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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Day +209 Iron Man to Retire, Normal Day Approaching

At last Thursday's Dr. appointment there were no surprises. Everything is near-perfect with my stem cell transplant recovery. The dry eyes, mouth and low sweat problems are lingering; no better, no worse. The Dr. still has me on the same Tacrolimus dose of 2Mg/Day. This may be keeping the dryness from getting worse. However, it's kept me in recovery mode for 2 months longer than was possible. He thinks Sept 1 will be the time when he can reduce the Tacrolimus to a mere 1 Mg/Day. That low dose will be the signal that my new immune system is ready to handle real world situations. My 'normal' day is fast approaching; not that I've been sitting around in a bubble the last couple months. For the next couple years, I'll need to take more precautions than immune-healthy people. GVHD symptoms, I have learned, can suddenly appear at any time. My blog inspiration buddy Duane over at has seen an increase in skin problems on day +339. Recently he's contracted some kind of intestinal bug. I am very thankful not to have had these kind of problems so far.
I've had 4 phlebotomys. The Dr. thought my hemoglobin was coming down a little too fast (13.0) so he has spaced the phlebotomys out to a 1 pint every 2 weeks for the time being. My Ferritin (iron) level has been reduced to around 2450 from 3200 prior to the phlebotomys. The normal range tops out at around 400. Elimination of another 12 pints of blood (with it's extra iron) will get that number down. This morning I had to inhale my tri-weekly dose of the antibiotic Pentamidine. I might have 2 of these treatments to go before my immune system can be trusted with my health again. Meanwhile I have to keep up on ordering my remaining 3 prescriptions.
Thank you for all your support!


Duane said...

Hey Jim,

You're more than half-way to your one year anniversary! Amazing, heh?

It sounds like things are going exceptionally well. Keep it up!

BTW, I won't be making it to Cali. As you probably know already, my trip was canceled. Next time! :)

Stay in touch and be well!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Jim, What a great famil reunion. We had a blast and it was so nice seeing everyone. Hope to see you all soon. We will hopefully be there by the end of the month.

Cassie, David and Sam

Anonymous said...

thanx cassie

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