Day 54 – Running a marathon

Apparently a couple of relatives have been concerned for my well being due to a lack of updates on the blog over last few days. Honestly, you all remember that I’m in hospital at the moment, yes? I’m only joking, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered writing anything if I am not feeling great and have nothing of much interest to say. No need for panic folks. I’m sure any family members would know pretty quickly if things had taken a turn for worse.

Yesterday and today I have been undergoing stem cell harvesting (I believe that’s the correct term for it), which isn’t going particular well so far. They like to collect a level of 3.0, although they will sometimes go with 2.5. Yesterday they got 1.3 and today 0.6 which is not very good for two sessions.  The plan is try again on Monday, although apparently my consultant is going to review things first, whatever that means.

The process of taking the stem cells isn’t too bad, blood is drawn from my arm, gets processed through a machine and is goes back in my Hickman line.  The worst part is being sat in the chair with your arm straight for about 3-4 hours, by which time you can’t wait to get out of it and move your arm (immediately followed by making my way to the toilet ASAP). The reason you need to keep your arm still is because a rigid (and pretty big!) needle is used to draw the blood.

Apparently eleven litres of blood gets processed each time. The consultant in the blood bank told me today that each session is as hard on the body as running a marathon. This did not surprise me in the slightest, as yesterday I was suffering from a lot of muscle pain and slept from around 8.30pm to 7.30pm (hence the lack of an update yesterday which I planned to do) then again from 9am or so until 10.30am.

Funnily enough, after my second ‘marathon’ today I am not feeling quite so tired or sore, so far. Although I am feeling very run down. And to think the worse is yet to come with the final chemo. I do not recommend this cancer or chemotherapy carry on. It doesn’t make for a particularly good day out.

And you know what’s most annoying me at the moment? There is a motorbike show on at Alford with Guy Martin as a special guest this Sunday. For those who have no idea who he is (which is probably most of you), look here and here. Some might know him from his TV series ‘The Boat that Guy Built’. But for those who follow it, he is best known for his exploits in road racing (have a watch here and here). Would have been pretty awesome to meet him. Bollocks.

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