Out of Hospital for Myeloma Treatment

Way back on the 18th of last month I posted that I was going into hospital for 2 1/2 weeks for the intensive dose therapy for myeloma. Myeloma is a type of blood cancer, which causes anaemia, loss of calcium, and attacks the bones and kidneys. Since about a decade ago it’s been treated with a number of drugs, which avoid the side-effect of traditional chemotherapy. I was diagnosed with the disease last September.

However, after that phase of the course of treatment has finished, they then call you in for a more intense course of treatment to drive the disease further back into remission. Your own stem cells are removed, ready to be returned to you to jump start your own immune system. You are also called into hospital and put in isolation. In Bristol’s BRI you are given your own room. You have a piccline inserted running from your bicep to almost to your heart, through which they administer the drugs. They then give you a dose of malophan, the drug that they originally used to treat the disease.  The next day, they also give you back your own stem cells, and a few days later they also give you back the platelets they removed.

Throughout the whole period you are carefully monitored, given drugs, both in pill form and in infusions to deal with the effects of the cancer treatment. The doctors see you every day to see how you’re coping. If you have problems eating, you may also a nutritionist, while a physiotherapist will also visit to advise you on gentle exercises if you are weak.

I shudder to think how much all this would cost under the private insurance system in America, which the Tories  and New Labour so much admire, even while they’re prating about how much they ‘treasure’ the NHS.

They released me yesterday, and it’s good to be home. The treatment has, however, left me as weak as the proverbial kitten, with a sore mouth, and diarrhoea. I’ve been prescribed and given mouthwashes and drugs for some of these effects. The booklets for the treatment state that it may be 2/3 months, or even 5-6 months, before you make a complete recovery. So don’t expect very much energetic blogging!

I cannot fault the treatment given by the medical and the ancillary staff. They were professional, friendly, courteous and reassuring. I found the treatment very difficult, but they were at pains to say, ‘This is not the ‘new you’. You will recover.’ And it can be very interesting talking to the ancillary staff, some of whom were non-White immigrants, and hearing their stories and perspectives. The NHS certainly has benefit from the skills and dedication brought to it by its medical professionals and ancillary staff from across the world, whether Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, or eastern Europe. And the health service is suffering because many of these are being forced to return home, or look elsewhere for work, because of Tweezer and Brexit.

I’m afraid I haven’t been blogging very much while in hospital, despite my best intentions. Their wifi system simply wouldn’t let me. The hospital wifi system was insecure, so that anyone geographically near me could see my passwords if I went to a site that require them. So the system simply refused to let me on after I posted up those couple of pieces to the blog about George Galloway winning his libel battle against the Torygraph, and New Labour’s desperate policy to stop NHS hospitals owning and operating their own MRI scanners, as opposed to leasing them from private firms. So I spent my time in bed trying to read an SF novel by the awesome Paul McAuley, and re-reading a few old copies of Private Eye and Clive James’ The Crystal Bucket. This last is a collection of James’ old TV reviews from the 1970s from the Observer. James started out as a radical socialist, and then move right, eventually ending up in the Torygraph. An intellectual, with a tendency to show off, he nevertheless took trash culture very seriously, at a time when many intellectuals did dismiss television. One of the jokes about it used to be ‘Why is television a medium? Because it’s neither rare nor well done’. Which is true of a lot, but not all. And James stated that heartfelt trash culture was worth far more than bad high art, like Michael Tippet’s A Child Of Our Time. The ’70s were also the  decade of the Vietnam War and the horrors of the CIA coup in Chile, George Kissinger’s support of genocidal, murderous dictators across the world as part of the campaign against Communism, Watergate, and TV dramas about the Holocaust, all of which he reviewed, along with Star Trek, Dr. Who, Miss World, the World Disco-Dancing Championships, the footie and the athletics. Quite apart from more highbrow productions of Shakespeare, intense dramas, and the horrors of the classic BBC series, I, Claudius, set under the deprave reign of Caligula.

He also reviewed an interview with the old Fascist, Oswald Mosley. Mosley was the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, and a series of successive Fascist movements after the Second World War. He was very definitely persona non grata for many years, until he partly rehabilitated himself with the publication of his autobiography, My Life.  He then got a job doing book reviews for the Telegraph. Mosley was a fan of Mussolini and then Adolf Hitler. When Mussolini was overshadowed by Hitler as the great Fascist dictator, Mosley changed the name of the BUF to the ‘British Union of Fascists and National Socialists’. He corresponded very amicably with the Nazis, although claimed during the War that in the event of an invasion of Britain he would not serve as this country’s Quisling, the traitor leader of Norway. And in the interview the old thug constantly denied being an anti-Semite, claiming that the attacks and violence were instead all the fault of the Jews. All the while making it clear that he still identified them with the ‘money power’, which was secretly ruling from behind the scenes. James said of him that he didn’t so much proclaim anti-Semitism as embody it. There’s much to blog about in James’ TV criticism from this period. I especially want to do a piece about this interview with Mosley to show the difference between real anti-Semites, and those decent people, who have been smeared as such by the Israel lobby, New Labour and the Tory press. People like Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, mike, my brother, Tony Greenstein and so many, many others. Absolutely none of whom are in any way, shape or form anything like the real Nazis and anti-Semites, like Mosley or the characters now crawling out into public view from the Alt-Right and Libertarians.

I spent part of yesterday evening trying to answer the various comments that had built up on this blog over the past few weeks. I really appreciate all the messages of support and encouragements to get well and get blogging soon! It was really great and encouraging to read. I feel fortunate that I have people like you all following my blog.

I’m still quite ill at the moment, but I hope to pick up and carry on blogging as far as I can. And I hope you all are enjoying good health, and haven’t suffered too much from the heat these past weeks. With luck, it shouldn’t be too long before it’s business as usual. I hope.

 

 

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19 Responses to “Out of Hospital for Myeloma Treatment”

  1. Jeffrey Davies Says:

    Welcome back b

  2. Julian Says:

    Glad you are out of the hossie, though obviously it will take you time to recover. Please don’t feel you have to blog out of loyalty to your readers. I’m sure we’ll be happy waiting till you are back on top form. ATB Julian

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks, Julian. I’ll do some blogging, because there are some recent issues I want to get off my chest. 🙂

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  5. Robert Fillies Says:

    Glad you are on the mend, i hope the rest of your recovery goes well. Look after yourself.

  6. Florence Says:

    Pleased to see you’re on the mend, and reduced blogging while recovering is wise to conserve energy, and also to maximise your available energy for reading and research. We all wish you the very best and to see you recover fully to the beast we all know and treasure.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks very much for the good wishes and advice, Florence. I’ll do my best, and all the very best to you in turn! 🙂

    • Michelle Says:

      Brill advice Florence and couldn’t agree more x

      Beastie be erudite, preserve your wonderful historical analysis for few but perfect Beastie posts 🙂

      • beastrabban Says:

        Definitely sound advice! 🙂 Trouble is, there are so many issues I want to get of my chest. Oh, temptation, temptation…

  7. Michelle Says:

    Dear Beastie, hoping you are getting stronger, so sorry only reading this post now, I’m no longer getting your posts in my Inbox – don’t know why, I didn’t de-subscribe. Much strength to you, get-better-hug, Michelle

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks, Michelle. I don’t know why you’re not gettng my posts sent to you automatically anymore. It’s nothing I’ve done! 🙂

      • Michelle Says:

        I checked my follow sites option in WP but nothing had changed, so I switched the options off and on again and now have received your latest post. Very odd, but all is well, Beastie is back in the building 🙂

  8. gillyflowerblog Says:

    Michelle, sometimes I stop getting WP posts and when I check notifications a block all posts box has been ticked. Automatic i assume as I don’t do it! I then have to uncheck the bix. It’s most annoying.
    Glad you’re on the mend Beastie.

    • Michelle Says:

      Thank you Gilly, interesting… zee invisible tick boxers must be about, Beasties blog is especially enlightening.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks, Gillyflowerblog. I’m on the mend, but I’ve been told that it will take several months before I’m back to normal. Still, slowly but surely wins the day!

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