Today was the big day to find out the results of the Bone Marrow Biopsy. We had an 8.30am appointment with lead consultant John Seymour and left Docklands at 7.45am to combine this with the morning walk (only about 5000 steps) but weaving through interesting parts of North Melbourne.
John’s consulting room is in the new Peter Mac building and is quiet spartan (without any windows or views) but adequate. And funnily enough he had a different room originally with a view down Elizabeth street but found his desk orientation would not allow him to interact with his patients in his chosen manner! This says a lot about the man.
John’s opening lines were “all your tests are good” but he did not elaborate on this for some time asking me if I felt ‘normal’.
The big news came out slowly that the Bone Marrow Biopsy showed a low count of Blasts (less than 5% – 2.8% in fact) which means officially I’m in “Remission” from the Cancer. All my other blood counts were in the normal range or higher. Remission does not mean cure, it just means they can’t detect the cancer at the moment. Cure is a long way off!
However with that news came the timeframes and process from here which is basically:
5-6 Days of Chemotheraphy
4-5 Day home
10 days back in Hospital during the Neutropenic stage (they will nuke all blood cells again just to be sure).
Another Bone Marrow Biopsy to check on these latest results.
And then up to a month at home waiting for the Bone Marrow Transplant. I don’t have the details on this but I believe it involves more Chemo and IV drugs and then close monitoring after the transplant – possible another 3 weeks in hospital. This will be revealed in due course.
If that goes well then there will be 3 months of visits to the hospital for checks 3 times each week. This defines the minimum period of time I will be in Melbourne to 6 months – maybe more.
I gave John some extra details on some shoulder pain I had been experiencing for a few days and despite no high temperatures he seemed concerned. So concerned that he ordered an immediate CT scan of my lungs – thinking the pain was pleural pain (referred pain from the lungs).
This involved getting ourselves to another ward in Peter Mac and the usual hospital wait before being put through the CT scanner after an IV injection of contrast medium. The actual procedure was no more than 10 minutes but the 1.5 hrs prior was just written off to ‘Hospital Time’.
We left the hospital and enjoyed a lovely birthday lunch for Jan at a nice restaurant in North Melbourne (Lachy made it as well). She received lots of lovely messages from friends and family plus cards to help make here day. Her old Wagga book club buddies even rang to sing Happy Birthday.
And following a quick nap at home Lachy drove us down to Williamstown for another Drone session in a large park, away from crowds and CASA restrictions. This was so much fun that even Jan had a go at flying the Drone.
When out flying John Seymour rang with the CT Scan results of the lungs and left a message to contact the ward. The news was they wanted me to start some IV antibiotics to treat my lung infection (read pneumonia) ASAP and to make arrangements to come into the hospital today (rather than tomorrow as planned ). This seemed OK but unbenown to me Ward 7B was full and a bed was found in another Ward – involving a whole new admittance procedure and enough questions and forms to sink a battle ship.
So my Consolidation phase of Chemo is likely to be put back a few days while they focus on the infection in my lungs. More details tomorrow.