Extracts from my Wordpress blog
Extracts from my Wordpress blog
'This is your very first post.'
Yep indeed it is and I don't have a clue what I'm doing but here goes.
Today is a fairly momentous day. Im being admitted the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for a life saving bone marrow transplant. I suppose I should tell you a little bit about story.
In early April after suffering what I thought was just the most horrendous bout of flu I had some standard blood tests just to check to see if there was some sort of virus that I couldn't fight off. I'd been incredibly poorLy for over two weeks, was tired, could barely walk up the stairs without feeling like my heart was pounding through my chest and had become particularly clumsy, even hitting my head on my daughters bedroom wall because I misjudged the distance when bending down to pick clothes up off the floor. Connected to all this (thigh I didn't join the dots at the time) I had terrible problems with my teeth and gums and was bruising from the tiniest bump. In all honestly I had probably ignored a lot of symptoms, I had just gone back to work as a teacher after maternity leave and I love love love my job. I never phone in sick and feeling so lacking in energy was driving me mad. I just wanted to be there with the kids and get back into the swing of things.
I had the blood tests on a Thursday and was told results would be 2 weeks. The next day (Friday April 10th) while at a party I had numerous missed calls and eventually when I picked up my messages I was asked to go into Worcester Royal Hospital immediately as I was severely anaemic and needed a blood transfusion. "Oh, now the makes sense" I thought innocently and gladly went off with my overnight bag, little did I know that 1 night would turn into 75!
I barely remember that weekend to be honest, there were nurses and chats with the on call consultant who said a lot about blood counts ( little did I know I'd become an expert on blood counts) and the word leukaemia was mentioned. Next was a bone marrow biopsy and then on Monday 12th bang, diagnosis. Acute myeloid leukaemia.
I'm 33, have 2 very young children and life is fab, I can't possibly have cancer.
"You are remarkably calm" says the consultant. I was calm, that's the weird thing, I've been pretty calm ever since too to be honest. To be it was simple, I just wanted to know what we had to do to cure it, get me better, get me home.
So 2 days after admission to Worcester I began chemotherapy. Now this was 4 months ago so here's a brief rundown of what happened next..
-cycle 1, remarkably few side effects but no cell recovery after a few weeks so bone marrow biopsy was done. Bad news, it had not succeeded and there were a lot of leukaemia cells still present. Devastated as this meant starting another cycle straight away instead of going home. At some point in the week that followed in hospital i discover I have a particularly aggressive form of AML and chemo isn't going to do the trick so the hunt for a bone marrow donor is on.
- cycle 2 ( FLAG IDA) much, much tougher cycle and picked up at least one infection while counts were 0 so was pretty out of it for at least a week. Took a mammoth 5 weeks for cells to recover but bone marrow biopsy shows I am finally in remission. We have also found out that a 10/10 donor has been found, relief is overwhelming.
-25th June I was finally allowed home to spend some precious time with my beautiful children.
- week commencing 6th July- was told by my consultant I'd have to have a top up of chemo to keep me in remission before the transplant. Quite gutted to be honest as I knew this would mean re admission when my counts dropped.
- 16th July, the phone call, neutrophil counts down to 0.5 so re admitted.
- 28th July thank heavens for GCFS injections, counts start to recover after 2 weeks and lovely staff let me go home 2 days later to be monitored at home as they know how important it is for me spend time with the children before transplant.
So, that's 4 months of my life crammed into a few paragraphs, today I decided to write this blog so anyone who needs a transplant can get an honest account of the process and for friends and family to keep on track with proceedings. Apologies if I'm blunt, swear a bit or upset you. I will be nothing but honest.
The the past 11 days I have been at home, in the sunshine spending time with my girls and getting ready mentally for today. So now I'm here, in my new room in a new hospital ready to start treatment tomorrow. Bring it on, let's kick cancer up the ass.