Monday, 19 April 2010


I 'checked out' of hospital last Wednesday night after my white blood counts reached 1.4, a sufficiently high level to allow me to leave the protective environment of the ward.

This is a great milestone in the treatment as it is hopefully the last time I am admitted to hospital - touch wood and all that again! Also, I convinced them to take my PICC line out - the tube that has been in one of my veins for the past 4.5 months and allows them to take blood out and pump chemicals in more easily. This has cheered me up immeasurably as I am now free and starting to feel a bit more normal. I can also take showers without having to wrap my arm in cling-film.

Have been at my family home for the past days and feeling reasonably ok. Getting tired very quickly which is to be expected for the foreseeable future and finding it difficult to concentrate on anything much. Have also got a bit of a cold which my white cells are fighting reasonably well, but combined with a low platelet count have resulted in some nose bleeds over the last couple of days. Yesterday's was quite bad so I went back to hospital for the afternoon to get some more platelets. Because my PICC line is now out, they had to put a temporary line in called a canulla; my veins aren't as good as they used to be so it took them 5 attempts to get it in and now I am left with 5 very unattractive bruises on both my arms. Oh well.

Back in hospital again this morning for routine blood test and to see the consultants. All going ok - counts are rising as they should and they are happy with my progress. Was reminded that my prognosis is still good, but only 50:50 which is what I knew already but always humbling to be reminded of it. If I do relapse then I will go down the bone marrow transplant route to offer me another chance.... let's hope it doesn't come to that!

On a brighter note, still feeling good in myself - am so pleased that I don't have any nausea or sickness like I did the last time I left hospital. This means that I'm eating very well, putting weight back on fast and slowly trying to return back to normal.

I have another bone marrow biopsy next Monday which will (a) hurt like hell and (b) check whether they can detect any cancer cells. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Sprint to the finish

I came back in hospital on Tuesday morning feeling exhausted which I put down to a low haemoglobin count. However, when my blood results came back I was already seriously neutropenic - 0.3; a drop from 10 just a couple of days before. My haemoglobin and platelets were also low.

Therefore, was rushed some units of blood and have gone back into 'neutropenic' living, where I go overboard to try and avoid picking up an infection.

Yesterday was a very difficult day due to a pain in a place most people don't want to know about. The Docs tried to give some pain control but nothing worked. Happily today it is a bit better, however, am still in some constant pain during the day. Hope this doesn't last too long as yesterday was pure agony.

I also spiked a temperature last night, so the usual hospital process kicked in - blood tests, urine tests, immediate antibiotics, etc. Temperature back to normal today so hopefully beat that one just as it started. Antibiotics will continue for a while still.

White blood count is 0.2 today; I'll be a very happy man when they start to rise as this will be the beginning of the recovery.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Home for good behaviour!

Quick update - so far all is going well - no significant side effects and last night was my last dose of chemo - hopefully last EVER dose of chemo, assuming everything stays in check! Feeling pretty positive about that after 4 rounds over 4 months of chemo.... :)

Moreover, I have actually been allowed out of hospital for a couple of days as my white counts are still high and the Docs think it will be a few days still before the start to drop as a result of the chemo.

Therefore current plan is to go back to hospital on Tuesday morning at which point I'll spend another two weeks waiting for the counts to go down and up again!

All good so far!