Friday, 15 November 2013
My dear friends, for that is what you have become to me as you've walked theses last 11 months with me. This is day 114 post transplant it is probably the most coherent one I have written over the last four weeks of this hospital admission.
Please allow me to attempt to explain the madness of this current hospital admission. I was admitted into hospital four weeks and two days ago, Wednesday 16th October 2013, with a severe case of tonsillitis. Initially, when I went in, I only expected to be in for a few days, one week tops; but as it transpired, this was not to be thee case. I was severely ill for a a week for a week, unable to eat or drink anything, while having to contend with raging temperatures and aggressive rigours. The infection was not responding to to any of the antibiotics, and blood cultures weren't growing anything. I can't tell you how hopeless I felt at that point. Eventually, I coughed out a large ball of pus, which was bigger than my actual tonsil, which then grew three different types of bacteria which meant the infection could be treated strategically.
I thought, that this was the point where I had turned the corner, but how sadly was I mistaken. While some of my symptoms, had started to resolve, new ones, had started to rear the ugly head, namely vomiting. Despite not having to contend with the pain of swallowing, I could not keep any food or liquid down, invariably, vomited the contents violently back up. To make matters worse, due to the high pressure of vomiting and low platelets, I had caused a bleed in the retina of the back of both my eyes and my optic disc was swollen, which has made it very hard to see until today. Seeing is still difficult, but it is improved day by day.
I could not understand why my symptoms were not getting better. The doctors kept telling me that I am doing better, with regards to the tonsillitis, but I felt like I was getting worse. It was a little over a week ago now, when I was given the first "warning shot" so to speak. When you get to day 100 post transplant, it is protocol that a bone marrow biopsy should be down. Now, up until this point, I had been refusing the biopsy on the grounds that it was protocol, the one from day 30 went very well and I was still currently in real discomfort. But it was then when the consultant revealed a tiny bit of information that changed everything. They told me that they needed to do the biopsy as soon as possibly because there is a real fear that the cancer has relapsed and come back. If it is a relapse, there is nothing they can do for me, I will die.
It was in that week, that I got all my family to come down here. Literally, within the hour of the phone call, they had left Aberdeen in the middle of the night and were on their way to be with me. I cannot, possibly express sufficiently how grateful and relieved I was to see them. There were, a few times, during their visit, that it felt like this was it and we were saying goodbye in this life to one another. I got to meet my newest niece for the first time, which was a completely beautiful experience. My only regret is that I didn't have enough energy to play with them. But they will be down again soon. I had some beautiful moments with brother and sister-in-law which I will cherish for all eternity; likewise with my parents also, which I never would have expected in my wildest dreams - God answers prayer, He just doesn't tell you how He is going to do it.
A week later, now to present day, I have those results. The cancer has come back and I am going to die soon. They have given me a rough estimate of time scale of about three months; but it could be more, equally, it could be less. I have so much to share with you about how I'm feeling, how it feels to know that I'm dying, how it feels to know that I will be leaving you all behind; but that is for a post in the near future. But please, be assured, that despite everything, I am at peace. I have the peace of God that transcends all understanding . I am happy. I am free. I am going home.