MJN
Posted by
MJN

Small but significant

MJN
Posted by
MJN
08 Nov 2014

Some weeks are sent to test you and this was one of those. Today I got the fantastic news that my new immune system has started to grow with my blood results showing a Neutrophil level of 1.47. You probably have about 3.0 and I need a minimum of 1.0 to be allowed out of the building so why am I not sprinting for the hills? Well I’m not quite there yet.


Since last Saturday I’ve had an infection which struck when my immunity was at its very lowest. For 4 days I had temperatures consistently above 39C which is unhealthy to say the least and dangerous when they creep over 40C. The problem comes because so many of the vital proteins in your body are not able to exist above 41C – imagine what happens to an egg white when you heat it up and this is what starts to happen in the body. The process is called denaturing and once it starts the body begins to shut down.


I cannot remember a thing for 4 days because I was delirious or asleep but I was conscious enough to know that things weren’t going so well. Alison stayed by my side for hours on end without hearing me respond to a single question sensibly (a not entirely unusual situation) and the situation seemed not to change. Doctors moved from anti-biotic to anti-biotic until on Wednesday there was a bit of a shift, the temperatures came steadily down and I became more lucid. It’s been all up since then, I’ve eaten solids and although I’m still not through and the odd temperature spike upsets things, I know those marvellous little cells are getting on top.


It’s been a tough week but we’re so grateful for all the messages and care that people have sent. I am certain that my recovery has a bigger carbon footprint than China thanks to the number of candles being lit on my behalf and the gates of heaven are stormed daily on our behalf. Thank you. It makes a massive difference. When I got good news this morning I felt lifted and now I'm shattered again.


I can have a proper look at some Catch22 material this week and having signed up to Spotify, there are many playlists to compile. If all goes well, I could be heading out of here in a week.

What a difference 7 days makes.

If you've recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and have yet to receive treatment you could be eligible to take part in a new clincial trial. Read more here.

Comments

Anonymous
08.11.2014

Great news Mark, keep going. Stay strong and focused. You're doing great.

Anonymous
08.11.2014

Mark ! I'm going to just say 'Thank God' for your innate strength and fighting spirit, your wonderful team at Saint James, and by no means least, your towering, brilliant wife. We'll keep up the prayers while you keep up the good work, love Marie and Jim xx

Anonymous
08.11.2014

Hey there, I wish you everything of the best and will pray for your healing.

God bless,

Jenny

Anonymous
09.11.2014

Keep fighting Mark, lots of love & prayers with you always.

Anonymous
09.11.2014

Mark, sending both yourself and Ali a big hug! Thoughts and prayers are with you both. So glad to hear you're feeling a little brighter - stay focused buddy

Anonymous
09.11.2014

Never been so relieved to see a decimal point shift one spot to the left in my entire life! (And coming from a statistician that's quite something). So pleased things seem to be heading in the right direction and those miraculous cells are bursting into life. One day closer. Love to you both. D xxx

10.11.2014

Hi Mark,

Thanks so much for the update - you had us all worried! So glad that the infection is on the way out and that you're getting back to your old self. Hang in there buddy - the key thing is that the transplant has taken and you're producing the white blood cells again. Keep eating the hospital grub, get lots of rest and you'll be out before you know it!

10.11.2014

Wow what an up and down week! So pleased you're back on the up. Fingers crossed you continue that way ! Keep us posted. Lauren 

Anonymous
10.11.2014

Glad to hear you feeling a bit better Mark, keep at it.

Anonymous
10.11.2014

Keep going Mark, we are all behind you.

Anonymous
12.11.2014

hey - still in our thoughts and prayers and really hoping those numbers are doing what they're supposed to. i've been thinking about a catch 22 - but with meals! would be interested to know what foods you're most looking forward to when you get off hospital food and what some of your favourite meals have been over the years ...

lots of love to you both
D xx

Anonymous
12.11.2014

Keep fighting buddy.

What are the rules on amending your Catch 22 list btw ?

Anonymous
13.11.2014

I also had HL and had to have stem cells transplanted (my own). I remember so well the nurse taking my temperature and then hammering on my cell door to attract another nurse's attention. When I asked what she was getting upset about she told me my temperature was high. I said she was talking rubbish, but a couple of hours later I was so ill that I was told I might end up in critical care, and if that happened I was unlikely to come out. Well, 3 infections later and lots of drugs I made it! 5 years in remission. Looking forward to hearing you have escaped. Good luck

George smiling, wearing a bow tie and silly hat for New Year 2017/18
19.11.2014

Good to hear you got over that hump, Mark!

I remember so well that moment of hearing the stem cells had engrafted and neutrophils were up. I somehow managed to pick up the flu, so had to stay longer in hospital, too; fortunately it wasn't too dangerous a strain.

All the best for continuing improvements!

Anonymous
20.11.2014

Best wishes, thoughts and prayers to speed your recovery, love from Michaela, Gerry and Gill Quinn.