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My Bone Marrow Transplant

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

What do you do with yourself when you spend large amounts of time in a hospital room the size of a budget hotel room? I’ve got lots of experience of this. You adapt. You build coping mechanisms and develop a routine around the hospital routine. But above all, you use the internet! Laptop, iPad and Phone are all essential tools for keeping you going.

The isolation ward rooms have a bed, enough space around the bed to walk and put a couple of chairs, one of those hospital table thingies which you can never get in quite the right place for it to be useful; a small bath room, and a TV. They say that they can fit another bed in for Linds so that she can sleep with me but it must be really small. Oh, and a wardrobe which Linds says will be big enough for 2 or 3 of her T-shirts. The TV doesn’t even have an HDMI connection, but at least they have the HBO channel, which is a first for hospitals in my experience.. There will be free WiFi. Will it be like the HKSH free WiFi which I had to hack in order to be able to download files and send emails, or will it be open? I will take in a 3G to Wireless router which I bought for HKSH.

So I will go into the room with approximately 400Gb of Movies, TV shows, Music and Books loaded in my laptop and on an external drive. I’m downloading a lot of stuff at home and deliberately not watching it, saving it for those moments when the view of the Singapore Container Port palls. Of course, for the first 3 weeks I will probably not feel like watching or doing much due to the chemotherapy blast and the shock to the system of the transplant, but you never know.

Then there are Skype calls to make, emails to send and receive, this blog to update, generally keeping up with the news of the day, following the fortunes of Liverpool FC, Ipswich Town and the England Rugby team in the 6 Nations. To keep my mind sharp I play Backgammon and Jamble (Scrabble) online on a site called http://www.itsyourturn.com.

And, of course, chatting to visitors if and when they are allowed. In the isolation ward they are discouraged except for close family, hopefully they are allowed in the recovery ward.

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