That French was probably depressingly wrong, especially given what I got for GCSE. But it matters not; I never have to do a French class again.
Anyway, I have returned from the stem cell harvest.
Anyway, using my natural charm and general awesomeness, I convinced two of the nurses on duty the night before that happened to possess a certain amount of awesomeness themselves (though not quite as much, obviously :P), a fair amount of musical talent, a guitar and a recorder to serenade me at 8 o’clock in the morning with a (well rehearsed I’m sure) song to awaken me from my gentle slumber. I was the envy of the entire ward, though perhaps not everyone’s favourite patient – when the two nurses in question play their instruments, they play them so everyone can hear :P.
Although unconventional, it was certainly a very welcome change to being awoken by a beeping drip machine, a nurse changing my chemo drugs or a screaming child. I’ll take the angelic serenade any day 😛 (no really, I’m not just saying this because they might be reading; I was thinking they weren’t going to do it but it was actually really good). Anyway, enough sucking up to the nurses (though it’s not unwise to be nice to the people that are going to be caring for you day and night for days at a time).
The day before, I had had to have a tube put into one of my veins (they just can’t stick enough tubes into me it seems). Anyway, this one was supposed to go into a vein in my groin. That would be inconvenient enough, but it seems that the surgeon who did it made a royal cock-up (hey, we’re all human) and managed to confuse the vein in my groin with my artery. Back to medical school, I think. Of course, he stuck the tube in anyway. How he didn’t realise that he hadn’t just pierced the wall of one of my major arteries I’ll never know, and to be fair he did come and apologise the morning after the harvest.
The next morning, after my musical interlude and breakfast, the Stem Cell Harvest Man (I think that’s his name – I can imagine his parents naming him “Stem C. M. Man”) came with a big fat machine that looked like one of those early computers in the 60s. It had two tubes, in and out, which wove themselves around a complicated course, propelled by wheels similar to those you’d find on those old fashioned big magnetic tape drives. In the heart of the machine was a centrifuge, which spun and separated my blood out into layers. It just so happens that my blood stem cells form one of those layers, and so they can harvest that particular layer, pump it into a bag, and give me my blood back.
That’s the (poorly explained) theory, anyway. Due to Mr. Surgeon being drunk (I’m not actually angry at him, just poking fun :P) or something, though, they couldn’t use the big fat tube they’d put in my groin the previous day. They had to put a whacking great needle into one of the veins in my left arm for the output, and put a tube into the back of my right hand for the blood return. This is all well and good, but for a procedure scheduled to take at least 2 hours (my blood stem cell count had been unusually high, thankfully – normally it can take up to 6) being told “don’t move your left arm” isn’t ideal. Anyway, I managed to get some sleep, and after 2 hours my veins gave out right on schedule, giving me 9.3 million blood stem cells, which is more than enough =].
And that was that really. They then took all the various tubes out, except for the one in my chest. That was an interesting day when I look back at it; I’ve never had so many attractive nurses all wanting to look at my groin. Seriously though, it was weird being in hospital and not feeling rubbish or being connected to an ever-beeping drip machine.
Next stop is Stanmore, where I have my operation. That won’t be particularly fun – 2 weeks in Stanmore hospital with my leg in a harness (not looking forward to going to the toilet) followed by going straight to Southampton for my next chemo dose. When I do finally get home, I won’t have recovered – I can see myself hobbling around with the aid of crutches – so the total recovery time after the surgery could be 5-6 weeks, I’m not sure. In the meantime I have just over a week to contemplate my navel and possibly poke my head into school (actually, considering what I just said, probably both). Luckily the teachers won’t be expecting much of me, and I won’t be there until half term, after which my attendance will be patchy at best, so it doesn’t really matter.
Oh yeah, and my sister has a boyfriend. Just thought I’d put that on the internet to embarrass her; no other reason really.
Oh yeah, thank you all for your support and comments and things =]. It does make a difference knowing I’m not writing to zero audience.