Below are testimonials from patients thanking us for the medical treatment they received from our Haematology and Stem Cell Transplantation department. Click here if would like to tell us about your experience of treatment.
In April 2007 I was diagnosed with Myelofybrosis and told I probably had two years – and that other than transfusions and thalidomide, no treatment was available. When Good Hope Hospital merged with Heartlands, a staff change saw me with a new consultant. About July time I was deteriorating and it was discovered my spleen had enlarged; not because it was helping to produce red cells but because it was detroying them, due to my bone marrow over-producing unsatisfactory red cells.
The consultant concurred with me that at the rate of my decline I was probably not going to see Christmas. He asked if I had any siblings – “only one brother” I said. “Oh dear,” he replied “its four to one against a match.” Luckily, my little brother was a blood and tissue match, and it was decided that despite my age I was probably fit enough to surive the procedure. My fitness probably came from my motorcycle racing – which is extremely physical and requires at least two gym sessions per week (it was the mid-winter gym sessions which showed up the first symptoms of the illness and led to the early diagnosis of the disease).
The removal of my, in excess of two kilogram, spleen was first, and then chemotherapy. The transplant happened after a week of chemo on the14th December 2007, and so far so good. I’m still work in progress and I’m still doing what I’m told. I don’t think I’ll ever race again, I’m too old, my doctors say its not on, but if I can keep up the recovery and get fit – nobody who knows me will bet against it!
In conclusion, even if it should all go ‘tits up’ tomorrow its been worth it, I’ve had a ball – thanks Heartlands.
After experiencing an ache in my legs, I was diagnosed with leukaemia in December 2004. I was led towards treatment by the staff at Heartlands, and I was given a large amount of information which really helped me make my decision. When it was found that my younger sister was a bone marrow match, it was agreed that I would undergo a transplant.
I underwent radiotherapy two weeks before the transplant in March 2005 – and lost my eyelashes and eyebrows in the process. The transplant itself went very smoothly, however, and I had only a very few sores on the mouth.
My only complication was that for some time following the transplant my IMB was too high. I continued to attend hospital every two weeks, however, and the care I received soon ensured that even that was solved. I have since been told that I can now consider myself all clear.
I am now 27, and remain hugely grateful to Heartlands – their care was brilliant. I’d like particularly to single out the nurses, who knew when to talk to me and when to not, and were always there to support me throughout my time with the unit. Thank you so much.
I was one of the very earliest patients to undergo a bone marrow transplant. I was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent the procedure in November, 1988. I was very fortunate that my younger brother was an exact match, and have nothing but good words for the professionals and their facilities: it was truly excellent care, and I still feel very grateful.
I return to the centre ever year for a check up, and continue to be well looked after. It’s just very, very good. Thank you, Heartlands.
I was diagnosed with myeloma at the end of the year 2000, and had a stem cell transplant in 2001. This was successful, and I was then in remission for four and a half years. Unfortunately, the cancer then returned and by 2008 I was not responding as I should have been to the chemotherapy. I had turned down a bone marrow transplant in 2001 because of the relatively low recovery rates, but by 2008 they were much better and it seemed the best – and only – course of treatment open to me.
In July 2008 I underwent a bone marrow transplant. Though the procedure was a success I was very poorly afterwards, with pneumonia and a liver condition, and remained in hospital for some time. I enjoyed truly excellent care and I have nothing but praise for everyone, from the cleaners to the consultants. My advice to anyone thinking of having a bone marrow transplant would be simple – put your faith in these professionals, they are truly superb.
I will be writing to my German donor, whom I had never met, this July, to thank him for giving me life – a year on, I am free of the cancer and count every day as a great gift. Thank you!