Friday, 18 December 2009

People make a difference

People make a difference! Just a few kind words from people in the village or via emails and it really lifts my spirits. We also sensed that in the atmosphere when we visited the Royal Marsden Hospital yesterday.

I must first of all say that I have had excellent treatment from my oncologist in Southampton. He was absolutely determined to bring me into remission, which he has, in time for a bone marrow transplant. I am glad we decided to stay overnight with our son before going to the Hospital as a journey up to London via Hindhead would have meant a knuckle-biting experience.

When we returned it was already snowing and the South of England reacts to a light dusting as if it were a major calamity. I was exhausted. There was such much riding on our visit and the last few weeks have been emotionally draining because of the delays in organizing further treatment after the chemotherapy was over. I also had had nine lots of blood taken for specific tests and to carry out another tissue match.

I met both the Professor in charge of the whole unit and the Sister and both were charming and encouraging. Although they have access to the bone marrow donors already found where 9 out of 10 antigens match, they will do a further search in case a 10/10 match can be achieved as new donors come on stream all the time.

I was told that they would provide me with as much information about my donor as they were able. I did explain why I was particularly interested in my DNA and whereabouts the donors came from because of the circumstances surrounding my conception. Apparently if you are English and your antecedents were English, it is quite easy to obtain an excellent match. The problem comes if your parents come from elsewhere even though about 80% of the registered donors are Caucasian.

Of course, not everything is finally arranged and I must have approval from BUPA but the outlook is looking distinctly more positive. By Monday a number of things will be happening and who knows what the results will be!

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