Just wanted to start off this post by saying a massive thank you to everyone who has been reading and sending me messages. They are all really greatly appreciated. (Sorry, cheesey moment over...)
When we arrived for chemo number 3, the nurses told me that my consultant wanted to see me when I was finished. I assumed just for a chat to see how it was all going. The chemo session was fine, apart from the nurse missing my vein. Again. But if that's the worst thing about it, I can't complain too much. We waited around for him for about 20 minutes after my chemo finished and he called us into an office. He asked how I was, how I'd been feeling etc and we had a nice chat. He then dropped a bombshell. The type of lymphoma I have is a very rare form (which I knew), and he went on to say, that the chances of it coming back post chemotherapy was about 50%. However, if I were to have a stem cell transplant, the cure rate would be about 87%. A stem cell transplant involves some very high doses of chemo and the removal of my stem cells, do something to them (I'm not quite sure what) and then put them back inside me. This could be up to a month in hospital, plus a couple of months recovery time. Just what I wanted to hear. This was another one of those consultations (like my diagnonsis one) where so much was said, but not very much was taken in after. He said he would explain much more after my next PET CT scan, which was due between chemos 4 and 5.
I think I've been very lucky so far with regards to side effects (not with much else!) Apart from losing my hair and feeling very tired, I haven't had any sickness or other common side effects associated with the chemotherapy. Phew.
We trecked again to the hospital for my second PET CT scan (the radioactive cancer one). When they eventally called me (they were running late...) the nurse did a couple of tests, height, weight, blood etc, before inserting the canular for the injection. Unsurprisingly, it took two attempts to get the needle in as I always appear to have useless veins when they are most needed... When she got it in after the second attempt, I started to feel all light headed and dizzy (you have to fast from food before these scans due to the radioactive injection, and it was now close to 2 o'clock). Thank God I didn't pass out, and the nurse fetched me some water and I felt a bit better. A tiny, little, Italian man then fleeted over to initiate the injection which they put through the canular and I had to lay still under a blanket for an hour before they could start the scans and so that the radiation has time to get into my system. The scan was the same as earlier described, loud, claustrophobic and took about an hour. The results were sent straight to the doctor who we were due to see the following week before my next chemo.
I went for my next pre chemo blood test and each time you have to wait for the doctor to check your blood levels and they have to sign it off before you can have your next session. After waiting for over two hours to see the doctor, she said I'm borederline anaemic, but shouldn't worry about it and she signed me off to proceed with chemo number five.