Chapter 10 – Resting Up and Feeling Stir Crazy

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
– Albert Einstein

So the drama of the harvest and the hair loss was all done and dusted by the end of the first week of June and I was being given some rest time (approximately six weeks) before my transplant.

I had another consultation in Saint James’s and I was given more detailed paperwork to read up on in advance of the transplant. I devoured it and I felt scared one minute and then relieved the next. It was a time of feeling mixed up and muddled.

There was no making plans as we had no exact dates for when anything would be happening. My body was being given a chance to recover from the first blast of chemo and from the harvest and then the really hard work would have to begin.

I went to hospital once a week to have my line cleaned. It was very strange to be walking around with a line sticking out of my chest. The stitches were taken out of my neck which was a huge relief as they were really itchy. The space around the hole where the line protruded was insanely itchy and it took all my self control not to scratch it.

I was nervous about the line and used to tuck it inside my clothes so as nothing could get caught on the end of it. For the first few nights I was at home I was convinced I was going to pull it out in my sleep.

During this period of waiting, I had a lot of time to think. I was managing okay and was keeping busy with day to day chores. I was still a Mom and still had homework to supervise and baths and laundry to take care of.

We made sure not to call on my Mum or my Mum in Law as we knew we would need them again once the transplant came into play.

I remember the date the letter arrived from Saint James’s Hospital. I knew what it was before I opened it.

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So there it was – the date of my transplant – 9 July 2007. That would mean the date of admission would be 4 July. I was gutted for Emma as she would be just getting her Summer holidays from school as I was being admitted to hospital.

I had such mixed feelings. I was terrified of the high-dose chemo, but know that it had to happen if I had any chance of getting back to my life. I also knew that I would be open to life-threatening side effects of having no blood counts – no ability to fight infection, no ability to clot blood, and that my system might not be able for what was to come.

I was going to make the most of the time I had left feeling as well as I did. I would have to try and squeeze loads of treats in for the kids before I was admitted to hospital.

There was so much to get organised. There was even more paperwork to be done and there was a list of tests I had to go through before I would be passed fit for the transplant.

It was time for the transplant games to well and truly begin.

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