I know a face who I can show my true colours. To your arms, into your arms, I will go, when I’m low. ‘Cause total life forever, will never be enough
Total life forever – Foals

Day 0 : Stem Cell Transplant

Here’s a strange place to be. In between. The short term reactions to the melphalan (all carefully documented – but I’ll spare you the tally) have worn off. Deep inside me things are changing. (Dying, I hope! Die, myeloma, die!). But I can’t feel any difference. There has to be a 24 hour gap twixt chemo and stem cells, so we are simply counting time. I feel stir crazy in my room. (This is in part because I’m sharing a room – bring on the day when I’m too weak and they have to isolate me.)

The stem cells are the main event. Have to have all sorts of people in attendance, and the usual roll call of name, date of birth and hospital number. I’m having exactly one third of my harvested cells back – that’s 4.6m/kg – or 360 million cells in total. I have to have some meds in advance, to prevent reactions to the stuff my cells have been preserved in. And then the cells themselves go in pretty quickly. You can actually see the cells working their way down the tube. I smell of sweetcorn, apparently (can hardly smell it myself) from the preservative, but apart from that, all is well.

Go to work, boys! Recolonise my bones! Grow new marrow, and make me reborn. Stem cell transplantees often talk about having a new birthday (how regal). My SCT birthday will be 07/03. (An equivalent fraction of 14/06, by pleasing mathematical coincidence.)

But most importantly, I’m on the road to recovery. I’ve always loved travelling. I wonder what the potholes will be like, and if the bus has comfy seats?