Day +571: Here he is, girls, the leader of the plaque…

6/23/12: Greetings and welcome to summer. It arrived full force here last week with temperatures above 100F and high humidity. Ugh. However, I don’t want to wish my time away, and winter will arrive again with the blink of an eye.

The good news is that I finally recovered fully from my respiratory infection a couple of weeks ago. Overall, it lasted about six weeks. My ears were badly clogged after flying, and the resulting partial deafness made for some amusing conversations, reminiscent of the old “another case of bad cellular” radio ads. I was feeling pretty disheartened and worried about my immune system until I discovered that a few of Michael’s coworkers with “normal” immune systems took just as long to get over [apparently] the same virus. I don’t wish anyone else ill but I was uncharacteristically pleased with the news that they’d suffered equally long. Although I’d ordinarily celebrate my differentness, I’m happy in this case to be among the “normal.”

My six month checkup with the dentist on June 20 went very well. My mouth isn’t as dry, and I had no new cavities. I was rewarded with a purple and pink princess toothbrush.

No hematology appointments in June – Michael and I are experiencing withdrawal, fretting about the unknown.

I’m usually not much of a worrier but lately, I’ve gone through a phase of anxiety over every little anomaly: Where did that bruise come from? Why is my heart pounding? Am I more easily winded than usual? Why am I so tired? Why do my legs ache at night? How did I lose weight when I’ve been eating so much? I suspect anyone who has ever had cancer is never entirely free from the fear that it has returned.

Then there are the worries over the dangers of chronic graft versus host disease. The recent death of fellow transplantee Sharon Julihana due to complications from GvHD is a sad reminder that it can be as deadly as the cancer itself. But as I follow the journeys of other transplantees, I am enormously thankful that I’ve fared so well. My health and quality of life are excellent and the new immune system from my hero, Mary Lou, truly seems to be the perfect match in every sense. Repeating the words of my hematologist, Dr. Bahrani, I probably have just the right amount of GvHD, enough so that I gain the graft versus leukemia effect but not so much that my health is dramatically affected. Hurray for me!

Closing on a lighter note, a tagline update (none of which were IDed):
Day +504: High Hopes, Frank Sinatra
Day +533: I’m So Excited, The Pointer Sisters
Day +537: Reunited, Peaches & Herb
Day +539: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Crosby, Stills & Nash
Day +541: Vacation, The Go-Go’s
…………………Willkommen (from Cabaret), Joel Grey

One Comment:

  1. Hello Karen!!

    I totally hear you on those “anxieties”! I have had them myself and actually have been ridiculed by Mayo for them hence part of the reason for my moving to peds bmt. Glad you are over the respiratory too.


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