5 years since my Bone marrow transplant today.
If it was today 5 years ago i would be in hospital having my Stem cells given back to me. basically if you don’t know how that works; you have your stem cells harvested by an injection to encourage reproduction in your large flat bones, (hips and Sternum) your connected to a machine. 1mm needle in each arm, then the blood goes into a machine and is flicked. the heavy cells (stem cells) are heavier and end up in a bag. Which are then cleaned and stored in Nitrogen. You don’t have to be in remission to do this. Although a very severe chemo given to you over 3 days called ICE is administered. This is called a cycle so if you have 2 cycles its 3 days in hospital normally., per cycle. I was the second person to have it as an out patient. That in itself is severe to deal with. I vomited immediately. Having to up meds to stop sickness.
You then have 7 days chemo in hospital attached to chemo nearly 24×7. that’s called BEAM. Once that’s gone in your body, your cells are given back to you called day +1. otherwise known as you re-birthday. that’s today 21/05/2020.
i have to stress at this point that all this treatment meant you had no immunity what so ever for about a week. your spaced out, angry, and feel helpless. that’s the worst for me thinking there was nothing i could do. that it was out of my control and in the hands of people i did not know, but trusted them with my life.
While I was attached to my chemo I did press ups, and walked when my wife was not there to the bathroom and back completing 3km plus every single day and a minimum of 50 press-ups a day.
So what was it like?
Personally i think it was harder for my loved ones my wife, mum dad Brother sister family and friends. it was a means to an end I set myself a goal. To get out in 3 weeks and get to 5 years. That’s today.
I wrote everyday for a whole year while i was in there I wrote once a day no matter what but sometimes more, to encourage those that may have this process in the future. I realised early on that writing would be one of the things that i could do whilst locked in that small room. Recently i have not been on my blog that much but to my surprise there has never been a day goes past, where it does not get read.
how it felt !
I don’t mind telling you, that room was hard to deal with. it was like being locked in a room but you could leave if you wanted to. but if you did you probability is vastly reduced. You leave “You will die” You have to finish. There is no option and there were times when i actually felt like i would survive if i jumped out the window. we were on the 7th floor but trust me i actually believed i could and even planned to do it. its all normal in the world of transplant though. i believe my dad when he was in hospital thought he was a Lion. drugs do funny things to people. the whole process was overwhelming. but doable .
There are so many people to thank, not least the #NHS the staff are to many to name but the oncology at Southport were the ones that saved my life. The BMT unit at the Royal Liverpool. What an amazing bunch they were. Helping people that would otherwise be dead have a new start in life.
My friends and family that called me each day and cheered me up when i was down. or wound me up. i am sure Sky chuckled right then. (He knows)
Having a BMT affects everyone involved in your life that’s for sure! you make friends that will last a lifetime. You learn so much about your health your body and how to stay healthier. drinking far more water now than ever i did. staying hydrated being the no1 thing that keeps our bodies shifting the unwanted waste from us.
one thing we loved in hospital was my mums Faith diaries part of the post above links you to it. Or here The path to recovery.
one thing i was amazed at were the acts of kindness people did. video calls from Egypt whilst losing his granparents but yet still encouraging me. the parcels my mum n dad brought up to their son. my friend the jeweller came and dropped individually wrapped fruit for my wife to bring in. my friends children sent me videos and wrote messages and made canvasses for me. nephew Josh sent in a box with a monkey, my sister sent in a box. well came to the hospital to send it. Ethan was the only nephew that saw me in there. Hi 5 Eath.
Thankyou everyone of you that were there for me/us. The kindness of my own wife’s work colleagues too. Its been amazing knowing who your true friends are.
in my mind i have seen this mile stone as the last stumbling block, the last one in believing i would be rid of cancer. i have learnt a lot during these last 9 years from my first diagnosis. i have been slow, lacking get up and go and not felt like i liked the new me.
well today is the day that i change my thinking. That my thinking should change from
“i am what i am because of cancer”
“That was then this is now” mentality.
i have been plagued with all sorts of things. But its all in the past now. today is my new day plus 1 with 1825 learning days maybe 1 or 2 less due to leap years. i am sure someone will correct me. Thanks in advance.
i want you to know that finishing any challenge starts with a step. but the key ingredient is to be determined to get to the end. never ever give up. i watched all the Rocky movies whist in that room and my fav other film. our wedding DVD. what a great day that was.
when i was first diagnosed we moved to a house nearer to the sea, we have had cancer in our lives ever since we have lived here. but as soon as i knew there was gonna be a fight i sought plans for an extension started by someone i called a friend. Good things happen with a positive mental attitude and a support network of people that genuinely care about you. I wrote a list and got my wife to photograph all of the cards. here is the post. sorry if your names not there. “But that was then and this is now”
Its not easy facing anything in life, people give up when the going gets tough. The only way to carry on is to realise how precious you are and your life. You have to want it really want it. Sometimes you have to realise what you could lose and change your life for a bit. Respect life and those that are in it. When bad things happen only the. Who your really are is revealed.
Thanks for reading and I hope you feel energised. Because only you stand in the way of you.
Stay safe everyone and here’s to another 5 years.
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