Ready as I can be….

….for the week ahead.

So the plan is, although as you have probably learnt by now plans have a habit of changing in the world of myeloma, that we will go down to UCLH in London again on Wednesday. On that day I shall have a new pic line inserted and be given a large dose of a very powerful chemo called Mephalan. Although high-dose melphalan is the most common chemotherapy regimen used to kill residual myeloma cells just before stem cell transplantation, it often causes side effects such as diminished production of blood cells, gastrointestinal problems, and increased risk of infection. I have been told to expect to be physically sick and have a terrible stomach upset, it is a necessary evil. I will be given ice lollies to eat whist the drug is being administered to help to avoid mouth sores. The next day I will receive my stem cells back. These were harvested over a year ago and have been waiting in a freezer somewhere until I needed them. I was hoping it wouldn’t be for a while yet but unfortunately my remission following the PADIMAC drug trial was very short.

I will start off in the Cotton Rooms (the NHS hotel) but at the first signs of sickness I will be transferred to the Haematology ward. Here I will stay in an infection controlled room until I am well enough to come home. This will be from anything between 2-4 weeks depending on how well the new stem cells engraph onto my bone marrow and whether I can remain free from infection. I should expect to feel extremely fatigued following the whole process and should allow 3-6 months before I feel anything like normal again.

For those of you who may be interested to read more about the whole process, please copy or click on this link:
http://www.myeloma.org.uk/information/myeloma-uk-publications-list/myeloma-treatment/high-dose-therapy-and-autologous-stem-cell-transplantation-infoguide/

I am as ready as I will ever be and have a marvellous team to support me. I won’t pretend not to be rather anxious about the whole thing but I will take your love, support and strength with me and get through it.

I am pretty fed up of being in treatment and look forward to a time free of hospital visits even, if it is only ever likely to be, for just a few weeks at a time.

I can count my blessing as I have the most wonderfully supportive husband and loving family by my side. Not to mention all the support I regularly receive from you all.

So here goes, I shall try and keep you posted as regularly as I feel able.

Thank you once again for all your kindness, I couldn’t do it without you all standing strong with me. It is hard to put into words the difference it makes and how much I appreciate it.

So wish me luck

Deborah xxxx

Filed under: Myeloma, NHS