I woke up this week thinking about numbers. Specifically statistics. I’ve been thinking about numbers since I met the transplant consultant, who told me that looking at the numbers as a whole, there’s a 25% mortality rate for a stem cell transplant. He was also quick to point out that this number included older people, and people with underlying health problems. While there’s no accurate or reliable data specifically for the people in my age group, he reckons that we do significantly better (another consultant said that the procedure had a 2 – 5% mortality rate for people in my age group). It’s a small chance, but a chance none the less.
When I was first diagnosed, we spoke to some of the nurses in the ward about chemotherapy and transplants and what nots, and they said that Hammersmith Hospital (aka Funhouse) has a very good treatment and transplant centre. They have a very high success rate and have a very low incidence of GvHD and other complications. They DO happen, but the rates are much lower than they are at any other hospital in the UK.
Having been in and out of the hospital for the better part of the year, they are very good at what they do. So I am quite fortunate and very blessed to be able to get treatment in the hospital.
Still, the numbers are numbers and any competent person will be able to say that numbers are only part of the equation, and the patient plays a huge role in the outcome of the treatment. As a doctor told me when I was first admitted, medically, they do what they can. But in almost every instance, the patient’s will and spirit plays a huge role in the outcome.
That’s what I’m going on, the will and spirit to get past this blasted thing and beat it into submission.