Thursday, January 03, 2008

45. 'Tis the Season








Photos: Me and Chloe; Mum and Kas at Loch Lomond; Chloe; Dad, Mum & Chloe; Snowing on the Scottish Hills; Four Generations of First Born Daughters; Me and Chloe out for a Walk, Church in Killearn...

I’m not really a big boozer anymore…haven’t been able to put much alcohol into my system since I was diagnosed two years ago (and also after a few stern words from my doc...). But as I write this, I’m quietly sipping a nice malt whisky for a couple of reasons, well it’s snowing outside right now, so I’ll make that three reasons. Firstly, it’s still officially festive time so I’ll cheers to another year down and to how good it was to spend another Christmas and New Years with my family, our new daughter Chloe included. Secondly, it’s been a pretty rough time for our friends Colin and Lorna who had their baby girl Eva just three weeks ago. For the past week they’ve spent most of their time by her side in hospital as she was rushed in with a suspected very serious illness. The news came through yesterday; she’s been given the all clear. That’s more than enough reason for me to dust down the crystal whisky glass and top it up with a generous measure of the nectar the Scots are blessed with engineering… And while I’m merrily raising my glass, I’ll also pass on a huge congrats to my brother Nick and Claire who has their second child Eliza recently. ‘Tis the season to have babies it seems…

Finally I have a small window of opportunity to kick of my shoes and have a well earned rest…holiday time! We’ve just spent the day driving carefully through the beautiful Scottish countryside and taking photos in awe at the snow. The sights around this neck of the woods really are stunning. My folks have been given a good show while they’re over here visiting from the scorched land of Australia…a slight contrast.

On news of my meds and current condition, it all seems to be still ok and heading in the right direction. I know I use the word “seems” quite a lot but without many definite answers, it’s hard to know anything for sure when it comes to Leukaemia. On one hand I had been given the report of my lowest ever PCR reading of 1% - the last one taken was 1.8%. It “seems” like it’s going down and heading in the right direction but as the trend of my last ten or so PCR’s confirm, it could go back up at any time. All my Consultant could confirm was that it could be ok if it hovers anywhere between 1 and 2% - she will keep me on this dose and medication Sprycel (Dasatinib) until at least next July/August. That’s when the real decision will be made; persevere on the meds or opt for the Bone Marrow Transplant. With this knowledge of my Consultants timing, I’m going to try and put it to the back of my mind and keep going with everything as normal and make the most of watching my wee girl Chloe grow. It’s happening right before our eyes, so I really don’t want to miss a thing. I should get my latest PCR test back within the week – let’s hope for another 1-2% result. Anything below this would give me reason to top this whisky glass back up, right to the brim…

Everything with Chloe continues to go very well – my mum and dad finally got to meet her which was amazing to see them bond. She’s a little angel and most people seem to think she’s already got me wrapped around her little finger. Not sure whether to admit that or not! Kas is really blossoming as a mummy (that sentence is pretty gay isn’t it?!) – It’s great to see how they get on and really rely on each other. They both have extremely busy schedules and manage to spend a lot of their time with other mums and babies, sipping coffees, swapping stories, singing songs and changing a monumental amount of nappies. A couple of ladies of leisure!

I’ll try and keep the positive theme to this post flowing and give an update on my mate Dave (everyone “seems” to have a mate called Dave…) that’s just undergone a Bone Marrow Transplant in the USA. He spent a few weeks in hospital enduring the chemotherapy treatment, copious tests and needles, new donor stem cells, isolation time, time away from family and a little bit of acute GVHD thrown in – after all this, he managed to make it home to his wife and family for Christmas and is also enjoying good results post-transplant. He’s a real inspiration and I really wish him all the best for his further treatment and recovery.

Visit him and leave a message of support at - http://cml.davidrobertcox.com/

On other news of fellow Leukaemia people (“sufferers” and “patients” seem too negative to use), I was watching Channel 5 on UK television last night and saw that a guy had won the International Best Blog award for his Leukaemia Diary – Baldy’s Blog was written after he was diagnosed with two separate types of Leukaemia. Another inspirational read…

So now I’ve got the next three weeks off work to just spend time with my family and try to relax. Keep the messages and emails coming in, they always give you a reason to put pen to paper, so to speak, and keep this CML Diary rolling on. As someone close used to say, never underestimate the impact you can have on other people…

I’m off to top this empty glass back up.

1 comment:

David said...

Matt,

You are looking so good, as is your lovely family. I hope Sprycel is being kind to you with regards to side affects. I wanted to say it is great to hear of your 1% PCR, but I am watching for that 0% target as I am sure you are. After my BMT I can say with confidence that you would do great if you have to go there but your quality of life on drug therapy appears to be very good.

You have always had such a great attitude throughout this ordeal and that my friend is truly inspiring. If you and the family ever find yourself in the States you are always welcome to stay with us. Colorado Springs is beautiful and the hiking, fishing and skiing is fantastic.

Take care,

Dave
http://cml.davidrobertcox.com