25 March 2018
Today is Day 100 post transplant, a recognised milestone in donor stem cell transplant.
Here in hospital, the doctors confirmed this morning that, using the tractor metaphor of a BT colleague, I am still 'between the hedges' !
This donor stem cell process was always going to be tough for us, given my medical history, with challenges along the way. Arguably, I've been unlucky with skin GvHD, diabetes due to required steroids, several infections and more recent roadbumps.
In difficulty, we have experienced kindness. I needed surgery for an abscess on Thursday night; as the general anaesthetic was administered, I once again surrendered self to the process and others' skill. Before going under, I thanked the surgical team for their help. The anaesthetist said "That's why we're here" ... it is good to have a generative purpose in work/life, and there's lots of that intention within the NHS.
We have come to see this transplant experience as similar to water rafting - not only are there visible potentially bruising rocks to be navigated, but there's also a sense of vigilance given that other unknown hazards may lie waiting beneath. "Brace!, Brace!" from the Tom Hanks film 'Sully', landing Flight 1549 on the Hudson, comes to mind.
In May 2014, my convalescence took us to Barcelona for our wedding anniversary.
As we walked into the La Ramblas Plaza, Psalm 18:19 came to mind:
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
For now there is, once again, a level of challenge, confinement & weariness after 11 months of illness. We yearn for rest, freedom & strength. And, we're thankful for encouragement, practical support and prayer along the way.
This Palm Sunday, wishing everyone, especially people facing any difficulty, an Easter week which brings a sense of Hope.