December 2007 Archives

Merry Christmas to everyone!

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Just a quick post to let everyone know Poppy and I are engaged!


I asked her to marry me after midnight mass and she said yes. I know I'm not a great investment but it just felt like the right thing to do.

It was a brilliant Christmas Eve and we had loads of friends round at my parents' house in Pinxton, Nottinghamshire.


Joining me and Pops here are my mum and dad, my sister Carrie, and my best man Ben Hunter.

I have no idea what this year holds- and no idea about wedding plans - but I know if I can last until the summer it will be a fantastic do.

Once again wishing all readers a very merry Christmas.

A bloody mystery, salad days and pork pies (Part 26)

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The equivalent of around three bags of blood has gone missing from my body.

Needless to say this came as a bit of a shock yesterday.

Since being discharged from hospital on Monday with the viral chest infection I've been feeling a little drained and run down.

I also found it hard walking to the shops without getting out of breath.

But I just assumed all this was down to my body slowly recovering.

On Thursday I came back over to Rotherham hospital to continue with the Photopheresis treatment for Graft versus Host Disease.

Merry Christmas from the photopherisis team!

Out again and replies to readers (Part 25)

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Just been discharged and it's great to be out.

Even though the cough hasn't entirely gone it's much better than it was before and I'm assured that the treatment has probably got rid of the virus.

The doctors told me that it is likely I'm no longer infectious and the cough will just work itself out.

It's really strange getting a viral infection like this and knowing I have not got an immune system to deal with it.

The advice, as ever, remains if it gets worse - come back in.

I really hope it doesn't. I've got more pressing matters to attend to including a bit of last minute Christmas shopping and spending lots of time over the festive period with Poppy, my family, her family and friends.

Two difficult issues remain nibbling at the back of my mind though.

Still not heard back from my latest bone marrow sample and we are approaching crunch time to find out just how much of a problem Graft versus Host Disease is going to be.

So it turns out the cold was a little bit more serious than first thought.


Here I am again, having a cup of tea - and some more treatment - back in the Royal Hallamshire hospital.

My cold-like symptoms are actually being caused by a virus called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). In most people it just gives them a nasty cough and cold.

Their immune systems will usually take care of it unassisted within a few weeks.

But for people like me, who are pumped up on steroids along with other immunosuppressants, the situation can be much more serious. If the infection takes hold and spreads it can cause pneumonia or bronchiolitis.

One of the doctors told me that in these cases mortality can be as high as 50% - crumbs!

A new existence and my first cold (Part 23)

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There is no cure for the common cold so with all the bugs that are going round at the moment it was inevitable I was going to catch something.

After weeks of feeling good on the 'steds' (steroids) I am now starting the come down. Coupled with a mild cold and slight chest infection, I just feel run down and drained.

You try not to worry but it's hard not to. I know that the steroids and other drugs I am taking are stopping my immune system from working - so what exactly is going to fight this infection off?

The good news is that most colds are caused by viruses that are limited in their ability to do serious damage. Most just get into your system and burn themselves out.

But for people like me because my body is putting up little resistance this process can take longer and other infections can develop.

That aside the good news at the moment is I haven't got a temperature which means the infection is limited and I can continue to function as normal.

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