I'm now well and truly into my fourth and last cycle of chemotherapy. I have felt stronger at the start of each cycle which I put down to the excellent care I am receiving and the, fortunately for me, positive response my body has to that care.
I hope to complete my hospital in-patient treatment by the end of July and notwithstanding the follow up care and review I will require, probably at the Day Unit, I will be able to recuperate during August. This will in turn, I hope, give me the strength to complete the LLR 5K 'Forget Me Not Walk' in Pollock Park in Glasgow on Sunday 1st September 2013. I have already signed up for it as has my wife. We will probably take the dogs along too. I am hopeful some of my Rotary Club of Renfrew colleagues will join in as well, as our Club President has kindly agreed that one of our main charities over the next year will be LLR. Details of the walk are on the LLR website.
Since my last blog I have been able to achieve a goal I didn't think I would. I was fortunate enough, and very honoured and humbled, to be awarded the MBE in the last New Years Honours list. I was scheduled to receive my MBE for my work within the Emergency Service I work for as well as my contribution to the community in the West of Scotland, at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh on Tuesday 2nd July at an Investiture by her Majesty the Queen. In March when I was diagnosed with AML it seemed impossible I would be able to attend. However, my progress thanks to the care I have received, and with support from my family and work colleagues, as well as support from the staff in the Haematology unit to time my cycles of treatment, resulted in me being able to receive my award from Her Majesty. I could have postponed it till later in the year but to be able to do this whilst still being treated for AML was very important to me and I hope it sends a positive signal to those of you newly diagnosed or currently under treatment.
On this blog, the aspect of care I'd like to mention is that of the Day Unit staff. They carry out a range of functions designed to enable Patients with Leukaemia, Lymphomas, and such like, at home, or as vital follow up to in-patient periods. In my own case, after each cycle of treatment, I generally have routine bloods taken off, my Peripheral Central Line cleaned & dressed, a review with one of the Consultants, and usually a bone marrow aspirate for ongoing monitoring. Like the main Ward staff, the people who work in this unit are so friendly, and do a fantastic job. I for one am appreciative of their role as it affords me vital time at home but with the comfort of knowing I am still being cared for by the unit.