Categories
Leukaemia

Farewell chemo? : Day -5

Today’s blood test:

Platelets 105 (+2) Hgb 7.9(-1.1) Neutrophils 2.2 (+1.7)

Because of the low level of haemoglobin I will be getting 2 units of blood later today. I really think we could cut out the ‘middleman’ with blood donations, and I can just suck blood from the necks of willing volunteers. My crap joke: A beautiful woman comes up to me and says “Please, please suck the blood from my neck” I reply “Sorry, darling, you’re not my type” Hardy-ha-ha.

Just starting my 2-hour Cyclophosphamide, administered by a very kind, very passionate preacher-nurse. (This I am very fine and accepting of, but the literature I’ve now been given is a little worrying)

In the happy eventuality that the BMT is a success, and I have no further leukaemic relapse, this would be me my last major chemo session, ever. I still have 3 days of TBI (Total Body Irradiation) RadioTherapy, 4 low-dose methotrexate injections and a long, long recovery ahead of me. But still, a possible farewell to chemo is an amazing feeling. I realize that a great challenge lies ahead: To assimilate this immense expense and try to rebuild my life with this new sense of meaning.

Follow your bliss, people, live your fullest lives! Milt x

Categories
Leukaemia

Mo’ Chemo Blues: Day -6

One day closer to the biggie, and am taking it all in
my stride. Blood test this morning:

Platelets 103(up) Hgb 9.0 (up) Neutrophils 0.5 (down)

So it looks like, in general, my bloods are finally
playing game. This is all academic now as this particular
blood system is going to the great gig in the sky soon
enough.

Had my first chemo today: A 2-hour cyclophosphamide.
One again tomorrow and I will be on a continual mesna
drip till monday, so no ice-skating for me this weekend.

Feeling just fine. Once again I would just like to say
how amazing this whole experience has been. I had no
idea that so many wonderful people would respond with
such love and generosity of spirit. It really is incredible,
much appreciated and has changed my life.

Peace n’ chocolate,

Milt x

Categories
Leukaemia

April’s cool, fool! Day-7

Hello everyone! Today I experienced the joy of a Hickman
line replacement, performed by the very capable and witty
Dr Ash Saini. I was awake during the operation (local
anaesthetic) and watched Ash remove my existing line
and replace it with a monster triple-lumen in the same
vein! Despite repeated explanations, I still don’t quite
understand how he managed it. I feel slightly sore and
faint but otherwise just fine.

After the now obligatory faffing about, a room was eventually
found for me on Weston Ward so I am back in hospital
mode again. I may be moving to Dacie Ward early next
week but this is as yet unconfirmed. The room is shabby
but clean and a decent size, and would respond well to
miltification.

Chemo starts tomorrow and it is both familiar and daunting
to be back in hospital facing this crap-ola again. However,
once I am settled and happy in the room I will feel much
more relaxed about accepting the treatment. So happy
poisoning tomorrow!

Toodlepip! Milton.

Categories
Leukaemia

Beds, Knobs and Room Tricks

Greetings, people. Well, turned up to Hammersmith Hospital
today with my not modest amount of luggage and equipment
and after a modicum of flapping, it transpires that “there
is no bed for me today” Apparently I was to wait
for a phone-call or call to check or something- I thought
it was all booked in but I guess such is the topsy-turvy
world of cancer treatment. No worries, I will move in
tomorrow *almost definitely*. The Hickman Line replacement
is set for 9am tomorrow (I wonder does it go in the same
vein or a different one? Will let y’all know). Not a
wasted visit, I had the-now-obligatory blood test and
the weigh-in. I am now 11.5 stone (74.9kg). Heavier than
pre-leukaemia! That proves my amazing scientific fact
of the day:

EATING ALOT OF CRAP FOOD CAUSES WEIGHT GAIN

Yes, you heard it here first, folks! We can all accept
the Nobel Prize, together. (If the stage can support
the weight)

Burn, Baby, Burn!!!

Also today I had my pre-Radiotherapy talk and signed
the consent form to allow them to play Captain Picard
with me. Here are the possible and probable side-effects
of the 6 zappings:

  • Complete hair loss (I can now float in my bath and
    pretend I am a pre-cog in minority report)
  • Destroy Cancer cells Well that would be nice while
    I’m there .
  • Nausea Yes, I know.
  • Mucositis Hence the nose-tube for feedings. Idea for
    new cookery program called “Can’t Eat, Won’t Eat” where
    celebrity chefs create gastronomic delights that can
    fit in a 5mm tub
  • Fibrosis Bit worried about that one- I hope to enjoy
    a life of hiking & cycling etc. But I guess I need
    a life to start with…
  • Increased risk of cancer Bugger.
  • Infertility Yes, I know. Hence the little visit to
    the bank before Chemo started.

This machine costs

Categories
Leukaemia

Cycle of Life

Just got back from the New Forest and am packing for
hospital tomorrow- not very effectively as it happens.
It’s hard to believe I will be away from home for a couple
of months! Feels like the last day of the school holiday.
Unfortunately, It’s impossible to call in sick!

It was great to get away, and we managed to cycle an
average of 8 miles a day. To begin with, I had absolutely
no energy and my lungs and legs would burn constantly.
But I managed to get into it by the third day. What makes
cycling so great? It’s peaceful, exciting and nostalgic-when
I get through this I will definitely do ALOT more. Not
to the level of Lance Armstrong, naturally: I am only
aiming to win the Tour De France once.

Will report back from Hammersmith Hospital- Here we
go! love, miltx

Categories
Leukaemia

Blood, blood glory-less blood.

Another blood test today and… Platelets are up, haemoglobin
is slightly down and neutrophils have crashed to 0.8…well
I have to face it my blood system is just broken for
the time being. Oh well, will be getting a new one soon
enough! Amazing to think that my blood system will be
female from the 8th April. This will no doubt make me
more intelligent, sensitive, capable and attractive-
so look out!!! The doc decided to give me a GCSF injection.
(An injection in the arm that boosts the production of
blood cells) This should tide me over until Hammersmith
Hospital next Thursday. I am reading a vampire book at
the moment so rather obsessed by blood – all visitors
please leave your scarves at the door- I AM THIRSTY!

Had such a great time in the New Forest that I am returning
immediately – its the perfect retreat before my weeks
and weeks in a small ward being carefully poisoned by
trained professsionals.

My throat is almost completely better- thanks for your
concern- so I am talking again, much to the consternation
of those around me. Well just packing the car will update
later. The topics? My near-death experience, lucid-dreaming
and my life philosophy- be there or be…somewhere else.

Ciao

Milt x

Categories
Leukaemia

Yo! What’s up, blood??

Had a blood test at Charing Cross and it seems that
at long last, my blood counts are starting to improve:
(Neutrophils: 2.2 (ok) Platelets 43 (low but better)
and Haemoglobin 9.1 (slightly anaemic but not too bad)
It seems that the workers in my bone-marrow have finally
finished their extended strike and are now grumpily resuming
their duties: “Ey op. It weren’t like this in my
day- all this cancer and artificial chemicals and the
like- I don’t know- I really don’t…” I am not
entirely sure why I am characterising a stem-cell as
a middle-aged yorkshireman- but there it is.

My throat is still drier than a non-alcoholic sandpaper
shop in the Sahara desert on a particularly dry day.
Fortunately, I have some semblance of an immunity now
as well as antibiotics, and both homeopathic and western
mouthwashes to prevent it blossoming into a dangerous
infection. Still painful when I talk or laugh or eat
but I now have painkillers and I am sure it will get
better soon. So all is cool. More later!

Yours in silence,

Milton 🙂

Forest for Rest

We are off to the New Forest (Beautiful area of South
England) tonight for a day or two. I love nature and
hiking and this will be a very welcome break before the
months in hospital. I have some forest walks planned
and will take some pics. I am off to pack: The bare essentials
plus a couple of books and a guitar. Hopefully will see
some fairies in the wood. (Little mythical creatures
not men with good dress sense and a thorough knowledge
of musicals)

Toodlepip and tally-ho!

Milton of Hampshire

Categories
Leukaemia

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Typical, really. You may have noticed a lack of correspondence
with the fabulous Red Class recently. The reason? Well
one parent complained about the class communicating with
me via the guestbook saying that it was “promoting
chat-room behaviour” – so all communication wirh
me is forbidden by the Head. Hmmm…Now I understand
parents being protective of their children but this seems
to me irrationally paranoid. (Remember the good old pre-internet
days, when no child was subject to abuse? Er, no.)

What children (and some parents) need to learn is discernment:
good/bad, positive/negative, dangerous/safe and not a
complete rejection of a communication medium i.e. the
Internet. (Which they WILL be using very soon-is this
parent hoping their child will magically BYPASS the internet)
Is that parent worried that their 4-year old will go
out and buy a computer (cash or credit-card sir), arrange
the installation of broadband, handle the idosyncracies
of WinXP or MacOS X and fall into a den on paedophiles?
If they could do all that at age 4, they should be running
daddy’s business.

There is a difference between letting your child run
around in a playground while supervised and letting her
wander the streets of London alone. Let’s face it: a
responsible teacher relaying messages between a class-room
and some non-dangerous guy with cancer is very different
from a free rein of the internet.

This is just an irrational fear of a new medium. The
telephone may have paedophiles at the end of it-so you
SUPERVISE its use. The television may display inappropriate
images, so you SUPERVISE its use. So what’s the plan
with the internet and kids? SUPERVISION!

My suggestions for classroom subjects of the future
(parents welcome) to Milton’s triple-S course:

Self-Respect: Valuing oneself and others, common courtesy,
the ability to say ‘no’, dealing with bullying and abuse,
commnicating worries and fear etc.

Safety: Awareness of potential dangerous situations
and how to avoid them.

Social Science: How advertising works with self-esteem,
Addictions: sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other drugs)
Healthy eating (What is and isn’t real food) etc. etc.
etc.

Those courses would do much more to protect children
from a whole variety of abuse than some paranoid parents.
I wish I was taught them when I was a child (would have
prevented my abuse)

So now, Red Class no longer have Milt as a role-model,
and can return to their very safe and caring role-models:
Tony the Tiger, Coca-Cola, the latest film merchandising
attack, Ronald McDonald, professional wrestling…

Here’s to Red Class, may they (please) live full, fearless
and meaningful lives!!!

Categories
Leukaemia

‘ammersmith ‘ospital

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
that one.

Chest & Skull X-Ray. They found bones under my skin.
Big deal.

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
expression.

Anyhow, am all signed up and ready to go. Here’s the
schedule so far…

31.3.05 Admitted into Hammermith Hospital. Revamp room
immediately.

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
irradiation)

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
a party.

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
daily diet”

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!

Farewell Dorothy

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
Marc.

Best wishes to all of you, lead your fullest lives!!!
-milt x

Categories
Leukaemia

Adieu, to yer and yer and yer

Well I finally staggered out of Charing Cross Hospital
on Friday 4th March at 3.30pm. It was a strangely melancholy
experience to leave the ward. It was home to such a deep
personal experience that perhaps it was painful to walk
away from the location. It was witness to such incredible
human sorrow and courage and it will remain a part of
me forever. The smell of the food, however, I am happy
to leave behind.

See the last day in “The Bright Side” video!

Come Heavy Sleep

It seems the effects of months of treatment have finally
caught up with me: I slept 12 hours on Friday night and
18 hours on Saturday night! Now I am starting to feel
somewhat human again.

Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell

The current schedule is that my BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant)
will start in approximately 3 weeks at Hammersmith Hospital.
I have an appointment at Hammersmith Hospital where I
will be x-rayed, ct-scanned, blood-tested and given the
official plan. I will let you know of the news tomorrow.

The BMT is a serious procedure. I snuck a look at a
medical student’s pocket reference book and there it
was:

Bone Marrow Transplant. Mortality Rate: 20-40%

But with ALL(T-cell/Pre-cursor), I have little choice
but to accept the BMT. Statistics are a little misleading,
as in the end I will only be 100% dead or 100% alive.
I will give it my best shot.

Am I scared? Nah….

Take it easy, Milt-heads! Love, milton xxx

Categories
Leukaemia

Ward off Evil

Hello all. Many thanks for all your kind support and
concern. So Monday turned out okay and its business as
usual in Phase III, my last blast starting on Monday
28th February. It’s a high-dose methotrexate (that yellow
stuff in the “Singin’ in the Rain” vid). It
is some powerful stuff, the procedure is, basically:

1) 12 hours of fluids in preparation. (These fluids,
like every other drip, are put into my Hickman line.
This is a plastic line (in iPod-white) that has been
surgically planted in a vein to allow painless removal/insertion
of various fluids).

2) 24 hours of the chemo.

3) Uninterrupted fluid to flush out the chemo. During
this time every urine ‘offering’ is tested for pH level
to check that I am not becoming too acidic from the chemo.
Blood tests are taken daily until it is clear that I
have flushed all the chemo out of my body. This usually
takes 2-4 days, but I managed to break some kind of record
by clearing it in 24 hours (apparently I have Olympic
kidneys)!

And that will be my last few days at Charing Cross Hospital
– my home for the past 3 months. Despite being the scene
of much discomfort and some pain, I will take from it
mainly a positive experience and am rather saddened to
leave. Apart from the very, very occasional ‘bad egg’,
the level of care and support of the NHS doctors and
nurses has been simply excellent. What I saw was a lot
of hard-working and dedicated staff doing excellent work
in very difficult and under-resourced circumstances.
There are so many to whom I owe my gratitude. My thanks,
in particular, to the following fine people working at
Charing Cross:

Dr. Donald McDonald

Dr. Mamta Sohal

Dr. Philip Beer

Dr. Natalie Phillips

And the caring nurses of 6 South (Missy, Margaret, Jo,
Vicky, Maribel, Maria, Anne-Marie, “Rainbow” and
all the others my silly head cannot at present remember).

I owe you my life.

The Biggie

So it’s off to Hammersmith Hospital for the Bone Marrow
Transplant. As far as I understand it, it works something
like this:

My bone marrow had decided to create leukaemic cells.
My past 3 months involved destroying these leukaemic
cells to suppress their relapse and to give a window
of opportunity to perform the bone marrow transplant.
The bone marrow transplant means I will adopt an immunity
system that won’t create cancerous cells.

So, we blitz my immune system (through some very heavy
chemotherapy and radiotherapy – leaving me hairless and
I imagine completely frazzled). This is done so my body
doesn’t attack the grafted (new) immunity system. In
the meantime they extract “stem cells” from
my sister, Alex.

Stem cells are produced in the bone marrow and go on
to develop into blood cells (white blood cells, platelets
and red blood cells). While my immunity is suppressed,
I receive a load of my sister’s stem cells. These stem
cells then find their way to my bone marrow and hopefully
start building my new immunity system. The danger at
this point is “graft vs. host” – the new immunity
system may recognize my body as “foreign” and
start attacking it. (The implications range from okay
to not-good-at-all).

If all goes well the process will be 3-6 months long.
(That’s some process…) I know that the procedure is
risky and potentially fatal, but for some reason, I am
not scared. I will be documenting the whole experience
in words and video, so stay tuned…

Love & Music,

Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

Treatment Latest

I have only one week remaining in Phase III of my initial
treatment. Once that is completed, there are a few weeks
recovery followed by the Bone Marrow Transplat procedure.
However, the last week of Phase III has been held up
as my platelet level (a blood cell that enables clotting)
is too low (66 when it needs to be above 100). My schedule
has been pushed back a week already, and if the platelet
level is not above 100 by Monday, then it’s time for
another Bone Marrow Aspiration to see what’s going on.
I have already filmed one of these (“My Aspiration” video)
so am not desperate to have another, but if that’s what’s
needed, so be it. If my platelet levels are above 100
then I continue with my final week of chemo in Phase
III. Then it’s goodbye to Charing Cross Hospital (hopefully
for ever) and on to Bone Marrow Transplant at Hammersmith
Hospital in late March. So fingers crossed, let’s hope
that the low levels are just the cumulative effects of
all the chemo and nothing too concerning. Onward!

Kind Souls

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the very,
very kind souls who have organized concerts to support
my chosen charities. They are:

Martin May, Valerie May and their associates on Saturday
19th February who are playing in Haddenham in support
of the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Colchester Institute Guitar Department under the direction
of Tim Pells are playing in the Head Gate Theatre, Colchester
on February 28th in support of the Leukaemia Research
Fund.

Renegade Big Band, 7th February at RAM, who raised a
fantastic

Categories
Leukaemia

Hello Milt-Heads!

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’ve slept like a trooper. (A particularly sleepy trooper on valium).

It’s Valentine’s Day Eve.

I would like to encourage all visitors to send loads of valentine messages to your friends & lovers this year. You KNOW it feels good receiving them, be honest now…

Fizzy Fingers & Tingling Toes

The effects of the vincristine chemotherapy have still not abated. My fingers are just as numb and tingly as 4 weeks ago. It is most evident doing fiddly jobs: opening packets, turning pages and PLAYING GUITAR. Oh well, vincristine saved my life in Phase I so can’t really complain – I will keep you updated on the latest developments: FingerWatch…

Heaven Forbid

Okay very dangerous territory here. Lethal. But I would like to talk a little about religion. Now, I know people can become fiercely upset about this subject; even taking up arms to defend a point of view, so I will apologize in advance for any offence my personal opinion might have on the reader’s sensibilities.

I would have to say that I lie somewhere between the atheist and agnostic camps. I see such beauty in the world and at times I imagine that there is some order to the universe, but in general I do not sense the presence of an omniscient, benign entity keeping tally on our little lives and readying the scales for the after-life: Accept HIM and avoid the eternal barbeque etc.

This does not mean I don’t believe in the value of faith, compassion, morality and spirituality. However, I have never seen such things as dependent upon a belief in a G-dude – but hey that’s me. In fact, perhaps these are INDEPENDENT values from religion – we all know what damage can be done in the name of most religions.

I also fully admit that I know NOTHING and believe very little. Which means that I am completely open to suggestions and am not hanging onto any belief (or non-belief). So I am ready to listen to any ideas people have: the world was created in seven days, an after-life, water/wine tricks, karma, dinosaur-fossils as “faith-testers”, elephants with special powers, the A-team and so on. Really I am.

What I have difficulty in accepting is that any human, or group of humans on earth have THE ANSWER. How can they know for sure? Faith? Well there exist people with equally strong faith with completely different beliefs – so who’s right? I humbly suggest no-one.

I always wondered when it got down to it and my life was on the line, would I pray to a newly-found God. Well, I know the answer to that.

I didn’t and I don’t. (gasp)

The only belief I felt was that in my lust for life, joy of music and love for my family and friends.

I have the utmost respect for everyone’s opinion (clearly the greatest art has been created with the love of God in the heart). However, I do not relate to:

  • The need to impose one’s belief on others, door-to-door or otherwise
  • The belief that one book holds the truth and if you haven’t read it or don’t believe it, tough tutus, it’s eternal toasted crumpets for you.
  • The ‘fear’ of holding a differing opinion. Following a religion ‘just in case’ it is true. I call that ‘After-Life Insurance’ and surely an ominscient geezer would see right through that trick fairly sharpish.
  • I wouldn’t want to believe in a God that ‘saves’ people who accept some doctrine without questioning it and ‘damns’ those with independence of thought or the courage to think differently.

What I do know is that I believe in, and love: life, music, people, nature and creativity.

I am not sure if I am a ‘good’ person, I just do what feels right to me and I do my best to appreciate the life that I have been given. Clearly, I make many, many mistakes and have done regrettable things in my life. If my thoughts means no harp & wings and a mighty long time in the furnace, then so be it. At least it will make a change from the bloody English weather.

Love, peace and good will to you all – my friends, everywhere.

Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

Report from the Cancer front-line

2 months post-diagnosis, I thought I might share various thoughts on the “cancer battle”. The following, of course, represents my own personal views and I can’t speak for the entire cancer community, but I speak as honestly and directly as I can.

It’s a Lovely War

In many ways, once diagnosed I felt as if I had been enlisted into an army fighting the evil C empire. Living in an acute/terminal ward, to put it delicately, ‘rooms become available’. Or, as Tim puts it, people ‘go up to the 20th floor’. Death is everywhere and it is astonishing how quickly one gets used to it. Of course it is terrible to hear of a death, and to witness a family mourning, but very quickly one refocuses and gets back to the matter at hand: one’s own survival. There is also a sense of camaraderie among fellow patients and a mutual moral support system that arises, just as I imagine arises in a battling army. The haircuts are remarkably similar as well.

Alone Together

It seems paradoxical that despite the completely overwhelming and miraculous support from family, friends and wonderful strangers, I face the core of this challenge alone: My body, my mind, my mortality and my life. So at once cancer has brought me a level of interconnectedness with humanity and a degree of autonomy previously unimaginable. It feels as if the love and wishes of many give me the strength to face this challenge alone and without fear. And I’m not scared- I know I ‘should’ be – but I am not.

Healthy Living

I am a non-smoker, rarely drink (as anybody who has drunk with me will attest), am a ‘healthy eater’ and before my diagnosis exercised daily. So why did this happen to me? “No idea,” my doctors, who happen to be very intelligent and learned, say. So will I become one of those examples cited by smokers and drinkers as a reason to continue with an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’? Quite possibly. However, if I get through this, I will continue living as healthily as my commitment will allow. Why? Well two reasons:

  1. Quality of Life. I prefer to live without, for example, a dependence of cigarettes and the associated breathing difficulties. Even if I knew I would never contract a life-threatening disease from smoking, I would not choose to do it.
  2. If anything happens… I would not like to have entered the first few weeks of my treatment without healthy lungs, liver and kidneys. No way. No siree bob. If cancer IS completely random, then it could hit anybody at any time; and if it does hit, trust me, you want us much going for you as possible.

Soldiering On

I just want to live. I am nowhere near finished with what I want to do on this planet, and to leave now… well, it would be just untidy and rather rude. So I’ll do what I can, I’ll take any treatment to give me every chance of getting through this. A side-effect of one of my chemotherapy treatments is numbness and tingling of the fingertips. I have this and have no guarantee that it will go away. You know how much I love playing the guitar, but if that’s what’s needed to live, bring it on! As I have mentioned before, my priorities have now become concrete. Many things in life, are laughably unimportant. But the stuff that I value now – I will never stop fighting for.

Love & Peace,
Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

Report from the Cancer front-line

New track – ‘Chemo Burn’ is up!! Check it out on the music page now!

Categories
Leukaemia

Report from the Cancer front-line

To mark the passing of the one-month anniversary of MiltCentral.com, I felt it opportune to write a short message to you all outlining my current medical situation.

First of all, as always, I must thank you for the incredible love & support I have received around the world from family, friends & ‘strangers’. It is deeply appreciated and inexpressibly powerful. Thank you all!

I have just reached the end of Phase II of my chemo treatment. Phase I (4-5 weeks), you may recall, dealt with the initial leukaemic condition and continued with weekly chemo sessions interspersed with many L-Aspaganase injections (The painful ‘arse-shots’ that the international community seemed to enjoy me receiving!)

At the end of Phase I, I was in ‘remission’; there was no visible evidence of leukaemia in my body. This is, of course, good news but is nothing resembling cure. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) tends to come back and fast – it is generally just a matter of time before it returns after remission.

Phase II was heavy: 11 doses of chemo received in 6 days straight. Fairly tough going, made slightly more surreal by writing, recording and filming the Christmas single & video in the middle of it all! This was followed by a 3-4 week recovery period, when my flattened blood levels were allowed to return to normal. During this period a truckload of antibiotics were administered to help protect me form the countless germs out there.

I am very pleased to announce today’s neutrophil level as 1.1! This not only marks the end of Phase II, but because of a fast recovery, I have the added bonus of a week at home! I haven’t been home for almost two months, and haven’t even left the ROOM for 3 weeks!

Phase III starting on 24/1/05 is a 4-week session starting with a delightful 24-hour chemo session. After Phase III, we embark on the grand finale: Bone Marrow Transplant. This is, in its entirety, a 3-6 month process and I will be documenting it fully.

Am I scared? Nah…

Best wishes and love to you all,

Milton
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Categories
Leukaemia

So long, farewell, it’s time to say goodbyeee…

Milton has finally given that infection the kick up the arse it deserves! He is feeling much better for it and thanks everyone for their support. Incidentally he may get knocked down, but he seems to GET UP AGAIN!

Milton Breaks Through!!!
To top it all, the 0.0 neutrophil count curse has been broken. On Tuesday, Milton has a staggering count of 0.1! Once it hits the big 1.0, he can even leave the room for a while! These may seem trifling rewards, but trust us, they are not!

Virtual School of Rock
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Milton taught at the Royal Academy of Music via webcam! These were review sessions before Friday’s exam (which was completed in the ward). “The students were delighted,” Milton said.

Blood Blips
Milton has been composing abstract electronic music completely based on his blood results. Daily values are interpreted into musical data. Every sound is there because of a reading. Milton chose how each blood level links to each musical value and then it was a “hands-off” approach. Each day represents a bar, and each bar is one second long, mapping his medical history, clearly. Check it out, on the music page, just don’t expect Mozart!

Landmark Video
Milton’s new video is one of his favourites and breaks the mould of the whole Chemotherapy/Hospital Ward/Cancer film genre. Not to be missed…

Categories
Leukaemia

Happy New Year Everybody from all at MiltCentral!

We start the year with an incredible 14,000 visits!

And since it’s a new year, we’ve got new videos and a new competition!

Milton’s neutrophil level is rock bottom(0.0), which means few visitors and low energy, but he’s feeling better all the time. Just consuming his 12th bag of blood overall – all you people who donated: you are making a real positive difference to other peoples’ lives. Rock on!

Bridget, Jimi, Milton and his mum spent a lovely New Year’s Eve jamming jazz standards (okay, not Milton’s mum) and watching the incredible firework display over London.

Milton is presently struggling with infection – but is determined to get through with as little discomfort as possible. He is still editing video and responding to messages, but new tunes may have to wait a couple of days…

Categories
Leukaemia

MiltCentral Christmas Single Video

The incredible music video for “That’s Christmas” – the MiltCentral (alternative) Christmas Single – is here at last!! Check it out on the music page now! Many thanks to Ken Clark for his amazing work.

Calling all animators/java & flash programmers/clever people…

…We need you to help us create MiltToons and MiltGames – please get in touch!

Milton’s Latest Crazy Notion – the Map Of Love World Tour
Milton woke up today saying “Wouldn’t it be novel to visit every red dot on the map of love someday?” Well, Milton’s notions have had a habit of turning into reality lately, so a Milton world tour may well be on the cards. And he means every spot – Limerick, Ruma, Illinois, Inca Trail, Cape Town, and Hawaii…

Keep Milton busy – let’s get those spots everywhere!

Doctors declare first case of mysterious new disease.
Do you have a cold sweat away from your computer? Do you find yourself browsing the guestbook into the wee small hours? Does your heart jump when you seen a new vid up? Did you cry when you saw “The Odds”?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may well be a MiltHead! MiltHeadonism is a highly contagious yet apparently harmless condition. Find out how badly you are afflicted in the challenging competition quiz! The most MiltHeadonistic entrant will be treated immediately with exclusive & fabulous MiltCentral gifts…

(HEALTH WARNING: Doctors have suggested that MiltHeadonism may lead to increased heart size, lower stress levels and increased attractiveness.)

Categories
Leukaemia

10,000 visits!

It’s our two-week anniversary – and we’ve already gone past 10,000 visits..

Warm Seasonal Greetings to all of you!

A Big Thank You for the enormously positive response to my Christmas single. I wrote, recorded, edited & mixed the tune in 2

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