This time it’s zero neutrophils recorded in my blood stream. That’s the end of the old immune system and there is a chance that tomorrow or Monday the numbers start to rise again as my beautiful and clever transplant stem cells get busy in the bone marrow.
Otherwise I’m ok, but look like I’ve been in the ring with a heavyweight (ok…maybe a featherweight…whatever!) which in a way I guess I have. My condition is stable in its instability with my temperature usually high and spiking up and down: a peak of 40.5 yesterday and a surprise normal low of 36.8 early today, the jumps accompanied by feverish sweats and shivers. Currently I’m at 38.9 degs C. My puffa jacket has been brilliant – slip it on under the sheets and I feel the shakes fade straight away. Othertimes I’m topless lying on top of the bedding with the fan on like I’m in the Tropics.
On the good side I’ve had two days of releif from diarrhoea and have stared to pee again and drink fluids (through a straw – what a great invention!), supplemented with more saline drips. The drugs can cope with that problem rather well so long as the cause remains not viral or fungal.
As for the Flu virus its still rampaging and despite the cocktail of antibiotics its not receding. I need my immune system to kick back in and join forces, and I know this is going to happen soon so I just have to weather it and enjoy the relief of breathing pure oxygen sometimes (as in the top photo) and inhaling atomized saline through the Nebulizer – a clear plastic mask covering my mouth and nose bathing my lungs, nostrils throat and face in a cool mist. This happens 4 or 5 times a day and it helps keep the phlegm moving. I welcome the 20 minute Neb sessions, sit up in bed closing my eyes and dream of sea and cliffs, fresh air, rain, beautiful clouds and seasonal sea mists which shrouded the coast this morning – these from Dr Saz today:
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And a big thank you to all for the photos of life West Cornwall and elsewhere…most uplifting! Sorry not to acknowledge all immediately.
Foodwise I’m still not eating – just having the protien drinks, but I feel ok on this and the staff are not concerned.
Meanwhile the outside world comes to me in texts, emails and occasional post cards and I love thinking about my friends and family just being out there doing their thing. That’s all I want really. I don’t need sympathy particularly; I know why I’m here and I knew it would be difficult at times. Everyone going though this radical treatment faces different challenges and does thier best with it while inside the cells do thier repair work. We just have to stick with it.
Talking remains difficult as it invariably leads to a heavy and painful coughing session, which of course gives the recipient some clue to my condition, but it’s not the whole story, so I’ll just keep updating this diary when I can. The hours pass somehow – punctuated by a regular stream of doctor, nurses and stewards 24 hours a day. Day and night have lost distinction and I often snatch better sleep in the day. I can still read and sometimes check the computer.