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 🙂
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 🙂
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!