This time seven year's ago I was in the middle of a two-week process of harvesting my own stem cells. I was reminded of this yesterday at a talk I was giving on Lough Derg about living with cancer.
I thought I would share two actual diary entries that I wrote as I was going through the stem cell harvest process on 23 and 24 May 2007. This is exactly as I wrote them in my journal - no editing and no filter:
Wednesday 23 May 2007 DAY 3
1.30am, the early hours of this morning the awful nausea turned into actual vomiting - gut wrenching vomiting. I was attached to the IV fluids so by the time I realised what was happening I only had time to unplug it and make it to the sink in the room and not the bathroom. Eugh
It brought back memories of the awfulness of the sickness I had last December. I was dripping with sweat and my new surgically inserted line started to ooze - so painful. What a horrible feeling.
I did manage to get back to sleep but I had a lot of pain and was generally very miserable.
When I saw the doc early this morning he said he would write me up for some strong anti-sickness meds. Liz came down and she was unhappy that I was allowed to be so sick so she got onto it too.
I threw up again at 3pm - really bad, really painful - it was my own fault. I should not have drank a can of LILT - but I was so raw and thirsty.
I decided to walk down to the shop and was asked by one of the nurses to get a paper for the man in the room across from me - JOB done, after a tentative walk......
I had a visit from a medical student who had to assess me. He asked me at the end if I was a doctor or worked in medicine - Ha ha! Doctor's coat anyone?
PS Cyclizine drug is my new best friend - no more sickness today.
Thursday 24 May 2007 DAY 4
EVERYBODY HURTS SOMETIMES
NEW SERIES OF GREY'S ANATOMY TONIGHT (for some reason I have that written on the top of the page - no idea why)
I woke up with this morning with a great sense of relief. I slept well apart from couple of trips in the night - false alarms. I wasn't sick so the new anti sickness drug is working. Cyclizine is working - what a relief. I have to remember to get scripted for this in advance of the next set of chemo. NOTE TO SELF WRITTEN
I had jelly and ice cream for lunch. I couldn't eat anything else. I did the scene from Jurassic Park with the jelly shuddering and shivering on the spoon in the girl's hand. Screen test anyone?
The nurses and doctors are lovely. They are so caring especially when they see how miserable you are. They just can't do enough for me. I have nothing but respect and admiration for them.
Saw Dr Enright - she is happy with me and my response.
Emma came up (that's my daughter who was 9 at the time) and I know she misses me. She is full of questions about my line in my chest and the meds I am on and constant fluids. She is such a gorgeous girl. Bryan said I appear to me much better, more relaxed about my time in hospital this time round. I guess I am more relaxed as I had notice that I was going to be admitted and had read up on all that was going to happen so I was able to plan.
Friday 25 May 2007 DAY 5
Another good night last night. I think I was up twice for two more false sickness alarms. Very vivid dreams. Bryan was telling me that Cathal has learned how to climb up and into his cot so I guess that now means he can climb out too! Oh O!
I am in good form today. I asked the doctors about getting out for day release and he has to check with the consultant. I doubt she will say yes. I am still on the anti sickness drugs and am scared what will happen if I come off them. I am now on the other injections into my stomach for helping to mobilise my stem cells.
My Mum told me that Emma sat Cathal down and was explaining to him that I now have a line sticking out of my chest and telling him he can't touch it and needs to be careful and gentle. He said I will be careful and I won't pull it. I am aching to see him.
I had a great chat with Emma tonight. She is just adorable and I hope that I am and can always be the mother she deserves.
I am so excited - just found out I am allowed out for a few hours tomorrow.
Cathal phoned with the help of Bryan at about 9.30 tonight and said: "Where are you Mammy? I miss you." I thought my heart would break. Then he said "Love you Mammy".
Are there any nicer words to hear from your child?
Signing off for the night.
I kept a journal faithfully during my year of sickness and I am hoping to publish it soon as a book called LIFE FINDS A WAY.
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