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My Bone Marrow Transplant

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Phil the Bagman” texted me from Singapore airport after checking in to say that our bag was 20.8Kg so my guess on the weight was good. He said we could have had another 10Kg, an opportunity missed but I don’t think that suitcase could have taken any more! The Manila airport hand-over happened so the bag is safely back in PPT. Thank you, Phil, that’s one Balikbayan box saved.

Some weird blood coloured marks appeared on my left arm 2 days ago. They are in a straight line and look like a scratch or rash but there is no break in the skin, which feels completely smooth and normal. The capillaries under the skin must have broken. The total size is about 1.5cm long and they vary between 3mm and 7mm in width. I had something similar on my shins and ankles when I was first discharged and assumed I had rubbed too hard while drying myself after showers and ripped the skin a bit. I’ve been careful since. It can’t be low platelets because I have bumped into things a few times recently and there are no bruises. We are taking photos of it to monitor if it gets bigger, but so far it appears to be stable.

Linds trimmed my hair on a setting of 3/8″ this afternoon. I know she definitely did manage to cut some hair but you wouldn’t be able to tell from before and after pictures. 🙂 My body and facial hair is growing back quicker than that on the top of my head.

24 weeks today!


We had a really good day today. Which was good because I was feeling quite depressed yesterday. I have no idea why, male menopause perhaps?

Phil, who we haven’t seen or heard from for many years (since Telerate days) had contacted me out of the blue a few days ago to say that he was going to Manila this Thursday and travelling light, did we need anything taken? Linds packed a bag, originally she said about 12Kg but I think it is close to 20Kg. Today was CVC flushing day so we arranged to meet Phil at the hospital and handed him the bag. Our helper will meet him at the airport in Manila and collect it from him. Then he will bring our largest suitcase, empty, back with him on Sunday so that we can start packing.

Then we did stuff from our “Things to do before leaving Singapore” list. I returned the Press laptop to them, we bought several bottles of the special mouthwash that I have to use to keep my mouth healthy; we met one of Linds’s cousins briefly to hand over the receipt for something which won’t be ready until late June so he can pick it up for us, bought a couple of pasalubong items, and had lunch at the Amara hotel – my first Nasi Goreng since the transplant.

Stomach queasiness has gone today, but I woke up sniffling. Some sort of allergy as it cleared up before lunchtime, it’s not the first time.

Josep and I had lunch at Trattoria Lafiandra and afterwards we went back to his flat to see if I could work out why his Time Capsule won’t recognise Ethernet connections. For some reason Airport Utility on his MacBook could not see the TC at all, whereas the one on my iPhone could. But the one on my iPhone has limited functionality so I couldn’t check some or alter some of the key settings. Very frustrating! Then I tried to check his cable modem firmware was up to date but D-Link don’t even list that model number on their website. I guess it’s a StarHub specific one.

Linds managed to find a white 16Gb iPhone 4S in Lucky Plaza so that’s one item off the To Do list.

My stomach wasn’t too good today until after lunchtime. I sometimes get affected by the smell of food being cooked. It can make me queasy.

We went into town this afternoon to do a bit of shopping and meet Angel, a dear friend from Manila who is here for a few days. The last time I saw her I was in the Transplant Ward! She was actually there with us on the day of the transplant.

Back to Ion Centre and the phone hunt. It’s becoming apparent that 16Gb white iPhone 4Ss are extremely popular; we have tried 3 stores so far with no luck. 32Gb models are plentiful. We went to meet Angel at TWG on the 2nd floor and had to queue for about 20 minutes for a table. But then had nearly 3 hours of relaxation time over High Tea. We had scones and the age old question arose “jam over cream or cream over jam”? I am a jam over cream person.

A very quiet day today. I think Linds overdid it with the walk yesterday as she wasn’t 100%, so I was in charge of lunch. We watched “Downfall” on DVD in the afternoon; we were going to watch “City of God” but the subtitles didn’t work. “Downfall” was excellent, brilliant acting, beautifully filmed, grittily real, the sense of an inescapable fate arriving slowly pervading everything.

It took me until about 2:30pm to sort out everything on the new laptop and clean up the old one. I have one problem remaining which is that I can’t get Parallels networking to work. Relatively minor but I do need to fix it in the next couple  of months. The old laptop will be delivered to it’s owners next week.

Linds went for a 10K walk with her cousin Yvee and family this morning at some park a long way from here to see the Henderson Wave bridge. If I had gone they would only have done 5k, but 5K in the heat of the day with the first 2K in bright sunshine? Too risky for me. I don’t need skin GvHD this close to going home.

We went to Casa Mas for dinner with Josep and Monica and their two lovely children tonight. It was a great, relaxed evening; excellent food, lots of good conversation with the kids contributing well. I set up Josep’s Time Capsule so that they now have a central back-up for all the Macs in the flat and installed the ClamXAv virus checker on his MacBook. Working on a machine with a Catalan interface was interesting but there was enough similarity to French that mostly I got by. As a general rule dear readers, no Mac should run without ClamXAv.

We return to Manila on June 8. Now that we have told Francesca and Sam we can formally announce it.

Today we went to Funan IT Mall to buy a new MacBook Pro for me and an iPhone 4S for a friend in Manila. My current laptop was purchased in late February 2011 and is owned by Cambridge. It is on their books at a depreciated price, but it’s still slightly cheaper to get a brand new one so now I have an i7 processor and a ThunderBolt port. Goody, I’ve yet to see any devices I want that have a ThunderBolt interface. And they upgraded the memory to 8Gb for free!

There were no 16Gb white iPhone 4Ss in stock so we’ll have to look elsewhere for that.

So, this evening is being spent getting the new laptop up and running. First I have to bring the OS up to date, downloading the updates will take 3 hours. Then I connect it to my existing laptop in Target Disk mode and clean it up using DiskWarrior. Then I reboot it, connect my old laptop in Target Disk mode and transfer all the user accounts, data and applications using Setup Assistant. Reverse the Target disk mode and clean the new one up again using DiskWarrior. Finally I delete everything from the Press laptop and give it back to them next week.


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