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My Bone Marrow Transplant

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Category Archives: Singapore

Life has been pretty stable during the first month of 2013. On January 2nd I started a 6 month contract with an LA based BPO with office in Manila and Chennai. I did a long haul flight to LA and got sick; actually I got worse, I already had a cold when I left. It meant I lost a days work as I was tucked up in my hotel bed. I managed to fly back and spent the weekend in bed with very bad sinus pains, so I went to St. Luke’s on the Monday and had a thorough check up, blood test, the works. All was fine so no long term issues.

My steroid dose has been at 2.5mg daily for a week now and I feel OK. My weight is stable at 82kg. I’ll ask Raymond next weekend if I can stop the steroid entirely. Last time I stopped it I had a massive GvHD flare up in my gut, I hope that it is not going to happen this time. The other good thing is that when I stop the steroid I can also stop the anti-fungal.

Anyway, to the title of this entry: my feet are swollen again. It’s been weeks since they were this size. Yesterday they were fine, today noticeably swollen. I need to ┬ámonitor what I eat and drink to see if it is diet related. I don’t think it is as I haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary, even at the BSM International Dinner last night. The skin on my feet and ankles feels a bit tight as well.

There was a beautiful double rainbow over Manila Golf Club this morning. I was already feeling happy but that boosted it.

I’m off to Singapore next week for a thorough check up and pick up some more medication. My supplies are almost exhausted, except of the steroid, but I should be OK until Wednesday next week.

Yesterday’s Lung CTScan showed a slight fluid build up in the bottom of my lungs so more medication is being switched from IV delivery to tablet form, the idea being to minimize unnecessary fluid intake. I can eat at every meal now though some things are still hard to swallow.

A physiotherapist stopped by to give me some exercises designed to get me out of bed more, exercise my lungs and core muscles.

Linds, the kids and I discovered a love for Monopoly yesterday and the kids and I are in the middle of a game on the iPad. Looks ┬álike Cesca will win this one. According to Sam it’s all my fault for a trade I executed with her. We’ll see.

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Today started at 6am when they unhooked me from the drips for a few hours and took my temperature and BP, which were normal. I went back to sleep until 7:30am.

The workmen outside have put all the grass back where they dug it up from yesterday. What is going on? I look at the container port but I never see any cranes moving.

At 9am a Pharmacist came to brief me on the drugs and their side effects. Apparently the chemo will be out of my system before Day 0. Then I started on the 2 mouthwashes 4 times a day regime to mitigate the mouth ulcers which are almost certain to hit soon.Oh, and I also have to note down all inputs and output. Fluid build up can cause problems with breathing and the heart. I know, I had it in HK during the summer.

Chemotherapy started at 2:30pm and took 4 hours, an hour for the first drug and three for the second. They say the side effects will hit tomorrow. I feel a bit spaced out and my BP is a tad low but so far so good. They just gave me my evening dose of anti-everything drugs and informed me they have to give me a pill at midnight, but only tonight. I am longing for sleep. Linds is with Elcee and her cousins, but she will sleep here tonight with me on a little sofa bed.

The end of the first day in the hospital, except we spent quite a lot of time out of it.

We arrived at 9:30am and proceeded to the Ward as requested. They showed us to the room which is bigger than the one we were shown last month which was a pleasant surprise. It has a view of the Container Port and the Cable Car to Sentosa Island. After our orientation we were told to go to Admissions and then go for lunch and then come back in the afternoon. There was a bit of a hiatus in Admissions because the Insurance Company had not supplied a piece of documentation, but it only took 30 minutes to get that sorted out and we went to meet a friend for lunch at Pasta Brava.

After lunch it was back to the hospital ward for more forms and briefings. I have this circular white disc on a red band on my wrist, a high tech piece of equipment which I have no idea what it does except that it will cost me S$50 if I lose it, and a standard hospital bracelet as well on a yellow band. They filled out a form so that Linds can have a caregiver’s pass so she doesn’t have to register every day. Then I decided to access the hospital WiFi. No luck. Plenty of signal but no login page would come up. So the nurses gave me the phone number of the provider’s tech support to call. I called. The first technician could not help so he referred me to his Supervisor. She (a Filipina) told me that she could not help me because I was not a registered user. To register I had to fax my passport details page to them.

“But what about fixing the login server problem?” I asked.

“I can’t help you with anything until you are registered” was the reply. True customer service provided to you by a jobs worth at icellnetwork.com!

Luckily (cynically?) I had anticipated WiFi problems and had brought along a WiFi <-> 3G converter and a USB modem. A local SIM card had been purchased while we were out for lunch and I had WiFi working fairly soon, S$25 for 7 days “unlimited” use. We’ll see; I have found from experience in HK that the word “unlimited” does not mean the same thing to a mobile phone company as it does to ordinary mortals.

A couple of doctors dropped by and asked me lots of questions which I had already answered on our visit last month. Afterwards they gave me permission to go out for dinner. The mandatory blood samples were taken and we went back out for a bit more shopping and dinner; Korean BBQ. Back in the hospital at 8:15pm I was given a cocktail of drugs to take, all designed to get rid of any infections / bacteria / viruses which may be lurking in me. Then I Skyped with Sam for 23 minutes which was cool.

Linds is sleeping at her cousin’s flat tonight. It is where she and the kids will stay over Christmas and New Year as they are going back to the Philippines. She will be sleeping in the room with me most nights once things kick off in earnest. The nurse told us that there would be a charge per night if they provided a bed, but if we chose to buy our own folding bed and provide our own bedding they would not charge. So that’s what we will do.

 

So here we are in the Amara hotel for one night. I will be admitted to Ward 48 of Singapore General Hospital tomorrow at 9am.

We had a lovely 3/4 family dinner last night at Inagiku in the Shangri-La last night; Teppanyaki beef, Salmon Aburi, Ebi Tempura, Beef fried rice. No Sushi or Sashimi because I can’t eat anything raw or under-cooked. Francesca was very jealous but she will be home in Manila in 13 days time and then here in Singapore with Sam on the 21st. The family will be complete for Christmas and New Year!

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