I'll start with some good news and can report that as of last night I was allowed home for a few days after my blood counts had recovered sufficiently to reduce my risk of infection. They are still very low though so whilst I'm home I need to be sensible and take care in everything I do.
At this stage I don't know how long this respite will last and it is dependant on the next stage of treatment, more of which will be revealed tomorrow when I return to the hospital for a blood test and meeting with the consultants.
From the discussions I've had so far it looks like there are two options for the next stage. The first is to have a weekly treatment of Methatrexate, which is what I've been having injected into my spine. This time it will be injected intravenously to keep the protection up against the return of the leukaemia until such time as a bone marrow donor can be found.
The second option is to go directly into transplant and the hospital were hoping for some news over a possible match from the bone marrow registry before I return on Thursday.
Personally I'm hoping that transplant can be held off until after Christmas as it will be a long recovery period afterwards and I really don't want to be in hospital over Christmas.
Either way it's likely that I won't restart treatment until a week on Monday since my body needs adequate time for my bone marrow to recover and my blood counts to grow to an acceptable level before it gets knocked back again. This should give me a reasonable break to spend at home with my family.
Since my last blog I've had two more blood transfusions and two more units of platelets. This brings my total to 15 units of blood and about 5 of platelets. To anyone that is a blood donor, many thanks. During treatment like I'm going through and my fellow patients, donated blood is vital in ensuring that we can survive whilst our own blood manufacturing systems are not functioning.
Transfusion of platelets has previously been uneventful but the middle of last week I had a unit which brought me out in a severe rash, almost like a nettle rash all over my body, which was agonisingly itchy and was only brought under control by the administration of some intravenous Piriton. I still had to put up with the itching for a painful couple of hours until the rash finally subsided. Since then I've had another unit of platelets which was preceded with a precautionary dose of Piriton.
I've also previously had a mild reaction during a transfusion of blood, but last Friday I had a much more severe reaction. This started out about 6pm as strong shivering which lasted about two hours in total. The blood transfusion was stopped about half an hour after the shivering started and again I needed to be given Piriton to deal with the allergic reaction. This could only be done after my cannula had been replaced as the one used for the blood had started to leak. About half to three quarters of an hour after the Piriton was given the shivering finally stopped, but my then temperature shot up to 38.7 degrees and I was burning up. I was given Paracetemol at about 10pm to deal with my temperature and by 1am the next morning thankfully things had settled down and were back to normal.
I had my final unit of blood and a unit of platelets yesterday before being discharged, both preceded with a dose of Piriton. A blood test that was taken about an hour after the transfusions had finished should give the medical staff an indication as to whether I'm developing a resistance to transfusion, since these adverse reactions seem to be worsening.
I should know more about my treatment so far and the next steps after seeing the consultants tomorrow and will update you all via my next blog.
For the time being though I'll be making the most of my time at home. There are a few jobs that need doing in the garden and in my frail state it's time for my boys to step up and do some work, supervised by me, to get the garden ready for winter. So, though they don't know it yet, I have a weekends gardening planned for them!
Thats all for now so as always, thanks for reading.