Tuesday, September 09, 2008

one year follow-up

Yesterday morning I had a check up with Dr. C-M, the first since taking my most recent PET scan. Just as Alli had told me over the phone several days earlier, he informed me that the scan was clean. Thankfully, no drama here.

The hyperpigmentation, a consequence of the GVHD, remains on my face and penis. In addition to this, small, dark blemishes have appeared on the palm of my left hand and on the big toe of my right foot during the past two weeks. Both, he said, are also due to the GVHD. But they're nothing serious. Simply cosmetic. Physically, I feel fine. I'm just dealing with a minor cold.

As to addressing the GVHD, the plan remains the same for now. Tapering is a delicate balancing act, he reiterated. Despite the occasional increase (I was told to bump it up from 2 ml to 2.5 ml yesterday) or decrease of the Tacrolimus dosage, any systematic tapering of the medication will be months away most likely.

We talked briefly about my feet's numbness and fatigue. Exercise, he said, is helpful for this. I also plan to try reflexology and massage, which I haven't done since my hospitalization one year ago. I also showed him the recent discoloration of my finger nails, which he explained is evidence of new nail growth. This really surprised me. For some strange reason, I had assumed that any post-transplant nail changes would have taken place by now but clearly that's not the case.

Due to immunosuppression concerns since transplantation, I haven't eaten loose nuts which I enjoy, so I was pleased to learn that I can welcome almonds, peanuts, and the like into my diet once again. Similarly, my family and I had given away our house plants, but these too I found out we can bring back.

Finally, I asked about work to which he responded very favorably. He encouraged me to begin exploring this.

Late yesterday afternoon, I joined the other members of the Bridges' committee to discuss the content of the upcoming issues. The fall 2008 issue of Bridges has just been released. Check it out here.


Comment Blogger Jessie O said...

Happy Anniversary!

8:00 PM  
Comment Blogger laulausmamma said...

I know you knew your scans were clean...but how great to hear it right from the Onc's mouth!! So happy for you Duane. I look forward to continue reading and learning where you will go from here. ((HUGS)) Susan

11:26 PM  
Comment Blogger Jim Anderson said...

Congrats Duane! You came out on the good side of the 1 year statistics. Lets talk statistics!
The survival rate for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma mud transplants performed during the period Jan. 2001 - Dec. 2005 at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center was 57% (12 out of 21). (See Here)
Keep up the good progress and to heck with them big freckles! Thats just more natural sun screening!

11:36 PM  
Comment Blogger Bekah said...

I love these kinds of anniversaries. Here's to many, many more Duane.

PS. Get ready, we're going to need to start planning some lunch dates this month ;)

Sending love,


4:48 PM  

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