You remember how the plan was to have an autograft?
It seems I’m not much good at getting my stem cells going, as the bone marrow harvest the other day didn’t provide nearly enough for the autograft… It’s unlikely that further harvests would suddenly garner big results, and without enough stem cells for the ‘rescue’ I can’t have the high-dose chemotherapy and radiotherapy, so the autograft is no longer a possibility. Naturally this is a bit frustrating, as I’d got my mind set on it and was looking forward to potentially finishing my treatment in the next couple of months and being back to full strength by, say, September.
Instead, I’ll now be having the long-term chemotherapy option, which of course has its advantages. Although I’ll still be having some radiotherapy, it’ll just be cranial this time, so hopefully the side effects will be less. The treatment is less intense than the autograft, and there will not be the 5-10% risk of picking up an infection that would prove fatal. If you remember, the success rates of the autograft and the long-term chemotherapy are pretty much the same, as far as anyone can tell.
I’m a bit gutted, though, as I do think that for quality of life, the autograft is definitely the best option. It would have been great to get it over with quickly, and to have been able to get on with life pretty much as normal possibly even before a year had elapsed since my diagnosis. Instead I’ll still be getting treatment perhaps into 2008, which is a long way away. I was also prepared for the autograft and all it entailed; the long-term chemo protocol looks daunting.
Rationally, I know that this isn’t really a setback at all, considering the end result and chances of a positive outcome are the same as they were. But as you can probably tell, my rational side isn’t winning the argument at the moment. I’m home alone for about 24 hours as my father’s going to Edinburgh for a party and Freddie’s serving beer at Aintree, and I’m quite glad for the time alone – all I want to do at the moment is mope around and kick things.
Perhaps it’s all for the best? It may well be but I’m an impatient sod. The light at the end of the tunnel just got dimmer, though of course it is still there. In practical terms, I’m now at home for the next couple of weeks, though will be at Downside for the Easter Retreat (every cloud has a silver lining) and will know more about the exact plan when I see Samar and Dr Dalley a fortnight on Monday.
Hurrah for long-term chemo etc.