The second bone marrow sample (Part 22)


I have just got back from the hospital following my second routine bone marrow sample.

It was fine, didn't hurt and is not sore at all. We were hoping to film it today but were unable to get it organised in time.

I wanted to show people that it's not a scary procedure and hoped that it might get more people thinking about bone marrow donation.

As I said before in previous posts 70% of bone marrow donation is now very similar to giving blood. Sometimes a bone marrow harvest - where it is taken from the back of the hip under a general anaesthetic - is still preferred.

What I had today with a local anaesthetic only involves one needle and a small sample is taken. The harvest uses more needles but is otherwise very similar.

Anyway, this time I'm really confident that the leukaemia won't have returned.

The chronic Graft versus Host Disease c(GvHD) has now become the main concern. Even though it is attacking my own body it should also be fighting off any residual cancer.

There will still be a two week wait to ensure both the Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and the weird chronic form I had are still in remission.

This time though I'm feeling much better about the cancer.

If it's come back this time then fair play to it!

I need to focus on the cGvHD. My hands sometimes feel hot as do my feet - both are signs that the problem persists at some level inside me.

The steroids need to be reduced as quickly as the doctors can too. My knees have started to hurt and these drugs can do long-term damage to your joints.

I've made the best of the good side-effects of the steds like being able to eat and drink again. If I'm being positive they've come at a tremendous time with all these awards nights.

I've pushed it quite a bit and loved every second of it - I don't even get hangovers!

I have also used them to try and put some muscle back on my previously emaciated frame too.

The dose was a whopping 165mg a day. Now they have been reduced to 60mg - which is still pretty high.

I am already feeling a bit more tired and there can be difficult mental side-effects coming off these drugs.

Regarding the photopheresis treatment at Rotherham we will know if that's working when the dose is dropped to about 40-50mg a day.

If it's not, all the nasty symptoms will flare up again.

By that timetable I reckon I've got another two weeks of feeling OK before crunch time.

Just hope I'm feeling good for Christmas.

In the meantime I have started working from home. The Examiner has been excellent to me and we have sorted out remote access so I can resume my role as 'digital journalist' in between my stints at hospital.

This means I am effectively editing the Examiner's website and doing bits of reporting too.

So if the site is looking terrible or a story you were in has not appeared then you know who to blame.

It's not the life I would have chosen and I have no idea what lies around the corner so planning anything is impossible.

But I've got my head round that and accepted it.

Now I just have to try and play out the cack hand I've been dealt in the best possible way.


Hi Julian and Doug,

Julian- our headline was Royal Treat and regarded the Queen coming to Huddersfield. Vintage. Not as good as your oriental one. Loving that.

Doug - Welcome aboard and thanks for taking the time to post a comment. As you may have read I really feel like I'm going to go down the same route as you and be living with GvHD in some form for the rest of my life.

Great news that you have survived for so long and I'm delighted that you are finally feeling a bit better but how none-stretchy did things really get?

Do we need to switch to private email messages?

Best wishes,


Hiya, just had my 9th bone marrow test last week. got diagnosed 19th Dec 2006 with APML a different version of AML.What a bummer!!! But I have seen loads and count myself lucky. On a research trial. Will do anything so other people do not have to go through this. Hope you are ok .....Gillian xx

Hi, Trying again.....Was diagnosed 19th Dec 2006. with APML a little different from AML. What a year....Hope u r ok.....Had 9th Bone Marrow test last week as part of a trial. Anything, so others do not have to go thru this...Gillian xxx

I'm glad that the second sample wasn't too bad for you...I hope that you can feel good for Christmas, and thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

If you don't mind, can I put in a plug for Canadian Blood Services? (, as I know that some of my Canadian friends read your blog as well? You can be tested, and donate your blood marrow (or blood) there free of charge, and it's very much needed. When my daughter was in hospital with her cancer (which is cured, with little chance of a remission now), we lost two 3 year old friends there due to AML in part due to a lack of bone marrow donors. They make it pretty easy here in Canada to donate, and it's really not that painful or inconvenient, so I hope that this isn't an inappropriate place to plug their services.

Good luck...we're keeping our fingers crossed for you!

Hi Jen,

Hello to readers in Canada!

I'm sitting in my little kitchen in Sheffield and can't believe just how far and wide this blog has spread.

Please feel free to plug away- any awareness has got to be a good thing. It truly is an international effort now so signing up to any register could be helping anyone else around the world.

I am so grateful to my German donor for giving me a chance. If people do sign up they could save someone else's life too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading,


Hi Adrian,

Keep faith with the Photopheresis. I've just finished my 8th fortnightly treatment and the treatment has been dropped to monthly. There was not a lot of improvement for the first 2 or 3 treatments, but there has been a slow but steady improvement since then.

Good to read that you're back to work. I started back in August, for all of 9hrs a week over 3 days, but it brings a bit of sanity back.


P.S. I've had 5 bone marrow tests, all with no problem at all.

Hi there
hope the GVH is ok. I have now had 23 bone morrow test so no how you are feeling the test is quite simple and its not the going in its the coming out I found differet to any other test. I went to a CML conferance last weekend in Scotland very interesting and reserch promising. I am also under Sheffield RHH in Dec. we are having a fund raising night for P3 and the isolation rooms will benifit we would love you to come along it is in Sheffield on Sat. 8th Dec.
Hope you are feeling well
best wishes
Kath Rhodes

Dave - Thanks for getting in touch. It's good to hear some positive news for a change about all this photopheresis business. You have really helped give me a boost.

Hi Kath - Glad you are well. Would love to come along if I am free. Could you let me have some more details? Best wishes,


Hi Adrian,

Congratulations once again on the third award.

Glad to hear you're able to start getting back into work. Make the most of working from home while it lasts - you can't beat it!!!

I'm pleased to hear your positive attitude in this last post and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you that all the latest treatment and tests have a positive outcome for you.

Take care and keep up the good work!!!

Julie x

Hi Adrian
Just wanted to pop in and tell you that I am thinking of you and hope your results from the photopheresis is better than you all expected.
Wishing you only the best.
love and light
Steven's mom


i read with continual amazement, some jealousy and a feeling of inferiority, your blog.
Three major awards in nearly as many months, international recognition in your field of work, the continual increasing, close openess, deep love, pride, affection and fierce devotion you have from your family and freinds and i think how fortunate you are.
How wonderful that something so awful as leaukemia can lead to things so many of us want, but can't have because we lose our way in life or never find (or can be bothered to search for) or are fortunate enough to have, the catalyst which triggers off our enlightenment thrust upon us .
I think many people discover what is important in life too late for it to make a difference.
When i feel low i read your blog and press the refresh button of my priorities.
Congratulations on being alive and knowing it as opposed to being alive and not knowing it!

(colleague and friend of your father's NHS.)

Gute Arbeit hier! Gute Inhalte.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Adrian Sudbury published on November 27, 2007 5:42 PM.

It's the hat-trick! was the previous entry in this blog.

A new existence and my first cold (Part 23) is the next entry in this blog.

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