Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Stem Cells Birthday to Me

This day six year's ago I was spending the first of two days in Saint James's Hospital in Dublin having my stem cells harvested as part of my treatment for Multiple Myeloma - a cancer of the blood/bone marrow. 

It was cutting edge to watch all the machines and the stem cells literally being sucked out of my blood as it was taken out and put back into my body through my central line. The care I received was fantastic and we had great fun despite me being sick with nerves and still a little sick from the chemo I had received the previous week. 

I was one of the lucky ones whose stem cells mobilised and were harvested. After two days on the machine they had harvested enough for not just one, but two stem cell transplants. 

The first of the stem cells in their little bag of life 

It was an extraordinary challenging and yet miraculous time for me and for my family. Each part of the treatment had its own side effects and problems but it was all well and truly worth it. 

I spend two weeks in hospital for the process of harvesting my stem cells and the second day of harvesting was on the Friday of the June bank holiday weekend. Even though I had been on the machines and had a very intensive day I persuaded them to send me home on the Friday evening - day two of the harvest - so as I could be around family for the long weekend.

On the trip from Saint James's Hospital back to Tallaght I was very woozy from the drugs and the effects of having my blood taken out and put back in so I said to the ambulance driver 'I would be a cheap date tonight - one drink and I would be singing' and he very quickly retorted 'what time will I pick you up at?'. It's funny what you remember from a day like that. 

Me and My Collected Stem Cells May 2007 

Here's to my wonderful stem cells which worked and which kicked cancer in the butt and here's to my stem cells waiting patiently for me in Saint James's should I need another transplant.

Onwards and upwards [well once I have today's hospital visit over]. LOL

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend and here's to health, the only wealth you ever need. 

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