Stem Cell Transplant Journal Day 7 – 7 December 2015 (Cancer and Me 48)

8th December 2015 2 By Andy Burrows

The IV fluids were going all night, at a slow rate. When the drip machine is going at that speed it sounds like Barney, our dog, snoring as he normally does in the corner of our bedroom at night. So it’s not particularly disruptive. But I still didn’t sleep well. It probably has something to do with being conscious of the line and trying not to pull on it in my sleep. At some point I will sleep well, though, because there will come a point when I’m so tired I will not be able to do much else!

Anyway, it’s been a bit of a boring day actually, with no disrespect to Heidi who came as usual to spend a few hours with me. The biggest news is that I’m not constipated any more (that’s enough said about that)!

I’ve spent most of the day chatting and surfing the internet for some Christmas shopping, whilst peeing quite regularly (into bottles so they can weigh them). I’ve felt fine though.

Apparently the sickness feeling normally comes (if it comes at all) the day after the Melphalan, and the main deterioration is from around ‘Day +5/6’ (so around the weekend), when I’ll start getting mouth sores and stuff. Tomorrow will be interesting I think, being the main event – the stem cell transplant itself!

But it’s weird. The chemo is all done now, and the whole transplant process will be finished by tomorrow afternoon. And then it’s just a case of waiting and watching my blood counts deteriorate for a few days, waiting to feel awful. The nurses all know what to expect, and talk about it quite matter-of-factly whilst always giving me a sympathetic look to acknowledge the fact that it is genuinely unpleasant to go through. The fact is they are ready to catch me, and they know exactly what to do in every eventuality. And then I’ll start to improve again, and then we’ll see if I get out by Christmas.

Jake and Joe came to see me tonight at dinner time, which was nice. They brought the PS3 so we played more Call of Duty Zombies together!!

I was disconnected from the IV for an hour while Jake and Joe were here, so I managed to have a quick shower. But now I’m connected again, and will be on constant IV fluids for another 18 hours. So sleep will be awkward again.

It has really lifted my spirits, I have to say, to have people say that they are actually interested in hearing my daily thoughts. And I’ve had many lovely messages of encouragement, from friends, from family, from friends I haven’t spoken to for years, and from friends of friends and family! Thank you. We are really blessed.