What a year! Just a year ago, we were coming back home after 3 months spent in Boulder-Colorado. A few days after coming back I had a blood analysis, 3 months after the previous one. The results were very surprising: anemia! Considering that just a few days before we were hiking at 3000 m in the Rockies, it was kind of difficult to believe… Anyway, I had the first red blood cells transfusion of my life. It is hard to understand why I had no problems walking for kilometers at “high altitude” and in the cold without any problem! This transfusion was very effective and lasted up to 3 months; I then had to have a second one, in addition with a platelets transfusion…
I had a first myelogram done early in 2016, which did not show any real change when compared with the previous ones. Then later in march/april, the new myelogram demonstrated clearly that the situation was degrading fast: I had blastes in the bone marrow, not a good sign… For the first time ever, doctors suggested that I might need an hematopoïtic stem cells transplant, and the sooner would be the better. Two of my brothers were tested for compatibility: 50%. Doctors said that it was possible to do with one of my brothers, before they looked to international donnor data base. They found a 100% compatible donnor: what a luck for me! In order to slow down the evolution of the myelodisplasia, I had a run of Vidaza, which was very effective to block the evolution. At some point I started to think that maybe I could make with Vidaza, as I was so afraid of the transplant… Doctors and people around me convinced me that it will not last a long time before Vidaza will not be anymore effective. Then, because of the bad effects of this drug on the body, I would be in a worst situation. In june, I learned that the transplant would happen soon. I entered the hospital on June 15, had a chemotherapy for 6 days (some fever, vomiting, the usual stuff!). Being in aplasia, I had to stay in a sterile room, but Jaja and friends had the oportunity to visit me. On friday june 24, I had the transplant, which was a kind of disturbing event: it was like a red blood cells transfusion and lasted half an hour. But this event was very very important: it saved my life!
I spent 4 weeks in the sterile room, which is pretty short… On July 13th I headed back home! Youpi!
On Christmas eve, it will be the 6th “anniversary” (in months) of my second birth! As a newborn, I will need to do again vaccines: funny is not it? I am still fare to a full recovery: I will need up to a year! It is a good class of patience! Some time the spirit is low, like when I got the news that I had a limited GvH…. see previous blog.
Anyway, I wish you all a Merry Christmas! Here is a short comptine my father used to sing us when I was a child. It is in french but there is an english version too: enjoy!