Sunday, March 27, 2011

medical update

Last week was the first of two weeks in which I'm off for spring break. Consequently, all of my medical appointments were scheduled during this first week so that I can focus on lesson planning and other activities afterwards.

I saw one of Sloan-Kettering's dermatologists Monday afternoon. Overdue for a skin examination, my nurse practitioner recommended him when I last saw her back in December. The symptoms of GVHD remain stable. He gave me a prescription for a lotion to help alleviate dry feet. While there, he also took a biopsy of one of a few tiny bumps that are on small areas of my body notably my right arm. He said they resemble Molluscum Contagiosum, a non-threatening viral infection, but he would need to wait for the results of the biopsy to confirm their identity. I'd receive a phone call, the doctor said, only if there's a problem.

On Wednesday night, thanks to Club freeTime I paid only $5.00 to listen to the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra of Norway perform works by Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Johan Helmich Roman, a Swedish composer, at Carnegie Hall. Like most people outside of Scandanavia, I had never heard of Roman until this event. The selection, "Excerpts from Music for a Royal Wedding at Drottningholm in 1744," of Roman played by the orchestra was lovely and sprightly. The other greats have been long time favorites of mine.

Thursday afternoon, I had a follow-up appointment with my transplant doctor, Dr. C-M. I last saw him in early June, I believe. Moreover, it was time for my one-year PET scan, which was administered on Monday morning, so I was there for the results of this exam too. The scan was clean. N.E.D., thankfully. Everything continues to go well.

With regards to the prescribed medication which I continue to take, the immunosuppressive, Tacrolimus, has been reduced from 0.5 twice a day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday to 0.5 once per day daily. The use of the other drugs (i.e. Magnesium, Voriconazole, Penicillin VK, and others) remains the same. Nevertheless, it is hoped that I should no longer need to take Tacrolimus by the end of this year. With this change in the Tacrolimus, Dr. C-M told me be watchful for any sudden changes in my skin's appearance notably the creation of white patches or tighting/reduced elasticity of the skin. These are symptoms of a GVHD flareup. Now, I already was diagnosed with a very mild case of GVHD about two years ago (the redding of my lower lip, for example), but the symptoms have remained the same or improved. Any new changes to my skin would be a worsening of the situation.

I am scheduled to see my nurse practitioner in June and him again in early July.

Trying to take care of all my medical appointments this past week, I also saw my cardiologist on Friday, who said everything looks great. I have to stop by his office next week for a quick cholesterol test, but my blood pressure remains very good.

2 Comments:

Comment Blogger Tom (dB) said...

Hi Duane. It's great to read how well you're doing. Keep it up. I'm coming up to 4 years post transplant now, and my wife and I are expecting our first child in June. Very excited I am.

2:17 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey Tom! It's so wonderful hearing from you. Congratulations on your upcoming 4 year anniversary and the coming of your first child. This is truly a fantastic new. What a gift! Thank you for sharing this. Wishing you continued happiness, new dad! :)

6:38 PM  

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