PART 1 - NOODY NUT
I kept comparing this day to the birth of a child which is silly of course.....I needed to go through the 'pain' of having my head shaved and then enjoy this WHOLE NEW LIFE that I am about to be given!!! A terrible analogy but it got me through the morning!!
I sat out on the lounge waiting....waiting...for one of the nurses to give me a call...and then BANG...there she was (1st contraction). At around 10.40am, a young lovely nurse called "Mary? Mary?" (2nd contraction) with clippers in hand!!!!
And then (very much unlike labour, hence the crap analogy) - 5 minutes later it was all gone and I was an official romper stomper. You may have seen the photo on my page. For the record....I hate it. I feel horrid and unattractive and unfeminine and bleaugh...and I don't need the compliments (but thank you!) and that's just how I feel. I'm vain enough to admit it.
On the upside of course - no need to go looking for a Halloween costume this year !! Uncle Fester is in da house.
So I had a cry, tried putting on make up, cried a bit more and then got over it. It's hair. It'll grow back. There are wigs. My little sister is a hairdresser. THIS IS TEMPORARY.
NO MS FOREVER....WAY WORTH IT.
I sucked it up; got over my pity-party for one and then chatted with my fellow baldies who were (of course) complimentary as everyone is. I need to see it as a Badge of Honour or a Rite of Passage. This girls certainly don't care what I look like (nor I them) and after some easy chatter, all was well with the world again.
PART 2 OF THE DAY - HAPPY 'DAY 0' BIRTHDAY TO ME!
At around 12.30 - 1pm, Nicolai came looking for me, ready to start the Transplant! I was set up in my room and Nicolai, Anastasia, Dr Fedorenko and Valva were with me. An infusion was first put through and then about 1/2 way through that, they implanted the stem cells back into my body!
It was intense. Not painful but ...yeah, intense. I had a tomato taste in my mouth, heaviness on my chest, the oxygen was splattering water all over me, and I was shaking like jelly all over. Really quite indescribable. But no pain for anyone researching....all I can keep thinking it...that was intense!!
After that (stem cells all safely back in), the infusion was finished and I was left to rest for a bit, my body still shaking - like popping candy shaking.....and then...JOB DONE.
Officially, Dr F and the team (including me) have removed MS from my body (thanks to the b**** that is Chemo) and we have transplanted healthy stem cells back into my body to help rebuild a clean immune system!! My head just can't get around it!! How AMAZING is that!!
Of course, for me this does not necessarily mean I will see improvements - as the procedure doesn't claim to fix established lesions it just STOPS further progression....BUT I've seen a lot of improvement in others with my type of MS. I think it's safe to say that I'm a determined little so-and-so, and as such I will do the work required to gain whatever I can! Both Dr F and I are pretty confident here :). I think he gets me!
I'm sure many readers are not religious or spiritual but I can honestly say I felt very connected and safe in knowledge that God has had me all through this. I've never felt alone and I really feel that I've been carried through the tough times (and all of you slugging back wines for me has definitely helped too, I have no doubt)! It's been a blessing: this 'journey'...the community support with fundraising and following my page; the new friendships; the people I've met here at this time, the Doctor and team, the challenges that I faced up to...yeah...the timing was right I guess....I feel God is right in the trenches with me. I feel safe.
Anyway - it just feels surreal. I can't get my head around it - probably because I'm still hobbling etc but I am SOOOOO HAPPY right now!!!! I WAS SOMEONE WHO USED TO HAVE MS.
PS ....CRAP! I just went to the ladies and scared the crap out of myself in the mirror with this head. This is gunna take some getting used to!
MS KICKED TO THE CURB PEOPLE! OUT - GONE - NEVER TO RETURN. DONE.