & ice cream... oh & Calypo ice lollies this was to relieve the dry mouth. It wasn't until l went home that my appetite returned. Also my potassium levels were low & l would spend five hours at a go hooked up to a pump, as this has to be administered very slowly.

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