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In the space of a 12 hours I have been asked to write about how I felt, what it was like to have a bone marrow transplant. What procedures were like Twice, I guess not from a horror story perspective . Just how I coped, how I would encourage others to do the same also. So here goes, how I coped with my transplant, I have touched on this before I think but not made it completely clear what I speak about.
My stem cells being harvested….
I remember turning up at the allocated time and walking into the ward where there are 4 doors to 4rooms with ensuite facilities, my nurse came to the door on the 7 th floor of the royal Liverpool hospital and took me to the room where I was to spend the next 3 weeks minimum in isolation. The nurse was very pleasant, but it did not matter how nice she was I broke down completely on entering that room. I sobbed like a baby that I had to go through this nightmare, that I even had cancer. Cancer is without doubt the hardest thing I have ever faced. The first thing you have to do is completely trust in the staff that they know what they are doing whilst maintaining your dignity. Whilst also making sure that they do what you need them to for you to be comfortable.
The first night I went home, as it was only a nights sleep then come into the hospital the next day for my Hickman line placement. People say it’s easy and don’t worry, hard for a control freak like me to submit control of anything never mind your life. It just seemed to be a never ending line up of fights that I had to do and win. I was tired going into that room, weary at all that had already gone and been done and of course won. The first blog I wrote in hospital I wrote with gritted teeth “I AM MARK, A CANCER FIGHTER. I WILL WIN” as far as I was concerned it was impossible to do. But I had support from friends and family. There was one person who was there for me no matter what, she stayed by my side. Through the fear, through the fights. Holding my hand as I cryed out not knowing how the chemo would effect me, friends would call me, my dad ever faithful contacted me everyday without fail. Friends called me up and made me laugh, I did press ups, walked everyday with my drip attached determined I would lose no muscle. I ate and ate even though I had ulcers from lips to rear. I cryed like a baby with every mouthful.
I believed by faith that there was a reason for all this suffering and hoped every hour I would get out alive, I had smoked right up until I went in that room, and still to this day I am a non smoker. My wife would come every day about 11 with my costa coffee and leave at the latest possible time everyday. ( so hard writing this ) but I so want people maybe you. To know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I used twitter, Google and other methods to find positivity. Putting positive words in search boxes, holding hands with my wife as my body shook in pain. Eating is the main thing in there, and drinking water, they are vital for your recovery.
When ever Andie left for home I would go to the toilet and find her gone when I came back out. I could never watch her leave. You just find ways to cope, even using tranquillisers to put me out a bit sometimes although not often and never relying on them.
Then there was the miraculous day 184 days ago when my stem cells went back into my body on May 22nd, I remember it being a warm feeling. A feeling that gave me strength, it gave me a feeling of hope and freshness. It was a clean feeling, like I had been washed by chemo. I will tell you more about how it felt to be neutrapeenic at a later date if you like? But for now be encouraged, and know what ever you fight is for a reason. That’s it’s worth it, but you must always believe it’s possible, no matter what. Reach out to your friends and family. That’s what they are there for.
Have a good weekend
Everything you read are based on my own experience and my own opinions. I express them here to encourage you. Please share with others, if it meant something to you it will to someone else.