Monthly Archives: December 2015

Seasons Greetings!

Wishing you all a very Happy and peaceful Christmas and a healthy

Happy New Year.

Thank you again for all the lovely messages,

Brenda and family


The scores are in!

With only a day to spare, l have been told l can go home tomorrow ( Christmas Eve)

Hooray ! Besides the doctors round etc, l have been visited by the post transplant nurse giving me instructions of what to look out for when l get home. Eight out of ten transplant patients end up returning to hospital within the first month due to an infection.
I of course will try to be one of the two, not the eight !
The pharmacist has been going through the array of medications l will need to take.
I had to have a “pendamadine nebuliser” today ( leaves a horrible taste ) and was told this would be a monthly procedure which helps prevent pneumonia. With my history l need all the help l can get on that one. Appointments need to be made for “top ups” of blood and platelets, probably twice a week.
I then had a top up of blood today, platelets tomorrow which should see me through the holiday weekend.
For the first time in nine months l am going to be discharged rather than just a home visit. I am so happy to be going home and at the same time just a little apprehensive as after nine months of the nurses and health care workers looking after me l need to start adjusting to being home long term.
I have so much catching up with friends. I have been told that l will feel really weak for a while, maybe a little overwhelmed and need to make sure l get plenty of rest.
So the next stage of engraftment has started ….. as l have only seen a brick wall for the past six weeks l know l am going to be a little gaga seeing trees and because of the mild weather l understand quite colourful out of season flowers !
A fitting end to a challenging year !
I am looking forward to a glass of champagne tomorrow, although knowing my luck –
my taste buds will reject it 🤔


Deja vu

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will think l am repeating myself. In a way l am. Many people who have bone marrow transplants go through two to three rounds of chemo and the time lines are three to four months.For some of us, we face complications and set backs. I am into my ninth month of treatment following six rounds of chemo, the transplant was performed two weeks ago and now l have to
wait and see if my body is going to accept Heathers stem cells and l can keep improving and return to a full and improved life.

This week l am going through the same side effects from chemo as before. For the second time my hair is falling out, l have spiked fevers earlier in the week but the good news is that my blood counts started to improve today, small moves in the right direction. I am determined to try and get to a place where l can be discharged for Christmas. I am wearing my deer antlers and have Christmas jumpers lined up for later in the week in order to remind my consultant that Christmas away from this room is going to be my wish !
I can hardly believe Christmas is just around the corner, the Salvation Army sang in the ward and there is an air of excitement that builds up around this time of year. Christmas is all over the T.V – Christmas decorating, food programs and of course charity drives. Many of the charities drives are for cancer awareness. I have heard there is a shortage of blood donors right now and as l am using up a lot of units
….. Thank you if you are a blood donor or signed up as a bone marrow donor, there is always room for more !

I hope my next entry to this blog will be letting you know l am busy wrapping myself up as a present, no time to go shopping so the family will have to accept me as a gift 😊

One Month In

A month has passed since l was readmitted and one week post transplant l am back in the waiting game. This is probably the most difficult as one has to fill the days and not let the mind wonder into negative thoughts, this can be challenging when confined to one room.

On the day of the transplant l was pumped full of different fluids and drugs ( you may have noticed l looked like a space hopper ! ) l have spent the “post” week on many different fluids, carefully monitored and adjusted daily to keep the body balanced.

I am losing my hair again, sense of smell and taste has been affected….l have gone off chocolate again and with Christmas coming that’s not good ! As a family we have always loved Christmas so it’s strange not being able to get involved in the usual preparations. That doesn’t mean l have not got a little bit of Christmas in my room !
The lights are on !

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday”

Firstly a belated Happy Thanks Giving to all of my American friends !

I fully expected to have updated my blog a few days ago and then true to
the warnings, side effects of the last very aggressive chemo hit. How fortunate that I have done reasonably well with the first five rounds.
I am pleased to say my last dose was on Monday, I feel tired and weak but the great big news is that the transplant is going ahead this afternoon.I haven’t dared put dates around this as I have had so many changes, delays and obstacles along the way.

The nurses are calling it my second birthday. It is difficult to explain how I feel as emotions have been on such a roller coaster the past few months. Heather joined me early afternoon so she could witness her stem cells going in. I had already been warned that this day may be a little bit of an anti-climax. The actual transplant is in the form of a tranfusion and completed in about one hour. The three little bags of stem cells are actually giving me a chance to live.


I wrote the above this morning, it is now 7pm. Everything is completed … Heather has just gone home and l am sitting here thinking about the past eight months and can hardly believe we actually made it after all of these ups and downs.

So what happens now, during the next couple of weeks we wait for “engraftment”
This is a time where the stem cells ( Heathers) make their way to the bone marrow and will start to grow and mature into normal blood cells. This can take time and I will be carefully monitored.

I will sign off for now as besides being really tired, my mind is in a whirl!
Thank you for your continued prayers, thoughts and messages. I know my Mum, Hilary and Heather value the support shown to all of us. It has not been an easy year and of course with Christmas around the corner emotions are high.
God bless Brenda