The gentle period did not last long. On Day Six I was given a dose of melphalan, which, the doctors told me, is a stronger dose of chemo in one input than all the chemo I’ve received so far.
It has been truly awful- nausea, continual vomiting, terrible tiredness but I’m unable to sleep because of the frequent retching.
I was given anti-nausea treatment but at one point the doctor apologised because it wasn’t very effective, saying that was all they could do and I’ve just got to see this period through.
It took four days and long sleepless nights, that was the worst, thinking the nights would never end, watching the clock, two o’clock, three o’clock…
Today, Sunday I feel much better and have even managed to eat for the first time-half an omelette.
The good news is the doctors say the treatment is going according to plan and the transplant went well. It was an amazing experience, I could even see my donor’s cells shaped like snowflakes going through the tubes in to my veins.
Some of the nurses even call transplant day ‘Rebirth Day’ and it is an odd feeling, that I’ve now got someone else inside my body. My blood group and my DNA have now changed. In effect, I’m a new person.
Still feeling weak so my daughter Sarah is kindly typing this for me.
On a happy note, my sister Rosanna has filled the walls of my hospital room with a few of my favourite things-pictures of Everest, penguins, prints of Venice, Breugel, Velasquez and the Dalai Lama thrown in for good measure. I’ve also got a new turban ‘butterfly’ look- this picture taken in what I call the gentle period.
I’m hanging on in there, thanks for all your emails and messages.