A complete response

I had the results of my most recent (last week’s) PET/CT scan today. The good news – no, excellent news – is that it shows I’ve made a complete response to treatment for MCL. So I’m officially in remission.

The plan from here is that I will have a Hickman line fitted tomorrow, followed by my 6th cycle of chemotherapy. I should be out of hospital again on Saturday. There’s still some concern about me being slightly anaemic and neutropenic, so it may still be delayed by a week if my counts haven’t recovered by tomorrow lunchtime.

Packed and ready to go for cycle 6

Packed and ready to go for cycle 6

The tricky bit comes next – the stem cell harvest and transplant. Stem cell harvest should be straightforward. I will have a series of mobilising injections during the first few days of July. I’ll then be hooked up to a machine for a few hours that will filter the stem cells from my blood. These will be frozen until I’m ready for the transplant.

Transplant consists of an ultra-strong dose of chemotherapy given over 5 days, followed by what should be a relatively fast (minutes) return of my stem cells. Initial recovery should take a couple of weeks before discharge. I hope to make a full recovery over the following 2-6 months.

I’m still concerned about the transplant. It’s the most daunting part of the process and carries the most risk. Hopefully my reaction to treatment so far will minimise any likelihood of severe problems.

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