Thursday, July 16, 2009

day +695

This morning was my second anniversary follow-up at Sloan. August 21st will mark the anniversary.

Overall, everything continues to look very good. My right foot continues to ache at times, most notably after rigorous walks or when I stand for a long time. Dr. CM said to continue massaging and icing the right arch (which I confess I had been slacking off on recently). He also wasn't a fan of anti-inflammatory injections, which my podiatrist suggested as an alternative treatment.

The blood counts remain strong. HGB: 13.3; RBC: 4.98; and WBC: 7.9.

The GVHD remains stable. Part of me had hoped (though I understood it was remote) that at the very least a few of my 8 medications - Tacrolimus, Acyclovir, Voriconazole, Prevacid, Multivitamin, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Penicillin VK - would be reduced or eliminated, but he wants me to stay on them for the immediate future. GVHD is a tricky beast. In truth, these medications don't interfere with my quality of life. After almost 2 years of taking them, it's so routine . . . so ordinary for me. It's just part of what I do everyday. Like brushing teeth or taking a shower or eating. It's just done. And like these, in some strange way there's an element of it being taken for granted. I take them in the mid-morning, one in the late afternoon, and then, the rest again at night. So, there's no problem per se. It's just that as I'm feeling better and approaching two years, it would nice if my pharmacological list mirrored this progress.

Wondering about the potential risks that my immune system will be exposed to as a middle school teacher, I asked. The biggest preventative tool is (as always) to wash hands regularly. Avoid handshaking as well, he recommended. When this winter's influenza or flu shot is available, I will (as expected) need to get this as well.

In addition to seeing my ophthalmologist, cardiologist, and dentist at least twice a year, his assistant recommended that I also see a dermatologist at least once a year for an evaluation. Since I'm at a greater risk for a number of potential medical issues as a result of my many treatments, going forward it's important that I have other specialists keeping an eye on these other aspects of my health.

I'm due to have the two-year follow-up PET scan on August 28th and then, I'll see Dr. CM in October again.

Also, while in clinic today I left a card for my donor, whom I still haven't met. Several months have passed since we last corresponded. I hope to hear back from him.


Comment Anonymous Catherine said...

You are very lucky you have a donor. Just have faith and keep going.

10:23 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Yes, I know. I am very fortunate. Thanks for commenting.

12:08 PM  

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