The Only Way Out Is Through: September 2012

In the Rear Vision Mirror: 3

The only way out is through (September 2012)

Before the heavy chemo was infused
My stem cells, were collected, to be used
If the chemo failed, as a last resort,
The final way, my cancer could be fought!

Heavier doses of chemotherapy
Were failing to work, disappointingly.
So eighteen months was the doctor’s call,
The chemo was stopped, scary, I recall!

There was a way, it was later said,
If I had a stem cell transplant instead
Of leaving things to chance, but it would need
The okay of a hospital, to proceed.

The Royal Hobart agreed to a cell
Transplant: they acknowledged I wasn’t well.
They were concerned that I may not survive
The infusion; the side effects were massive.

A form of ‘roundup’ was just the start,
To kill the marrow, as the first part
Of the process, before the young stem cells
Could be infused, to grow, to make me well.

The two-week process was really tough
While old cells died and new cells grew enough
To take their place, but during transition,
My immune system was in poor condition.

Weak as a kitten, it was undoubtedly said
For it took three nurses to get me to bed
After having been stuck on the loo;
No strength to move, a sorry to do!

Isolated, and exceptionally weak,
A goal setting, meditative technique,
Helped me to survive the situation
As stem cells continued their propagation.

Days have progressed, to weeks, to months, to years,
And in spite of all the worry and fears
Waldenstroms Macroglobulinaemia and child
Amyloidosis, are not running wild.

Light Chains near normal is a good sign
That my disease, though not in decline,
Is stable, and for now the battle is won,
Even though extensive damage was done.

The love of Joy for seven long years
And the care she gave, in spite of her fears,
Was a constant support, gave reason to live,
But the toll on Joy, the carer, is massive!