Transplant Day

For those of you who follow my progress solely via my blog, I can only apologise for the infrequency of updates- but please take this as a good thing! As I’m sure you know, when writing these blogs the majority of material is hospital related. This is because I figure that not many people want to hear about my day-to-day life when at home, hence the lack of blog posts means I have stayed out of hospital.

The beginning of July was my last post and we were slap bang in the middle of ‘Murray Mania’ at Wimbledon and ‘Exasperating England’ at the Euros- the less said about that the better.

Since July, although i have required a few hospital trips due to minor infections, I have mainly been keeping a low profile at home and continuing my course of chemotherapy as an outpatient. However, behind the scenes a lot of work has been carried out by a lot of people in preparation for my transplant, to whom I am eternally grateful.

The last mention of a bone marrow donor, back in July, was that of a 10/10 Brazilian match with the transplant date around late August, early September. Unfortunately, for several reasons, this was  not as good a match as first anticipated and we were unable to proceed with the transplant at that time. Bang went my dreams of playing great footie and delivering a ‘Strictly 10’ samba!

In recent weeks however, I was informed that a male in his mid-twenties will be my donor, with the transplant date being today, Friday 7th October! The donor has been confirmed and over the previous two daimg_5072ys he has generously been donating his stem cells. The cells were couriered yesterday to The Royal Marsden, where they will be transfused into me later today.

In preparation for today, I have been receiving daily courses of radiotherapy for the last couple of weeks (fast tracking my St. Tropez sun tan). This involved lying completely still for roughly 40 minute sessions- a challenge for me at the best of times. To help with this, each day they played calming background music, but I questioned their song choice when Dido, ‘The Best Days of My Life’ came on!

This amazing journey that I am on would not have been possible without the help and support of various groups of people and organisations. My ongoing thanks go to The Royal Marsden in Sutton which has become my second home, and all the staff that work there, namely the consultants, nurses, catering staff, social workers, porters and anyone else who has had to put up with me (you know who you are)!

Further thanks go to organisations like the Anthony Nolan Trust who were instrumental in finding my donor. If you haven’t already done so please consider either spitting in a pot (if you are of suitable age) or making a small donation to these charities. Please click here to join the register and here to donate to Anthony Nolan.

Last but by no means least, today would not have been possible without the selfless act of my donor. One of my wishes is that one day I will be able to personally thank him from the bottom of my heart!

From tomorrow, while I take time to adjust to my new and improved immune system, I will be in isolation for a few weeks and on quite a cocktail of drugs. Myimg_5065 recovery and treatment thereafter will be ongoing possibly for up to 6 months, so guess what, more blogs to follow…sorry!


4 thoughts on “Transplant Day

  1. Good Luck Neil! Sending best wishes and good vibes to you and your family, but especially you..I know you won’t remember who I am, but I am a friend of your parents from the Barcelona days. Love to you all from Sue Mayo xxx

  2. The Callahans are thinking of you. Also booking you in for next year’s hull cleaning!! Lots of love to you from Mo, Clive, Inés, Lluis, Lola and Alex.

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