To bring everyone up to date as to how I am doing...
After a number of months of chemo and various other drugs all in preparation of my stem cell (bone marrow) transplant, I finally have a date.
There are two stages to the the transplant:
a) the extraction of stem cells.
b) engraftment - putting the stem cells back in.
I'm having what is called an autologous transplant, which means they take my own stem cells and re-insert them back into me at a later date. I have already had the extraction process and that went successfully after two days on the machine they finally had enough for the next stage.
The engraftment process takes longer and is more dangerous. I will have to have about a 3 to 4 week stay in hospital that requires a very high dose of chemo that will destroy all of my bone marrow/stem cells in my body. They then re-insert (engraftment) the stem cells previously stored. I wont have any immune system during this process and it will take about 3 to 4 weeks for my body to recover enough to be able to come out of isolation and return home. It takes a number of months for the body to recover completely and the immune system to return to normal, so I will have to be careful what I eat and do once I get home.
Oh the date for this to take place starts on Monday 23 August.
To answer another question that people keep asking as well: After the transplant will I be OK?
Well I hopefully should be OK for a number of years, but it will eventually return as Myeloma is incurable. It depends what is available at that time as to the process I go through, but at the moment I will would have to go through this again. Fingers crossed though that is a while off :D