Tuesday, August 19, 2008

yesterday's checkup

Since Dr. C-M is on vacation, I saw Dr. Barker yesterday morning.

My blood counts remain stellar. Like Dr. C-M, she said my GVHD isn't worrisome and reminded me that a little bit of it isn't a bad thing. I was told to continue to apply the Hydrocortisone cream to the affected areas as well as use the Dexamethasone rinse 2-3 times each day.

I mentioned to her that though improved, parts of my feet (notably some toes) remain numb. The neuropathy is a very common side effect after transplantation, I was told. Most likely, she said, it's the consequence of my transplant treatments followed by the tapering of the Tacrolimus. With time, the neuropathy may improve. She also stated that it is possible some form of it may remain for life. We'll just have to wait and see. If it worsens, she told me that a prescription could be offered to alleviate the discomfort, but as it stands right now I'm alright. I can deal with it. The neuropathy isn't terrible, but my endurance walking has taken a hit. Remember my 6-8 mile treks throughout the city or when I journeyed across the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey in the immediate months after my transplant. I wouldn't think about doing anything like that right now.

Alli instructed me to reduce the Tacrolimus down just a bit to 1mg/2ml, but it may be as Dr. Barker suggested, several months before the dosage is tapered more steadily once again.

A PET scan is scheduled for August 27th. As part of my one-year follow-up, she needs to see if Dr. C-M wants a bone marrow biopsy and/or immune function test as well.

All in all, yesterday's checkup was very positive.


Comment Blogger Jessie O said...

Yo Duane. Still faithfully reading over my google reader. I take L-Glutamine (I get from an online vitamin place) 10 g day in water or mixed in something else. That with yoga for circulation... well, it kind of helps the neuropathy... It's a supplement not drugs so for some reason it feels less gross.

Also, sorry you aren't headed West right away, but I have a feeling we'll get to see a Mariners game some day!

3:37 PM  
Comment Blogger Tom (dB) said...

Maybe you should try going for some reflexology, to stimulate the nerve endings in the toes. After my chemo I had a lot of tingly-ness in my feet and foot massages helped a lot.

2:39 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey there Jessie,

I've never heard of L-Glutamine, but I'll check into it. Thanks for letting me know.

Yeah, I was hoping to see you in Seattle. :( Maybe next summer I'll be able to make it out there and we'll be able to catch a Mariners game together!!

10:09 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey Tom,

Excellent idea!!!! I've received reflexology only once and that was almost a year ago. Your suggestion reminds me too that I haven't had a massage in a year and I'm sure this would be helpful too.

Many thanks!!!!

10:11 AM  
Comment Blogger Jim Anderson said...

When I was a teenager my family went on a vacation to the California Sierra mountains. We rented a mule to help us carry our camping equipment back into a remote camping area. I'll always remember that mule. He was obstinate and stubborn as hell when traveling away from the corral where he lived. He really had to be 'coaxed' to get him going to camp, every step of the way. However, on the way back he was unstoppable. He had a new spring in his step. He just wanted to be home.
I think of politicians like that mule. They wont do what they're hired to do unless you kick 'em (gently) in the rear... often.

2:31 PM  
Comment Blogger david said...

Duane my man,

Hope you are enjoying the summer friend. I'm glad to hear that your check-up was positive. Let's meet up soon and catch up. Speak soon pal

10:39 PM  

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