I shall try and update this blog as I go along today and then post it when today’s procedures are over and I am settled back into the Cotton Rooms.
So the time has arrived. This afternoon I receive the Melphalan and 24 hours later I will receive my stem cells.
We left home at 5.45 am after a rather restless night. Colin eventually got out of bed and has his breakfast at 4.15! It took just less than an hour to arrive outside the hospital, if we had left it any later we would have been likely to have sat in traffic for over two hours, hence the early start. So now I am awaiting my 9.15 appointment to have a new picc line inserted. It is a pretty painless procedure, I just hope, this being my third, it will last a bit longer as taking it out isn’t quite as pain free.
All went well thanks to the expertise of the amazing team in the Picc line department. Nothing to worry about there. Everything is carried out under surgical procedures giving me, the patient, the upmost confidence.
I have now had the once over in Ambulatory Care and all is set to go. I must admit, I was a little teary eyed as it seems to have taken a while to get to this stage and it is all rather overwhelming. I do however, have the most amazing specialist stem cell transplant nurse, who comforted both Colin and I and answered all our questions, relieving a lot of anxiety. A lovely doctor gave me a thorough health check and acknowledged that I had already been through an awful lot. I really appreciated this as he’s quite right. Two sets of drug trials (with all the chemo drugs that entails) and two lots of DT-PACE (6 chemo drugs for 4 days on the trot), is pretty heavy going.
The Mephalan now has to be prepared and I am currently lying on my bed in the Cotton Rooms after a lovely lunch in the canteen. (No I mean it, it really was delicious, either that or I am already losing my taste buds again).
I just have to wait now, for a call to return to Ambulatory Care for what my lovely specialist nurse described as, the mother of all chemo drugs. Believe it or not it is very closely related to mustard gas! Anyway, this will hopefully be the last lot of chemo I have to have for a considerable amount of time. The signs are looking good.
So here I am sitting in Ambi Care receiving the super drug. I managed to get through 4 ice lollies so hopefully that will help to prevent mouth sores. Have also been given some IV anti sickness drugs and have more I can take later so fingers crossed I won’t be throwing up tonight.
The Mephalan has a very short expiry date as you my be able to see, so timing is very important.
It’s now 3.30pm and I am tucked up in my PJ’s back in the Cotton Rooms just about to enjoy some tea and chocolate.
All of this whole process has of course been made so much easier by your kindness and generosity. Hardly a day has gone by when I haven’t received a card or parcel full of treats. I even received a large gift box from Fortnum & Mason this week, which really impressed our little village postman!
One day down, about another 19 to go I guess.
All going well so far with no more trips out now until 3pm tomorrow when I will be getting my very own defrosted stem cells back.
Thank you again everyone, I really don’t think I could do this without you.
You are AMAZING!
PS I must also report the treatment here at UCLH, is so far, exemplary. The nursing care couldn’t be better!