HDT & GCSH
27 March 2015 | Gosport
Matilda is still enjoying the Caribbean with Andy and his crew having spent the last couple of weeks diving in Tobago Keys. They are back in St Maarten now but should be heading off to Curacao for a bit of anti-fouling soon.
Back here, this last four-week cycle of chemo has been a long one. Andy’s blood results are already down to normal levels and we were told that he would very likely be able to go ahead and have the stem cell transplant in April. Well, 90% likely, subject to a couple of other tests. We were pretty sure it would be OK but didn’t want to count any chickens. We finally saw the Stem Cell Consultant last week and it’s now definitely on for 12 April.
We managed to get a cracking weekend in with the family up in London as we won’t be able to see much of anybody over the next few weeks/months. Fish and chips, curry, the finals of the 6 Nations (which Andy’s beloved Ireland won) and time with the grandkids. Just the tonic he needed.
Preparation for the transplant started this Monday with Andy going into the Oncology Day Unit in Southampton for High Dose Therapy, a large dose of chemotherapy and a large dose of something else to alleviate the symptoms of the large dose of chemotherapy! I think it’s going to be a bit like that from now on. Unfortunately I picked this time to have a streaming cold so spent 5 hours sniffing and sleeping in the car waiting for him to finish. Luckily, he somehow hasn’t caught it. He now has to inject himself daily with GCSF (Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor) which will increase the number of stem cells in the bone marrow causing it to spill out into the blood stream where they can be collected. (Wake up at the back! I will be asking questions at the end!) The treatment he’s having is killing all the good blood cells off as well as the myeloma ones so he’s also got to take antibiotics, anti-fungals and anti-viral medicine. The injections can apparently cause quite unpleasant musculo-skeletal pain so he’s got that to look forward to.
So, an action-packed week for us, but if all goes according to plan, next Monday they will be harvesting enough stem cells for two transplants, one for now and a spare for when/if it comes back.
Tune in next week to find out how it all went!