Today’s visit to Peter McCallum hospital was for the usual blood tests – wait two hours and then see Ming – the Clinical nurse for an update. This is my usual routine when I go into hospital.
We chose to walk up today which was a typical blustery coldish Melbourne morning. It takes about 45 minutes to walk up to the hospital but I figure it is good exercise and it gets me out of the apartment!
Ming had good and challenging news today. The high doses of steroids I am on (to manage the Graft versus Host disease) is damping down my immune system which is reducing my ability to control the cytomegalovirus in my blood. So I have had to swap the milder prophylactic dose of antiviral for a treatment dose of a more aggressive antiviral drug which has the unwanted side effect of slowing down the production of blood cells in my new bone marrow. All major blood tests were OK although my Haemoglobin and Platelets have dropped as a side effect of the Valganciclovir (the antiviral drug I am now on) and can only be fixed by transfusions. So I’ll be hooked up for some transfusions on Thursday which will take 5-6 hours at hospital.
The blood results today are:
Haemoglobin – 82
WCC – 4.7
Neutrophils – 4.2
Platelets – 27
Biliruben – 14
Ming said things are still tracking well overall and he is happy with the major results but the team will have to keep a close eye on the results this week as the GVH may show up again in my liver. It is a very steady balancing act between all the different drugs that I am taking and the corresponding reactions.
On Friday night we ventured out to the Convention Centre to hear Tim Winton talk about his new book – The Shepherd’s Hut. Tim spoke to an audience of around 1000 people – primarily about boys and how we’ve got lots of issues to deal with.
Over the week we were lucky enough to catch up with a few more people including Claire’s good friends Sophie and Charlotte Sutherland.
Wendy Cook and Helen Measday from Wagga called in for a cup of tea on Saturday. It was good to get their news and an update on Wagga happenings.
We managed to catch up with Jan’s brother Andrew, Heather and their three lovely children, Ned, Maggie and Jack for a pizza in the local park – they were on their way home from Cape Otway after a camping weekend with the home schooling fraternity.
And on Sunday we enjoyed a great visit from our business partner in the Kimberley Michael McConachy who was enroute to Brisbane for work. Michael called in with lots of documents to sign but also to update us on the most recent happenings in our business. It was a great catch up.
This week my Cousin from America, Scott and fiance Katie are in Australia and we plan a good catch up on Tuesday with a family dinner Tuesday night (an early celebration for Claire’s birthday as well).