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Showing posts from August, 2008

T-9 and counting

Yes it's just nine full days until I go in for my transplant.

The week working from home has been good. I adjusted back pretty easily and thanks to the jabber instant messaging system we run at work I've been able to keep in the loop for banter and gossip.

I'm tying up a few loose ends and writing documentation for things at work so people will be able to find out about stuff whilst I am away.

My conjunctivitis is clearing nicely and the whites of my eyes are actually white again and no longer pink.

My cold however is being very annoying, it's cleared a little maybe since last Thursday when it started, but not much. It's not getting any worse either which is good but I just hope it is not fully "out" yet , to coin a phrase, and still has to get worse before it gets better.

I'm not running a temperature and it's mostly just a blocked nose. My throat does feel a bit sore and in the morning I can do a good Barry White impression but that is mostly from ha…

Back to "normal"

This morning I returned to Purdah proper and logged on to work from home.

My conjunctivitis has spread to the other eye, which was kind of inevitable. I spoke to the triage nurse at the eye hospital yesterday and she said it was ok to use the same bottle of eye drops for each eye which saved me a trip to the eye hospital.

My cold continues to bumble along not getting any worse nor any better at the moment.

I spoke to the Bone Marrow Transplant co-ordinator on the 'phone this morning and told her about my ailments. She said not to worry they will probably all clear in time and I should go in on the 8th September regardless so they can do a formal assessment and decide on an action/treatment plan accordingly.

When I went for my bloods and line flush the doctor at the day unit this afternoon also said pretty much the same and also if my eyes are still bad next Monday he can look at some different antibiotics to try.

So it's carry on as what has been normal for most of the the last 5…

One in the eye for my plans?

Late last night my eye felt rather sore but I just put this down to a bit of irritation from moving the furniture to help Gareth decorate the lounge. However, though I slept ok, when I woke about 07:00 my eye was very sore and rather bloodshot. I took an anti-histamine to see if that would help but in the end Gareth persuaded me to go to A&E to get it checked out. If it wasn't for the fact that it was a Bank Holiday tomorrow and the earliest I could see my GP would be Tuesday I might have put up more of a fight but I realised it made sense to get it looked at as soon as possible.

We went to the Birmingham & Midland Eye centre at City Hospital which is where I went when I was being treated for my dry eye syndrome and associated Cogan's Dystrophy. The doctor examined my eye and said it was conjunctivitis probably caused by bacteria rather than an allergy. He gave me some anti-bacterial drops to take 4 times a day and said it should clear within 7 - 10 days.

It's a bit…

New Olympic Event

Yesterday I was at the hospital most of the day to have a series of tests done and I decided it could be a possible new event for the 2012 London Olympics.

The BMT Triathlon is a test of stamina and organisational skills. The event's three sections are Kidney, Lungs and Heart.

The Kidney section is first but forms a long running backdrop to the whole event, in fact in "It's a knockout" terms it's the "Fil Rouge". At the sound of the starting pistol at 09:00 contestants are injected with a radioactive isotope and given a small tin with three phials in for blood tests to be taken two, three and fours hours after the injection.

The tins have to be carried down a flight of stairs from the Nuclear Medicine department across to the main hospital and up to the Haematology Day Unit on the 3rd floor of the main hospital. You can use the lift for this but with four lifts available contestants have to use their skill and judgement to decide which one will arrive firs…

Monday Afternoon Rush

Not a rush hour at the day unit like last Monday morning but this time a rush for me to get the to day unit yesterday afternoon.

My routine was all thrown out by arranging to have my bloods and line done on a Monday afternoon rather than the morning. First there was the 06:00 alarm on a Monday morning, something I've not had for nearly 5 months then I got carried away in a problem and work and nearly forgot to go to the day unit.

As it was I was only 10 minutes past alloted time for 15:00 and still had to wait half an hour anyway.

This is the start of my last week in the office and it's amazing how quickly one can adjust to a routine. Being in the office now seems perfectly normal again and going to the hospital and having bloods drawn seems like the novelty ( to a point).

Tomorrow is my last day in the office before the stem cell transplant. Thursday is a day of tests at the hospital and Friday is a holiday for one last long weekend of "normal" life before returning t…

Are you stitting comfortably? (PG)

Then I'll begin..........

Rated Possibly Gruesome for descriptions of drug side effects and medical procedures.

A very long post today as I saw my consultant yesterday and we went over the process of the transplant and its effects in some detail and I thought I'd share it with you.

First the basic sequence of events:

I'll have lung, heart and kidney tests on the 21st August. This is partly to make sure I am up to having the transplant and partly to provide a base line to compare against later to assess the affects of the various drugs I'll be having. The consultant said that given I'd already have some sort of symptoms if there was anything wrong it's unlikely that anything will turn up to mean I can't proceed with the transplant.

On the 28th August my donor will have some medical tests to make sure he is ok to give stem cells. I'm not totally sure what these tests are but I suspect some will be blood tests to check for infections like hepatitis, HIV , syp…

Monday Morning Rush Hour

Not on the roads, but at the day unit. They were very busy there yesterday and I had to wait about an hour before I was seen. It's not really a problem, I can just sit and read my book and there are always one or two other patients I know and we have a chat and catch up on where we are in our treatments etc.

Monday mornings are always a bit busy so for next week they've suggested I go in the afternoon rather than the morning. So I'll go into work in the morning and leave for the day unit at lunch time.

Bright Lights, Dark Knight

Friday I had a check up at the dentist and that was all clear, I just had a chip repaired on one tooth. It's important I have regular dental checks to eliminate my teeth as a possible source of infection.

On Friday evening I met Gareth from work and we had a meal before going to see the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight". It was my first trip into Birmingham (or town as I would call it ) for almost 5 months. It was a bit of an odd feeling, though little had changed at the Bullring - the odd shop under new management - it felt quite new and different. Being away from somewhere for a while makes you notice things you normally take for granted.

We ate at Wagamamas and then went to see The Dark Knight on the big Imax screen down at Millennium point. I enjoyed the film more than I thought I would based on some of the reviews I had heard or read. The Imax screen is certainly the way to see these big action films, there were audible gasps and people going "wow" at the…

A Close Shave

Yes this morning I had my first shave for about 3 months. I actually had some hair growing on my top lip and chin. It was mostly fine teenage bum fluff but it's an encouraging sign. My eyebrows and eyelashes are also making a slow come back ( last to go first to come back maybe?).

Work has been fine this week and I don't feel as tired as I did last week so clearly my sleep patterns are adjusting ok.

My sandwiches on Monday were delicious, the addition of lettuce, tomato and spring onion makes all the difference.

Meanwhile the Yul Brynner story continues. My friend Mike pointed me to this page on the Internet Movie Database that lists trivia for the film The King and I:-

"The reality of the "Shall We Dance" sequence was that Deborah Kerr suffered continual bruising from the hoops in her skirt, and Yul Brynner - a heavy chain-smoker who had already lost a lung to his habit - had to take oxygen in between takes."

So it does look like the registrar was right about Y…

Start the Week...........

...........not with Andrew Marr, or Melvyn Bragg ( or even Robert Robinson ) but with a trip to the day unit for blood tests and a line flush. It seemed ages since I was there last but it was only a week. After that I drove in to the office and did a half day.

I've also had my clinic appointment with the consultant who will be handling my stem cell transplant to discuss in detail all the whys and wherefores of the procedure. This is on the 14th August.

Although we've been talking about the transplant for nearly a year now, this will be the chance to get down to all the nitty gritty and discuss the fine detail of what is involved. Everything I've gone through up to now has been a dress rehearsal for this. To use a footballing analogy I've come through the qualifying rounds and now I'm in the finals. ( I hope there aren't any penalty shoot outs ahead).

Busy Bee

Well I've managed my first part week at work and it's been fine, I'm even coping with the alarm going off at 06:00.

As well as going back to work I've also started to do other "normal" things that I haven't been able to whilst I've been having chemo. On Friday night we had Domino's pizza and on Saturday Gareth and I went shopping at Tesco at a busy time and I mixed with the hoi polloi .

In fact it's been quite a busy weekend. I had a new fridge freezer delivered earlier in the week so we took my old small fridge over to Gareth's mom's as her's had broken and she's waiting until the kitchen has been remodeled before getting a new one. Then we took a load of stuff down the dump and re-organised our kitchen.

This afternoon we visited friends who were holidaying at a cottage in Ashbourne in the Derbyshire Dales. The rain kept off and we had a very pleasant afternoon.

Hightlights for next week are a trip to the day unit on Monday and th…