This is Day -2 for me in Denis Burkitt Ward at St. James Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. They count down to Day Zero (which is Tuesday December 13th, 2011), the date for the Stem Cell Transplant. I have finally got around to writing a blog. I hope anyone going through this procedure may find useful tips from my own journey. They say that each journey is very different, isn’t that a bit like life itself, but I am sure there will be some useful insights of what to expect if you are about to embark on this journey too.
I am here because I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) on Tuesday April 12th 2011. There was some debate as to whether I was in the chronic phase of the disease or the acceleration phase of the disease. When I was admitted my wcc (white cell count) was 100+ (range is 4-10) with a blast cell count of 12%. My Haematologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin had diagnosed me with CML in the chronic phase of the disease. I was transferred to St. James Hospital, which is the centre of excellence for Leukaemia treatment in Ireland to be included in a trial for a new CML drug called Nilotanib. The Haematologist in charge of this trial was Dr. Eibhlain Conneally and I was moved under her care.
I will go back to April later on, let me come back to today, Day -2. I am doing well so far. In a few hours time I will go on to my third dose of ATG Fresenius (Rabbit) and this will be given to me in a drip over 10 hours. So far, except for some minor sickness and raised temperature with this drug on Day-4 when it was first given, I’ve done well. I did not get most of the side effects one can expect when getting this drug to suppress the immune system. My wcc is now down to 0.1 and I am neutrophenic (very low neutrophil count), meaning that I haven’t got any immunity to defend myself against bacteria.
Time for a break and some rest! See you again soon with more news…..