Friday, 16 July 2010

We slowly worked our way through a post dinner bottle of champagne as we gorged on a few episodes of West Wing on DVD before finally retiring to bed; Emma well fed snoring in the adjacent room. A thoroughly relaxed evening contrasting with the start of the day.

Taking a nervous break from the working week Thursday afternoon saw the return of the judges verdict following my BMB a few weeks ago. The results were in; the votes had been counted; my ordeal was over. For now.

The bone core sample, the marrow, and the marrow aspirate show no signs of any hairy cells. I am glad that it was the consultant that had seen me through most of this that was there to tell me, along with the fantastic nurse that runs the day room and who had given me my chemotherapy.

There is little I feel I can say at this point other than I am glad it is all over. It has been a nervous week as today approached. Not knowing whether it would be good news or whether we would be planning another round of chemo in a bid to knock of the last of the hangers on. I hadn't let myself consider the possibility that it would have been a complete success. Instead wondering how long I would be in hospital next time, and whether the next round of treatment would fit in with various holidays and work trips planned for the rest of this year.

I spent some time wondering if I should have been more careful over what I was eating. Should I have abstained completely from alcohol. Numerous books would suggest that this is imperative yet medical science suggests otherwise. For my type of Leukaemia there just isn't much you can do at a dietry level to bring it on or send it packing. I eat pretty healthily anyway and just had the odd glass of wine here and there. Any more would have put my liver under pressure, giving it more work to do on top of sorting out all the drugs I have been taking.

Friday morning was the first this year where breakfast has not been accompanied by a cocktail of three different pills. Last night the thought "shit I forgot to take my drugs" flitted briefly across my mind as I realised it was a habit I had gratefully been allowed to kick.

My next checkup is in January. I'll be having bloods taken and tested every six months now until the Hairy Cells come back and there is a pretty good chance that they will.It may be one year, it may be ten. Remission times can be long for this cancer and, fingers crossed, there will be even better treatments by the time I have to take my next turn.

Until then this blog will cease to become the major part of my life that it was when my Leukaemia was around. It has been just under a year and yet the whole thing seems to have taken years. It really has felt that we have all been dealing with this all our lives.

I would like to thank all of you who have read this blog, be you family or people I am yet to meet, who have sent emails or messages of encouragement through friends, family etc. they honestly have made it easier to get through. There are family here in the UK, friends living or travelling abroad, fellow suffers around the world, and students in places as far flung as South America who have stayed in touch an accompanied me on this ride.

Thank you all. And please feel free to keep in touch.

I will add to this blog as I have new thoughts on my ordeal. As I find new things that those coming up behind me on the same path may find of use. And possibly as my health changes and I begin the next round of treatment in many years time. Until then life is back to normal. Emma is nearing 6 months old and is an absolute joy. Such a bright little person she has got me through this as much as anyone and has been what the fight has all been for. I hope to see her do a lot of growing up before I have to go through all of this again.

For those who have stumbled across this blog because they have just been diagnosed or those who are in the best of health I just want to say make the most of what you have. It is hard to live life to the full and until something like this happens you never really appreciate how fragile this all is and how quick it can all be gone. There have been a lot of song lyrics that have helped me along this road but one in particular has been an internal mantra on bad days or days of doubt and for now I shall leave you with that.

Good health to you all; and thank you.

"We’ll be washed and buried one day my girl
And the time we were given will be left for the world
The flesh that lived and loved will be eaten by plague
So let the memories be good for those who stay"

– Mumford and Sons