My Video Diary Part 6
May 2007 Archives
My Video Diary Part 6
My Video Diary Part 5
My Video Diary Part 4
My Video Diary Part 3
My Video Diary Part 2
Here are a series of video blogs outlining the major steps in my bone marrow transplant.
Throughout my illness I have been given the most tremendous support.
Firstly I would like to thank all the nurses, doctors and support staff on ward P3. They have been brilliant to me. Every time I have felt down someone has come in and cheered me up just by spending time with me or listening to me talk drivel.
I could not have come this far without them and I don't think I will ever be able to express my full gratitude to the team.
I also want to say thank you to my anonymous donor who has so generously given me a chance to live.
When I was diagnosed with leukaemia back in November it was like a huge rock being thrown into a pool, the ripples of which swept out across so many friends, family members and colleagues.
Their response has also been incredible raising a large sum of money for charities associated with leukaemia.
My friend Phil Driver ran the London Marathon for the Anthony Nolan Trust, in a pretty impressive four hours. He has also organised a big football tournament in Liverpool at which their will be a drive for new stem cell donors.
I hope he knows how grateful I am for all the effort and time he has personally put in.
Phil has now raised over £5,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust.
I wish none of this was happening to me, but it is.
How do I talk seriously to my girlfriend about dying much younger than I should?
Readers of previous posts will know how important having children is to me, so do we go for IVF knowing full well that by the time they are ten I could be dead?
What sort of impact would it have on their lives?
What does Poppy do then? Getting any life insurance will be virtually impossible so do I bother?
What about buying a house - will Poppy be able to downsize if I die earlier than expected?
Should I ditch saving for a pension?
What about holidays? We both love to travel but I won't be able to go abroad for at least another year or so.
I wish we didn't have to address these questions, but we do.
What would you say if I said stem cell donation differed little from giving blood?
You'd probably say something like, "Shut up Sudders, I'm tired of your online cancer whinging, and if I was a bone marrow donor someone would need to smash my spine."
I have a degree in Physiology, have spent five months in and out of a haematology ward, and I'm still staggered that I have only learnt what stem cell donation is really like.
There is a huge amount of confusion on the issue. I used to give blood but never thought about donating stem cells because I thought there was a slight risk of paralysis.
"You do realise there could be up to a 30% chance of dying during the transplant process. This means for every 100 patients treated in this way, up to 30 could die."
Initially my brain screamed at the consultant that I was fully aware of the percentage concept. Then, as I suppose the doctor intended, that figure transformed into real people, who really could die, in real life.
I always hoped I would be able to avoid a bone marrow transplant, or stem cell transplant as they are now called, and just carry on with the cycles of chemotherapy. But this wasn't to be.