Friday, December 23, 2005

3. The Boys

...weekend has now passed and the thought of this disease inside of me had slowly started to sink in. Some people may say that I took a 'bravado' stance with CML and was trying to fool people into thinking I was ok. The reality is, I really was and still am very confident that I will get through this and make a full recovery. No bravado, just 100% confident and 100% ready to back myself.

Again, the morning was filled with chatting to my concerned friends and family in Australia and reassuring them that I am in great hands. I really didn't know too much about about CML yet but yesterday I had read a book in one day for the first time in my life. Lance Armstrong, world champ cyclist, cancer survivor and author...such a great book, very inspiring read. The man had an extremely grim prognosis and still managed to power through over many months and overcome his three seperate cancers. One thing we have in common...full belief that the mind can get you through anything and you have to remain positive throughout. Mind over matter!

Reality is that I do have a reasonable prognosis. With the new drug, I was about to get prescribed, on the market called Gleevec, the chances of survival are dramatically increased. The only thing that really scared me at this point was the talk of a 'bone marrow transplant' and the fact that I may not be able to have kids after a few doses of radiotherapy. What the hell does this all mean?

...I want to be honest in my diary, so the following day's story I had to throw my dignity out the window. With the new threat of sterility, Kas and I had a quick trip to the Sperm Ward at the Glasgow Hospital. I really thought that there maybe a scientific or medical way to produce and sample to put the 'boys' on After a few talks with doctors, they told me what they expected (pretty obvious) and I felt a little under pressure to perform. The door had about 3 locks.. the room was a dark, windowless, space with a toilet, sink and a dodgy looking reclining chair covered in a white, tissue paper. There was a 'porn folder' in the back of the dingy room filled with even more dodgy reader's wives, a hot wheel car magazine!! and a comic strip!?! Anyway.....

Outside the room on my departure from the 'love lounge' Karen was sitting waiting patiently...she was slightly blushing and had a little smirk looking up at me. We had a giggle as I walked down the corridor with my small tub. I think I started blushing as I handed the 'boys' over to a nurse who grabbed it out of my hands (no gloves). That was it, she said 'thanks for coming' and Kas and I walked off laughing.

It all started to settle down by the end of the week. I had what was going to be my weekly Wednesday trip to the doctor, started the wonder drug Gleevec and continued to speak with friends and family about what was happening. I find it important to update everyone on how things were going. Then the next thing struck me, I am getting married in August 2006 and with a potential BMT on our hands, it could take months and months to get over and you never know when 'it' or another potential related disease could strike. In the meantime, the move to get my brother and sister tested back in Australia to test their tissue type and be a potential donor for me had begun... Their bone marrow would be the best for my body to handle and would be it was an almost certainty to have a BMT in 6 months from diagnosis. Let the games begin!

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