13:06 Saturday 21 December 2013

Katherine's 'delight' at spending Xmas at home

Written byROB SMYTH

CHRISTMAS will mark another milestone for Katherine Sinfield who is recovering following a stem cell transplant to cure her of leukaemia.

The 33-year-old, who is the wife of Mail journalist Stephen Sinfield, said she is thankful to be home for the festive season, but doesn’t expect to be doing much in terms of partying.

The teacher is recovering from a bone marrow transplant that she had to undergo after she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Katherine said: “You can read as many guide books as you like on life post-transplant, but nothing can prepare you for the reality. Life is hard – very hard.”

Katherine was discharged from hospital following her stem cell transplant on Thursday, November 21 and quickly found out the hard way how difficult life could be outside the hospital ward as she was re-admitted with a high-temperature for another five-day stay on Monday, November 25.

She added: “I had my transplant at the end of October and I’d have to say that the process was far easier than I expected.

“Despite undergoing chemotherapy and total body irradiation, the process wasn’t as bad as I expected.

“But if you ask me how life is now I am at home, I’d have to say that nothing can prepare you for what is proving to be a very difficult time.

“It never dawned on me how hard it would be post-transplant.

“I’m absolutely shattered most of the time and find myself so reliant on the 24/7 care Stephen is administering.

“I wake up each morning with a wish list of tasks I would like to complete, but within an hour or two, I am drained. I have to sleep so much and my appetite has drastically dropped.

“I’ve been told by people who have been through this process that things do improve over time, but this is a very slow process.

“It’s likely to be nine to 12 months before I am anything like what I was before the transplant.

“Therefore, Christmas this year for me, will have to involve a large element of resting and sleeping.

“But I wouldn’t swap where I am for anything.

“My discomfort now is a small price to pay for a process which has hopefully cleared me of all of the leukaemia.

“My mystery donor delivered me the best Christmas present imaginable this year and I really cannot thank them enough for that.”

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