Yesterday saw a long & heavy day at Hammersmith
Hospital, the location of my BMT to come. My sister and
I received the following tests:
Lung Function. My lungs hold 5.5 litres of air-not sure
if thats good or bad.
ECG. Very 70’s sci-fi electrodes around body and machine
with a nervous needle drawing on graph paper. Apparently,
I have a pulse.
Blood Tests. 12 test-tubes of blood taken. My platelets
are 21(low), my Haemoglobin is 8.9 (fairly anaemic) and
neutrofils are 1.7 (low). Looks like blood transfusion
on Monday, thanks blood angels!
Throat and Nose Swabs. Because of MRSA they had to stick
massive ear-cleaner things down throat and RIGHT AT THE
BACK OF NOSTRILS. Aaaargh- still pulling faces about
Chest & Skull X-Ray. They found bones under my skin.
Then a long talk with my 2 new doctors, who explained
all the procedures, possible side-effects and risks of
the BMT. Then I signed consent forms giving them permission
to do all those lovely things to me. A word of warning:
If you ever have the misfortune of going through something
like this, make sure you fart before you go in. I was
in there for ages desperately concentrating on not playing
the trouser trumpet. I think they misconstrued my pained
Anyhow, am all signed up and ready to go. Here’s the
schedule so far…
31.3.05 Admitted into Hammermith Hospital. Revamp room
1.4.05 Operation to remove my Hickman line and replace
with a 3-loom variety as they are planning some serious
servings of drugs.
2.4.05-3.4.05 2x twice-daily Chemotherapy treatment
4.4.05-6.4.05 3x Twice-daily Radiotherapy(Total body
7.4.05 Day off. (Maybe Alton Towers-just kidding)
8.4.05 Nose-catheter inserted for feeding (my mouth
and throat will become too painful to eat normally) Alex
gets general anaesthetic and has operation to remove
large quantity of bone marrow tissue. She will stay overnight
and be very sore for a week. I receive her stem-cells
through Hickman line.
9.4.05 A few weeks in isolated ward, trying to prevent
infection with hygiene and massive antbiotic doses, constant
monitoring of condition, feeding through nose-tube. What
That’s the plan so far- of course I will be documenting
my progress daily, on miltlatest as will as producing
pics, movies and music.
The Milton Eat-o-thon
My dietician at Hammersmith has recommended a high-fat,
high-energy diet leading up to (and beyond) the BMT.
I told her my normal diet and I had the surreal experience
of advice such as “Instead of grilling your chicken,
try frying it”, “In addition to your apple
snack, have a chocolate bar”, “Add lots of
sugar to your muesli”, “Follow up your dinner
with a generous amount of ice-cream” and “Add
lots of chocolate, cream, biscuits, fried food to your
It was like every health advice in reverse-but apparently
the BMT process will kill loads of my energy and research
has shown better results when people eat ALOT leading
up to it. So I have been eating like crazy-even forcing
down ice-cream (which I may be the only person in the
world not to really enjoy), large meals 3 times a day
and eating chocolate between meals. It’s a tough job,
but am trying not to make it a chore!
I am very saddened to report that a fellow patient of
mine, Dorothy Shammaa has passed away. She was a lovely
lady and I really enjoyed our chats about life, music,
art and nature. Both of us were often neutropenic and
in isolation and we had fun exchanging silly card messages
via the nurses. Dorothy stars in “The Present” video.
Dorothy was a lovely, warm-hearted and gentle soul and
my deepest condolences go out to husband Emile and son
Best wishes to all of you, lead your fullest lives!!!