Today, December 13, 2012 is the first anniversary of my stem-cell transplant. I want to thank all my family, friends and the care staff at St. James Hospital for their prayers, love, care and support, without which I won’t be here today.
A very special thank you, to my brother Mahesh, who unselfishly, without being asked, stepped forward to donate his blood. In fact the procedure was harder on him than on me and this may have been over looked by me in my postings. Mahesh had to return again a few months ago to give more blood and on that occasion he had to get a line put in to one of his main veins. Not pleasant! Words just seem insufficient but it is all I’ve got. Thank you Mahesh.
A very special thank you to my consultant, Dr. Conneally too. Many of you will know that I grew up surrounded by doctors and my father, Dr. Cyril Perera, was an exceptional doctor and I would class my consultant in that same category. I am very fortunate to be under her care. She is not just smart (very high IQ) but has that empathy with the patient (high EQ) that makes her an exceptional doctor.
Apart from the one minor setback a few months ago (which I have still to write about), I am making good progress.
My BCR-ABL count (cancer cell count) is now down to 0.003. This is on a log scale and is a pretty low number getting close to insignificant. The next step is to find out if it is the medication (Dasatanib) or is it the Lymphocyte infusion, i.e. Mahesh last donation of blood, that is helping me win this battle. Ideally, I should stop taking the drugs and start fighting the cancer with my blood. These drugs all have side effects and long term use of them can damage your liver and/or kidneys. The low BCR-ABL count is also good news.
While writing this blog, I just remembered that the doctor MAY have reduced my Dasatanib dose by half and in my excitement of the news, I have yet to do this and that was two weeks ago. Wow, all I can say is thank God for blogs, but she won’t be a happy camper as we were going to test the BCR-ABL count next Tuesday to see if it continues to remain low. I need to get a grip on myself. Pat usually comes with me for my visits, but on this occasion she was not there.
The third bit of good news is that I have started my inoculations. Since I’ve had a system reset, I am back at ground zero. I have to start all the vaccinations from scratch. These are the vaccinations for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Whopping Cough, Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (Hib), Pneumococcal Disease (PCV 13), Meningitis (ACWY), another Pneumococcal Disease (PPV23) and Influenza (flu jab). I will get these over the next 6 months. Twelve (12) months later, I will have to get the MMR. They avoid giving the MMR until later as it is a live vaccine.
Were you aware that babies get all these vaccines? I had to get three separate injections last week and had to provide three limbs for it! Two hands and a leg! Make sure to warn me if you know anyone with Measles, Mumps, Rubella or Chicken Pox. I have to avoid contracting those childhood diseases.
A good way to end this blog is with the words from Ecclesiastes. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. Today I laugh and dance with you!
That’s all for now folks. The next post will be about the ‘derailment’, the minor set back last month.