Tag Archives: bone marrow

Bone Marrow Transplant – Stem Cells Infusion (Day 0)

Stem cells infusion day is also known as the patients’ new birthday as they have been given a new lease of life. Now I can celebrate two birthdays in a year, how cool is that?

Breakfast was served but I was still feeling bloated and nauseated. I thought that my body (and the new stem cells) needed the nutrition and so I must try to eat. An idea came… I swallowed two spoonful of my food and soon enough I was having the vomit bag in front of me. It felt great to let out the gases trapped in the gut, I had no problem finishing the entire breakfast set then.

“Dear nausea, I can’t stop you from emptying my stomach BUT you can’t stop me from filling it with food either!!!”

The stem cells were ready by late afternoon, freshly harvested from my brother’s blood. There was no operation involved as pictured by many. It was just a simple infusion just like any blood and platelet transfusion.

My brother kept a log of his peripheral stem cells donation on his blog. Peripheral blood stem cells donation is now preferred over the invasive bone marrow harvesting which requires operation. Now, saving a leukaemia or lymphoma patient who requires bone marrow transplant is almost similar to platelet donation. I am lucky to have a complete match with my siblings. There are many patients worldwide holding on to a hope of finding a full or closely matched bone marrow. You can provide a gift of tomorrow!

Diagnosis – The Inconvenient Truth

Here’s a very good video explaining what leukaemia is:

A simple full blood count (FBC) detected unusual low haemoglobin and platelets level, and high concentration of white blood cells and blast cells in my blood, which are characteristics of leukaemia.

However, FBC alone does not differentiate the type of leukaemia I have. Hence, cytogenetic analysis on my bone marrow cells was necessary to determine the diagnosis, prognosis, management and treatment of my leukaemia. Karyotyping of my bone marrow cells shows chromosomal abnormality – translocation between chromosome 8 and 21.

I am thankful that it’s only leukaemia (with good prognosis) and the diagnosis is simple and straight forward. I had seen and heard many patients directed to different specialists and went through lots of procedures (e.g. scans & scopes) to identify where the problem lies. My advice for all – commit to regular health checkups and visit a doctor if you feel unwell. Most important of all, maintain a healthy and active lifestyle!