Alex Meyer during the first biopsy of his heart when he had some complications. (Photo submitted)

Alex Meyer during the first biopsy of his heart when he had some complications. (Photo submitted)

Chemainus firefighter getting stem cell transplant

Alex Meyer at Vancouver General Hospital for the procedure

Alex and Ashley Meyer enjoyed one last date on Valentine’s Day before being he was admitted to Vancouver General Hospital for a stem cell transplant.

“We haven’t been going to restaurants, so it was special for us,” noted Ashley.

It was a special moment for the Chemainus couple as Alex started intensive chemotherapy Thursday and spent the next 40 hours hooked up to a machine.

“He will do that for a few days and then his stem cells will be re-introduced into his body,” Ashley explained. “This is when they expect Alex to be his sickest and could last for two weeks or more.”

Alex will be in isolation for two weeks before he’s allowed to come out of his room, she added, so that’s definitely going to be a struggle.

The long-awaited and anxiously-anticipated treatment for his Hodgkins lymphoma, diagnosed in March 0f 2020, will keep the Chemainus firefighter in Vancouver for about six weeks. He’ll spend four weeks in hospital and two weeks as an outpatient, with Ashley anxiously awaiting his return at home.

Ashley made the trip to Vancouver with Alex for his admittance, but is unable to stay and visit due to COVID protocols.

Ashley and Alex will be keeping the lines of communication open by telephone and other virtual means to fill the personal void.

Everything’s otherwise been status quo since the VI Free Daily last checked in with the couple.

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“They did a scan and things look good but, of course, his cancer’s still in there,” said Ashley.

The reality of where they’re at with Alex’s cancer situation is really sinking in now.

“We haven’t really been apart for a long time,” Ashley noted. “He’s definitely a social and emotional person. He likes to be around people.”

They’re both hoping for the best at this point and that it could be the end of a long and tough journey on the horizon.

“At the 14-day mark, they’ll be able to see how he’s doing,” said Ashley.

Alex was fortunate to be healthy enough to use his own stem cells that were extracted last week rather than have to rely on a donor that can often lead to complications.

Ashley and Alex had an emotional 2020 and this is the continuation of that process. COVID restrictions hit around the same time as his diagnosis and they had to alter their wedding plans to get married by a commissioner in their living room last March 29 instead of in Greece.

Alex then went into six months of chemotherapy starting last April in Victoria for the first two appointments before switching to Duncan. He went in for chemo about every 12 days for the first round until Sept. 15.

After the six months, Alex was prepped for radiation but did not end up going that route. Chemotherapy commenced again in late November and finished on Jan. 18.

And here we are with all his family and friends and the Chemainus community wishing for the best possible outcome.

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Alex Meyer with wife Ashley. (Photo submitted)

Alex Meyer with wife Ashley. (Photo submitted)