The new me!!

Day 0 update

Yesterday was the day i received my donated stem cells, although it ended up being a bit of a stressful/emotional day on the whole!

In the morning I got a bit stressed out. My blood levels were still pretty high, especially comparing to where they were a few weeks ago! I also still didn’t have any side effects from the chemo, especially compared to last time I went through all this. Now most people would be pleased about this, however my concern was that if I’m not getting any side effects has the chemo actually killed off my old nasty bone marrow?!? So I spent the morning questioning the doctors and being reassured that they were happy with the regime, etc. It might be that I’m not effected in the same way with this chemo and also there is still plenty of time for the side effects to start!

Also my ciclosporin levels were faaaarrrr too high. It is meant to be around 100-150 and i think mine was near 450. Side effect wise I was suffering from tremors, high blood pressure and a bit of a headache. Consequently the doctors have skipped two of my doses and are reducing my ongoing dose significantly.

So I spent the afternoon keeping myself busy. Doing some time on my stepper to try and reduce my fluid retention (didn’t want puffy face for the pictures) which amazingly worked to an extent!! (I was still given a diuretic later in the day to try and get rid of the rest!) Doing some crochet squares, etc.

Then at 4:30 a crew of friends from work started to arrive ready for my stem cell infusion. Of course hospital timings are never reliable and I didn’t get the cells until 7pm!! It made it really special moment having all my friends there to share it with me and I have to thank the nurses loads for being so patient with them!! ha ha!

To be honest the stem cell infusion can be a bit of an anticlimax. Its literally a bag that looks similar to blood or platelets being transfused into your vein. A nurse stays with you the majority of the time and takes your observations every 15 minutes to look out for reactions. The possible reactions are similar to that of an allergic reaction, i.e. temperature, hives, tightness of breath. I did get a bit of a temperature over night, but I am feeling pretty well πŸ™‚

The little stem cells need to then find their way into your bone marrow to do their thang and produce new blood cells!! Its quite a strange thing knowing that someone elses bone marrow is inside you and also thinking about how it gets into your bones is just baffling!! But all I need to think about now is how grateful I am to my German donor and how this day marks the start of my new life without MDS!!

Here are a few photos from the day πŸ™‚

From anthony nolan:

Please please please if you haven’t already done so consider signing up to the bone marrow register and help save a life like mine and many others!


5 thoughts on “The new me!!

  1. Sarah

    Hi Emma, gosh what an emotional time for you!! It’s a joy and a relief to see these pics of your happy, smiling face – and looking GREAT, surrounded by your loyal AIMIA crew – what an amazing bunch they are too, hey!!? πŸ™‚ I love the sentiment in the Anthony Nolan card, and I now see why you were quoting Day Zero in previous blogs; I truly believe that this is a time to celebrate THE single most important thing in life – your good health – and a new start for you.
    I had my 28 week midwife appt today, and all the routine bloods/checks came back as good, so I was pretty emotional already- pregnancy hormones and the responsibility of growing a little human being (boy!) who is already so so loved by his big brother & sister and family, but reading your blog (as always, but moreso with the great news that you’ve shared today) I feel even more emotional – and HAPPY – as good health is the most important thing, and none of us should ever take it for granted. I really do appreciate how the material things in life don’t come anywhere close to the importance of health, and closely followed happiness and friendships. Thank you for being an inspiration to me, and to my family who are now so familiar with “Emma”, and to so many; for just being who you are – a born fighter, never giving up, with a smile that can light up the world. Happy 2nd (or 3rd) birthday, Emma!! Lots of love, Sarah & family xxxxx


  2. Sarah Reakes

    Well done, Emma. So pleased all has gone well. I’m now 306 days post transplant today and am extremely grateful for every passing day. I notice your bag of stem cells were a lot darker than mine but I think that’s because I had a sibling donor (my twin brother) and his stem cells were harvested literally along the corridor so fresh off the press as it were. Anyway, hope everything continues to go well! Sarah Reakes (MDS Patient Forum Member)


    1. Hi Sarah
      This bag was a lot darker than the bag I received previously! No idea why! My stem cells I got in 2011 looked between platelets and tomato ketchup! Great to hear things are going well for you! I look forward to this time next year when I will hopefully be feeling back to bring me again! X


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