Post Stem Cell Transplant 5 year’s Later

26th of July 2017 to 26th of July 2022

In line with my recent 5 year cancer free remission I think back to the events of 2017 and the outcome.

July 25th 2017 – 21 days since I was admitted to St James Hospital to undergo what was considered a rescue mission by the medical team. 6 days of extreme chemotherapy followed by a full Stem Cell Transplant – estimated survival less that 5% based on how well I have taken the past 3 months. They did not expect me to survive ICE chemotherapy or be able to produce the 50million stem cells during harvest but there I was ready to head back into hell and finish the battle. Given 6 hours to make any calls you need to make 18th July 2017 – 6am on the 18th of July 2017 – I made 1 call to Anita. I had told her what the prognosis was and told her “I’m going to beat this”. Following initial transplant I was placed on palliative care, during the following week it was increased but by the 18th it was at the point where the next step in palliative care would be the last and would result in being completely unconscious and life ending on 21st of July 2017

Looking back now 5 years later I was most definitely dying, no ifs or buts. It was in those 6 hours that I had made so many decisions and the most important one was to beat this and survive. And that is exactly what happened

This was my welcome home the following day in Cork. Our little Pomeranian Benji, (Benji had a genetic problem that Pomeranians suffer from that can cause serious seizures and unfortunately passed away in January 2022 just shy of his 10th birthday)

5 Years later and look at the changes, not only to my life, but to the lives of everyone on the planet. Covid 19 stole so much from all of us. Over two years and still going. With a badly damaged immune system following the battles and war with cancer I was classed as immunosuppressant, I struggled to fight infections including Covid and pneumonia. On the 12th of June 2022 I celebrated my 60th birthday in Lanzarote. It was a very private celebration mainly for both Anita and myself. Not because I was 60 but because I had just been placed into a 5 year all clear and cancer free. Very few people expected me to survive in 2017, but never underestimate the power of a motivated, passionate, positive thinking person like me. And a new war was started to tackle my immune system with IVIG

The reality is not just about the 5 year remission it’s about the 8 year War being won. The changes to my life in those years has been unreal, I am the same person I was in 2014, older and wiser. Ever heard of “Cancer Ghosting”?

Its where friends and family can ghost a person who has cancer, completely stop communication & contact. Some were instant but others took their time. Research has shown that 75% of cancer victims experienced this.

Cancer does not change a person it changes people around you. To those that have followed my site over the past 5 years you can see in detail the way I have handled it.

The war against Cancer is a long and winding road, victims face so many issues with both the physical and mental challenges in their battles. Ghosting only adds to the battle and in reality in this day and age it shouldn’t happen. There are no excuses. But this is a subject I am currently researching & studying. I plan to write an article later this year about Cancer Ghosting.

An inspirational quote from a Superman RIP Christopher Reeve

Of course there are those that have been there for me, supporting, encouraging and completely unselfish. You are the real heroes. Helping me battle against all odds throughout a dark & dangerous time.

Denis Burkitt Ward St James Hospital Dublin

But to sit back and place words together about what impact a 5 year remission along with walking back out the doors of the incredible Denis Burkitt Ward in St James Hospital back on the 26th July 2017 is impossible.

Quote by Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

I have committed the past 5 years to awareness & helping others. My absolute belief is that Together We’re Stronger

4 comments

  1. Ian, you are the true hero in this passionate story. You gave it all and showed it can be beaten. I admire and always have admired the courage passion and true grit you so openly shared. I wish you and Anita the very best for the future and May you return to Lanzarote each and every year to celebrate your great achievement. May god bless you, your family and all of those people that supported you throughout your illness.

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  2. What an amazing achievement IAN and a belated happy 60 TH will have to meet you both and celebrate when I’m back in Ireland. You are an inspiration

    Like

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