On the 30th July it will be a whole year since I was admitted to Southampton for my bone marrow transplant, and all is good!
I know from my private messages, and friends, that people are watching my journey, and as I haven’t blogged for a while I thought it was time for an update… so here goes!
I now have 100% Jane’s bone marrow and blood group, but I only have 78% of her immune system, which is not where the consultants at Southampton want me to be. They need me to be 100% as a precaution really – because my own immune system couldn’t deal with leukemic cells, which got me into this mess in the first place! Anyway, that is the reason I have been having lymphocyte infusions, which are little top ups of Jane’s cells.
However…this little technicality was the reason for what happened yesterday, because I have now had all the cells that were frozen from the original collection, but I still need more lymphocyte cells! So Jane was asked to donate again, and thankfully agreed!!
She had had another medical last month and was good to go, but since then she had been to Turkey for 2 weeks, hence the tan, so I was desperately hoping she hadn’t picked up anything. She and David, her loyal and supportive husband, stayed at a Southampton hotel on Wednesday night as she was booked for the cell collection early on Thursday morning, and when I spoke to them it sounded like they were having another holiday. Unbeknown to them though, Countryside (my employer) had agreed to give me a couple of days off so that I could be there to support my sister just like she did with me last year – and I was desperate for it to be a surprise. It was so hard speaking to her at the hotel and not letting the cat out of the bag!
They got to the hospital at 8am, then to their surprise I rocked up at 9!! It was great to be there with her. Until then I wasn’t even aware that she had hurt her back and was in great pain – but she still managed to soldier on. She had checked with the hospital first and they had offered to postpone, but she said ‘No’, for which I am really grateful as I am booked in for the next top up on the 4th August and it has all been arranged!
Anyway, I arrived just before she went to theatre to have the lines put in. They took her up in a bed due to her back, and I felt myself welling up as it brought back all sorts of memories from last year. Once they brought her back I took a few pics and a little video of the cell collection machine at work – which also shows my lovely supportive brother-in-law looking completely ‘not bothered’ that his wife is hooked up to a big spin dryer!
But I have to say…my sister… Jane Cochrane, the most kind, uncomplaining, selfless person I know. I count her as one of my best friends as well as my sister – and I know that if we weren’t sisters I would still want her as a friend!
By he way – I have put myself forward as a ‘voice’ for Leukaemia Care, so you could be hearing a lot more from me 😉 xx