Wednesday… Of cabbages and King’s (College Hospital)

I had almost forgotten the original purpose of the blog, with all the recent activity, but this month sees two important anniversaries. The first is six years since my bone marrow transplant (BMT) and the second is the fifth anniversary since my relapse and the long shot of the donor lymphocyte infusion that has kept me in remission. The post I made at the time is , together with other posts around that time.

Back to the present. The are certain periods of time when remissions seem to statistically occur, and one of those is at five years; so it was with some trepidation that I set off for my check-up. Trepidation not only because of the five year milestone, but also becvause it was my first visit to the new combined transplant unit at King’s, which has combined the transplant units of Guy’s and St Thomas’s (GSST) into one bigger unit.

I had appeared on the patient consultative committee prior to the amalgation, and one of my concerns was that Denmark Hill is not as easy to get to (for me) as London Bridge. This proved to be true, with an additional change (at London Bridge) and an extra 30 minutes or so travelling time. However, the hospital itself was easy to find.

I have a new, somewhat thinner file than before, with the documents from my old file scanned into King’s. No clever IT stuff allowing them to be transferred electronically, and neither were the all the historical clinical results on the GSST system available on the King’s system. Joined up? I think not!

The first impression of the unit was one of chaos! The outpatient clinic at Guy’s was in a quiet room, away from the day unit treatment centre. At King’s, the two are together. As a ‘new’ patient, blood tests hadn’t been ordered, so I was seen before bloods were taken, so I don’t have the results yet. However the physical examination showed no untoward lumps or bumps. 🙂

i’m sure the routine at King’s will sort itself out in time, but I was delighted to see a familiar face in the form of Viki, who was the nurse specialist at GSST when I was being treated. The last time I saw her was five years ago when, on her last day at work, she came and sat with me in the PET centre while I was waiting for the scan that would see how serious my relapse was (and showed that I was in remission from the chemo, and gave the green light for the lymphocyte transfusion – see the the related posts to the link above).

We had a brief chat when I arrived, and we were planning to have a longer one later, but she was with a patient, and although I waited for a while, it was clear she was going to be some time, so I had to leave to get the train home.

The journey back was a bit fraught, I missed the train to London Bridge by a few minutes, and that meant I missed the train home. Fortunately they run more frequently in the evening, but it still took over two hours to get back. On the plus side, it was lovely to walk the 15 minutes from the station to my home!

So, pending the blood test results, I am pleased that at this important milestone all appears well!

One of the wonders of the internet is the global coverage, and I must say hello to ‘Honoury Auntie’ Eileen in New Zealand who I know follows the blog (not that there has been much to follow lately… sorry). However I did send you an e mail late last year, but it seems it got lost in cyberspace! However it is lovely to know that you are following the blog.

I am also grateful to all my other followers, especially those who post comments (first comments are moderated until I read them, they then appear automatically) they are very much appreciated!

So, a good day, and one justifying “Onwards and Upwards” 🙂

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