Introducing Mary

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Re: Introducing Mary

Hi Mary, Glad to hear that you are nearly finished. My "finishing off" was just to be told that I didn't have to go back the next day and my smile said it all!! I didn't celebrate, as I had a large operation looming ahead once I was "well" enough, or fit enough. Then, after the operation was successful, I once again wasn't "well" enough to enjoy it, other than "what's the next step?" which was another round of chemo. That was in 200. I now celebrate every day that I am still here to annoy everyone. Enjoy each day as much as poss, plan for the future, but a small step at a time. Surround yourself with good friends, and don't take any "rubbish" from people - not yet, anyway, that comes way down the track. Find a nice place to go to and enjoy it. Craftyone
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Hi Mary - I had three sessions [ of 3 hours] on 3 successive days for a Stem Cell Extraction at Peter Mac in Dec 2007. I was quite unaware it was happening - and certainly had no ill effects whatsoever. They collected some 13 Million bone marrow cells for the freezer. Apparently the freezing kills off any "Mantle Cell Lymphoma" that may also be extracted. The only effects that I noticed was when the 8 bags of yellow fluid were returned to me [ via an "arrow line" direct into my neck jugular vein] during my live-in 4 weeks at Peter Mac was that for 24 hours my legs ached - actually it was an aching in the leg bones - just nagging but certainly nothing to require pain killers/nurofen. The nurse explained this was normal and was the successful process of the bone marrow stem cells re-entering the bone marrow and was what was intended to happen. It wasnt painful - it just felt the same as if I had had a hard race from my aths days [ eg 20 kn / 20 miles hard race] ... nothing to worry about but leg bones just sort of aching with tiredness. As mentioned on my blog - yesterday I RAN 30Km [18 miles] on a circuit I use in Blackburn [Melb] - whereas in Dec 2007 I could only walk 100 meters or so before wanting to sit down on a chair ! I attribute my progress to walking EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL in 2008- to get back leg muscle tone after months of inactivity, to a point of my New Year resolution 2009 of RUNNING [ until March 09 when by wife & I had 5 months o/seas touring Europe/UK / Ireland etc. when there simply was not the oppurtunity at the end of the day on on bus tour groups to run - but we certainly made up for it with loads of daily walking sightseeing. Having returned to Melb in August - I have rapidly regained running fitness to do yesterdays 30 km - aqlthough the last 5 km was a real struggleto get back home !
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On a further point - I absolutely understand your current feelings of feebleness of legs. I recall one day - about February 2008, my wife & I went for one of our many drives - and ended up at the beach at Edithvale [or somewhere there] and walking out to the end of the pier. Having got to the end just to take in the sights, I looked back to the car parked way over on Beach Road and I really wondered "how" was going to walk myself back to it ... at that stage 400-500 metres was tough going !~ Reminiscences like this are now just a fading memory. Pre-diagnosis, in 2007 - I knew I wasnt well but why?? What was wrong with me ?? Why was I having difficulty walking [particularly up hills] with my wife on our weekend walks through the Blackburn Creeklands. That whole chapter on my life of 6 months of chemo,PICC Lines, etc, is now behind me. Only a few months ago we walked some 14 km on a circuit around Paris. My wife was having trouble keeping up with me. Life has moved on, - having used 15 months of Sick Leave and am currently enjoying 10 months of Long Service Leave before we both return to work in January 2010. I never for a moment expected to be well enough to return to work back in 2007/ early 08. I hope the above is not too boring but is intended to give you "encouragement and hope" from someone who has been there and "done that" and moved on and back to a normal lifestyle.
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At the risk of boring you further - I recall OCT 2008 I went to a Sunday conference in the city... and decided to walk some of the way home. Although I had a tram ticket in my pocket [ my security blanket !] - I let the various trams pass me by and just kept walking on this rather hot afternoon. As the afternoon progressed, I got to the point where I was not going to weaken and take a tram - ... until I got to a point that Box Hill was in sight - and finally, after some 6 hours had walked home, sunburnt and quite blistered feet [ being only in unsuitable street shoes]. For me, it was a HUGE milestone - as I knew then that I would be well enough for us to do our planned o/seas trip in 2009. I rember rejoycing - " Hey - I'm back!!" 🙂 - and had moved on from the Mantle Cell Lympohoma WEB page that still implies usualy deceased within 3 years. None of us knows whats ahead of us - nor if it comes back to bite me again - but for the present, I'm absolutely determined [baring injury] to run the 2010 marathon. Certainly a bone marrow stem cell transplant had worked for my metabolism. My advice to you is to "walk-walk-walk" yourself back to good health. 🙂
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Re: Introducing Mary

Hi Mary, I can understand how you are feeling at the moment. I am coming up to 4yrs since my breast cancer diagnosis. I am due for my Mammogram and Ultrasound this week, I am quietly confident that it will be "all clear". Whilst undergoing treatment, you feel that you are taken an active part in defeating your cancer. All my determination was geared towards getting through treatment and then afterwoods I felt like I was set adrift. My time was free from the commitments of treatment. I asked my specialist what should I be doing now... he said "live your life", which sounds easy but I was a changed person and I was a little puzzled where to start. Then all the questions started appearing in my mind, what caused the cancer.. was it diet... was it stress.. was it environment. I was driving myself to distraction trying to find the answers, becoming more stressed. Personally, I had to let go of the question of "why" and now I am concentrating on recovering my enjoyment of life. Please know I am not telling you what to do, I am just describing what is working for me. We each have our own personal road to take. I suggest allocating time for things you enjoyed before cancer, to regain your spirit. I went back to dancing...slower dancing than before... but music and movement lifted my spirit. Be aware of not pushing yourself and your body, listen to your body, you will know by the aches and pains whether you have been kind to yourself. It is true, once you have gone thru cancer, your world and perspective changes. You will gain much insight and knowledge from this website, absorb the knowledge and make the choices appropriate for you. I can't comment on your type of cancer as far as treatment is concerned, the other comments you received covered it very well. I wish you a gentle journey and would be happy to hear of your progress along the way.
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