Stem Cell Transplant Journal Day 6 – 6 December 2015 (Cancer and Me 47)

7th December 2015 4 By Andy Burrows

Ok, so I said I would skip today’s journal. But I was persuaded by my mum to post something because she likes to keep in touch. I just didn’t want to be boring people with the same old stuff!

So here we are on ‘Day -2’. Last night’s sleep was ok, and ‘obs’ were all on schedule. I guess I must have mustered about 5 hours sleep altogether.

I did some more work on my book while waiting for breakfast, and then had a shower and got dressed just in time for chemo to start around 9:30am.

My book, by the way, is just a rehash of all the ‘Cancer and Me’ posts from my blog (with some ‘faith-based’ reflections inserted along the way), going back to the beginning of the saga (Christmas 2009). It just struck me that I’d written a lot (kind of scary that I’m up to 47 chapters of ‘Cancer and Me’). And one of the reasons I started blogging more of my experiences, rather than just philosophical reflections, was because I’d read other blogs from people who had suffered the same ailments, and found them really helpful. But the drawback is always that when you are looking back on someone’s experience you really want to start at the beginning to get some context, but blogs tend to post in reverse order with no clue as to when the story begins. So I’m taking the time to reorder and edit, so that those who want to look back on my story can do so in the most helpful way. And obviously I can’t publish it until I’m clear of this stem cell transplant, as it’s kind of a crucial part of the story!!

Heidi came with Tom and Anna again around midday I guess. The Etopiside chemo was just finishing. So I helped Anna with her ICT homework, and played Zombies on the PS3 again, and the kids both took turns to play with the remote controls on my bed, making it go up and down!

After they’d gone I did some exercises, and some reading, and then lay down for a nap.

Dinner was beef stew and dumpings – I’m trying to make my way through and try everything on the menu before I lose my appetite!

I’m slightly apprehensive about tonight and tomorrow. The chemo regime is different tomorrow. I’ve had 4 days of Cytarabine and Etopiside. The final bit is Melphalan tomorrow. The drug itself takes only about half an hour to go through apparently, but it’s so potent that I have to be loaded up with fluids to protect my kidneys. The fluids will be going through the IV from tonight, all through the night, and all through tomorrow – 24 hours basically. The doctor’s comment to me, on his rounds today, was, “your toilet is very close but you’ll wish it was closer!” And apparently it can make you sick, so I’ll be having stronger anti-sickness medication after the chemo.

I’ll admit some apprehensiveness about this coming week in general really. A friend of mine’s brother had a stem cell transplant, and posted his experience in a daily blog similar to this ( When he got a few days past Day Zero his wife had to take over the blogging because he didn’t feel like doing anything. I don’t like the thought of feeling like that, but I know I’m on collision course. But ‘no pain, no gain!’ (That’s bravado, by the way, not bravery, in case you were wondering!)