Friday, 26 October 2012

Good news and bad news.

Afternoon all.

Just a quick update with a mixture of good news and bad news.

In the time honoured traditon I'll give the good news first, which doesn't actually concern me, but is an update on the patient that was in the bed next to me previouslay and who as you'll know from my blogs was quite ill. He was also the inspiration that really boosted my determination to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research.

A couple of days ago I had an email from him. He's been at home since being discharged after the last time I was him when he was looking much better. His email was to let me know he'd had the result of a scan to check on the result of his treatment which had shown that his results were good and that the chemo had worked, leaving him clear which is great news. He doesn't require further treatment and has another scan in January to check that he is still clear so I wish him all the best.

Now to the bad news which relates to my ability to go home after this course of treatment which was my hope. During the consultants rounds early yesterday I was told that unfortunately due to my blood counts being so low at the moment my immune system is at absolute rock bottom, the lowest it has ever been. This means that before I can even be considered to be allowed home my system has to recover adequately to give my body a chance against infection which is likely to take at least a couple of weeks.

This wasn't what I wanted to hear but unfortunately it's something I have to resign myself to as I cannot afford to risk picking up an infection and becoming ill as a result. A prolonged stay in hospital will mean that any infection I pick up can be treated immediately and continuous monitoring of my temperature and condition will quickly identify any problems.

I had my final lumbar puncture of this phase yesterday and spoke to one of the other consultants who has been treating me. He recognised that am showing signs of 'cabin fever' as he called it and to his credit is hoping that a days home leave can be arranged so that I can at least go home for the boys birthdays on Tuesday. I really do have to avoid any risks over the weekend and make sure I maintain my fitness to have any hope of spending the day with them on their birthday.

As disappointing as it is to face the reality of what is likely to be another two or three weeks in hospital, the glimmer of hope of being able to spend the day with the boys and Andrea on their bitrhday will hopefully make it more special for them and is something I'll try hard to make happen if I can.

As far as treatment is concerned I've had a couple of days without treatment up to my lumbar puncture yesterday, which again went without a hitch. I woke with a headache this morning but I think that was more a result or a rough nights sleep than the spinal intervention.

This morning after encountering increased difficulties finding locations for the doctors to insert cannula's, I've been for a PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) line fitting. This is in effect a tube that has been inserted into a vein high in my left arm and passes through my veins into my chest close to my heart. This allows any intra-veinous treatment to be injected through the PICC line, and for blood samples to be taken from it. The line should last for up to a year and will save the need to continually have needles poked into me for various reasons.

The line was inserted under a local anaesthetic after first establishing the location of a good sized vein using ultrasound. I had expected to feel the 45cm tube being fed into my veins but other than the initial needle for the anaesthetic I didn't feel a thing, and was surprised when the x-ray to check the final location of the tube came up on the screen and it was already in position.

So hopefully this line will see me through the remainder of my treatment without me having to be jabbed by too many more needles, other than those for lumbar puncture and bone marrow biopsies which unfortunately can't be avoided.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Hi Steve,

    Such a shame you cant go home but as you said, it makes total sense.
    Great news having the line fitted, I used to dread all the needles and my veins also collapsed so much so that they had to use needles reserved for babies.
    It will be all the sweeter when you do get home and no doubt you will be spoilt rotten, and rightly so.
    Also fantastic news re your mate in rhe next bed, now you get better so we can climb that mountain.

    Best wishes as always


  2. Fingers crossed for a day at home. I'm pleased they put the central line in. It always sounds scarier than it is and as you say it saves you from being a pin cushion. I'm a little surprised they didn't do it earlier.

    Eat as much cake as you can! And stay away from the nasty germs!!


  3. Steve

    Keep looking forwards as going home will soon be upon you. Your demonstrating your bravery and stubbornness and that's not going to go away any time soon. You have so many thinsgs to do like your book and perhaps use this time to plan your trip?

    Keep going and keep in touch.


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