In another twelve days I’ll be checking into the haematology ward at Nottingham City Hospital. There will be another week of intensive chemotherapy, with my stem cell transplant scheduled for 13th September – hence my blog’s countdown clock. It will be my re-birthday. I wonder if I will get presents and a party? Tick, tick, tick …
I’ve recovered well following the end of ‘regular’ chemotherapy and stem cell harvest in July. I’m back above 90kg again, having dipped below 86kg at one point. My trousers no longer fall down without a belt and one of my newer shirts felt a little bit tight yesterday. I still get tired easily, but I’ve managed a week away in the Peak District, driven the Caterham around, seen friends and eaten out a few times. I even went to the cinema for the first time in ages yesterday to watch “Christopher Robin”. I was pleased to see that the film stars a grey (or gray) Disney Eeyore much like my own, liberated from the USA in 2001.
I can’t say that I’m looking forward to September. My consultant says that I’ve around a 98% or 99% chance of living through the experience. A 5%-10% chance of complications so serious that I end up in intensive care. He says it’s almost certain I’ll get some kind of fever and need pumping full of antibiotics. Whatever happens the transplant won’t cure my lymphoma, but it will prolong my remission. Hopefully for many years. The raw statistics for MCL would seem to bear his assessment out.
My consultant may seem more of an Eeyore than I am. And I’m more of an Eeyore than, well, Eeyore. But I’m not a number or an average. Nothing bad has happened so far, so I have to believe that nothing bad will happen in the next month.
I am looking forward to recovering and finding out what my “new normal” is. I can’t wait to get rid of my Hickman line, even though it’s easier to cope with than the PICC I had earlier on. I’d like the tiredness to go away and the chemo-brain moments to be less frequent. I want to go back to work. I will contribute to society again.
I have big plans for 2019 (and the tail end of 2018, too).
Tick, tick, tick …