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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day +148 Two Out of Three Aint Bad

Today was my first doctors appt since May 15.
I've been feeling pretty good the past 3 weeks. My energy continues to return. I find myself walking farther and taking on more daily projects, mindful of minimizing unnecessary contacts with crowds and airborne particles.
My father has returned to our house to stay with us for a while. He and I have returned to being walking buddies. Around 6 weeks ago, after my good 100 day checkup I released him from his co-caregiver duties and he returned home to my mom. However, even after 57 years of marriage couples can need temporary breaks. So he is a welcomed returning house guest and is keeping me honest with my daily exercise routine. He is also a great companion, enjoying a conversation about anything and is very supportive and patient.
I cant mention great companions without talking about Cathie again. She is off the scale in the companion and caregiver categories. She is actually more mindful of my health dangers than I am. Around 3 weeks ago I started developing a couple small issues and she was the first to notice one of them. I've developed a slight rash on my face, no where else. The rash is only noticeable up close and is similar to a mild case of teenage acne. The other minor issue is that my eyes seem to be drier than usual. I've experienced some dry eye issues over the past few years but this time around it is more irritating. I have to rub my eyes a lot and/or apply some 'tears' solution. Cathie convinced me to consult with the doctor about these things. It was hard for me to do this because I know that Graft Vs. Host symptoms can be much, much more pronounced, and I've never read about dry eyes and face rashes being symptoms. Well, the good doctor is not alarmed but wants to keep an eye (no pun) on the 2 things because they are sometimes an early sign of GVHD. He was going to reduce my immune-suppressant drug Tacrolimus to 1Mg from 2Mg per day, but decided against it until we see if anything develops. So maybe my 'perfect' recovery from the transplant is in doubt. Oh well. If this is the only symptom of GVHD I ever get then I'll still be extremely lucky. I've made it this far because many of you willed, wished, and prayed for it. I have to thank you all again!
My counts remain on a positive upwards trend. Now my platelets have reached a normal count. My white cells will not fully recover until I am off the Tacrolimus and Diflucan. But they remain close to normal and are not falling. My red cells remain in the normal range. Two out of three aint bad! My new stem cells continue to graft well and repopulate.
My mental outlook improves all the time. It's hard to believe that only 6 months ago I was looking down the barrel of a biological gun. Now I feel the gun has been lowered but is still lurking. I have a great hope for being around for at least a couple dozen more years! This is my fathers day present from all of you!
My next doctors visit is July 3.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

2/3 def is not too shabby! Congrats on your continued great health!
Happy Early Father's Day Jim!
June

Anonymous said...

WOW... your counts look great! Love it. Hope all is well!
LOVE YOU LOTS
Shelli

Mike B said...

Jim,

I am so glad your counts are so good and you are feeling better. What a journey! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and the family. Have a great Fathers Day.

Mike B

David and Cassandra said...

It is great to have you feeling more like your old self again. The one who did cannon balls off the diving board and put up with your two neices every summer. We are all so glad to hear how well everything is going. I can't wait to see you in July and give you a big hug.

Love,
Cassie

Pat H said...

Hey Jim,

You continue to amaze us all. Keep up the good work and give sister
Cath a big hug from me for all her good work, too. She is truly one of the unsung heroes in all of this.

Love,
Pat

Anonymous said...

Jim,

We are so happy that you are doing so well. We can't begin to fathom the struggles that you, Cathie and your family have gone through. Rest assured that we will continue to hold you up in our prayers.Have an awesome Father's Day- and we are looking forward to seeing you when you are able to see us!

The Duddies