I had an early appointment booked for today with Dr Nesselhuts clinic. Today was the day that I was to have all my white bloods cells harvested by a process called leukerphresis. I have had this done before, a year ago, but as I have had so many treatments they had run out of my cells to use. I thought I was ok about having it done again. It doesn’t cause any side effects really and is pretty harmless however I must have been nervous and anxious about it as I sweated all night long and had odd dreams. When we arrived at the clinic we met with Dr Nesselhut himself who proceeded to discuss having my white blood cells harvested. He said that in the past few weeks he had found that two of his patients who were very advanced with different canSers had also had leukerphresis for the second time. Previously the cell therapy had given them astounding results and like me needed more cells to continue with the treatment. They then had the leukerphresis and have found since then the canSer has exploded and grown much bigger and spread throughout the body. This has lead Dr Nesselhut to change this protocol. He thinks that the lack of white blood cells is actually making the canSer ravage the immune system. He thinks even though the canSer I have isn’t as severe as those two cases he certainly doesn’t want to risk it growing and spreading especially as it happens in such a short space of time. Therefore I have had about 20 syringes of blood which will be enough for two visits instead. The upside to not having leukerphresis is obviously clear plus it is also makes it cheaper. The down side is that it means I will need to visit for about a week or so every other time.
We both felt very sad for the two patients who had such terrible luck and hope that they respond really well to the next treatment that they have. We also felt incredibly lucky that we’d dodged this bullet and that the Universe had granted us this gift. It’s funny because I had obviously been worrying about this procedure. I had mentioned to Peter that I was concerned about having my cells harvested especially when I have been on chemo for so long. It’s a known fact that white blood cell counts drop during that kind of treatment.
Dr Nesselhut did say that he has been getting astounding results with the gamma delta treatment and that I am to continue with that treatment as planned.
We have noticed many Portuguese patients in the last few days. Since the day Dr Nesselhut was featured on Portuguese tv they had over 10,000 telephone calls that day! They clearly cannot cope with that many patients and have confirmed that they have to commit to their current patients. Again I feel very lucky that I have had the opportunity to have this treatment before he became so very popular!
After we left the clinic we felt a little bit aloof. We don’t like change usually. Of course this was good change. We bought lunch and got in the car and set off to our favourite place in the mountains. We got our blanket and had an alfresco lunch by the river where we first went over a year ago. Despite it being cold and fresh it still looked beautiful and we both felt very serene.
We’re back now at the hotel and I’m tucked up all warm and snug having a cup of green tea. Reflecting on the day it has dawned on me that there really is no point worrying about things. I worried about having leukerphresis and it actually didn’t happen. A lot of wasted energy and feelings for nothing! I definitely feel like someone is watching over me and feel very grateful and blessed.
It is our last night here for a few days. We have another night of movie watching planned and lots of sleep. These early mornings are not for me! But before I go to sleep I will be telling the Universe what I am thankful for and share a lot of gratitude.