Summary: Slow and steady is gonna win this race. White count is moving, hooray. Bowels are angry, boo.
Calendar: Over one month since my admission on May 2nd. Day +27 post infusion.
The Key: White blood cell counts are, at long last, rising.
This week… 0.3, 0.3, 0.3, 0.3, 0.6, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8
Yes, that 800 units per microliter poking it’s bald head over the horizon. I gave Dr. Grover the high five. At 1000 I can leave my room and go for a walk around this floor of the hospital. I pretty much need whites up to lower the antibiotic dose to grow back healthy gut flora.
Bowels: Angry, angry, angry. Diarrhea day 11. It doesn’t need saying but, this is getting really old. Cramps are nasty. Brutish. At least now I have The Shiny Candy-Like Button that delivers dilaudid on demand.
Outlook: The doctors are cautious and no dates are being offered for getting out of the hospital. But they say ‘good’ most days.
Skin: I have a slight and harmless rash, no itching, which is a good sign that the new immune system is waking up. I am bloated like soggy breakfast cereal and need to drop a couple of liters. My weight is 92 kilos which is quite a bit more than I weighed when I moved in at the start of May.
Weariness: The fatigue is serious. A shower is a lot of effort and I rest afterward. Talking wears me out in about ninety minutes. Physical therapy is just some steps, walking in place and sit/stands, about 20. But I get a bike TODAY (woo hoo!) so I can massage my bowels and hopefully build some strength. I am frequently advised to Take It Easy.
Sleep and Steroids: I’ve been getting broken up but sufficient sleep and that’s despite a medium dose of steroids twice a day. If the bowel thing turns out to be double trouble, c.diff plus graft vs host disease (GVHD), they will go to the high level dose. Steroids help mitigate the symptoms of GVHD.
Entertainment: If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s keep busy. I get cards by surface mail and send em. Learning the Uke. Strategy game with friends over the net. Tons of music time. Meditatation/Visualization after phone calls, shower or just to ward off irritability. Quite a pile of pretty folded paper here now. Wrote a ropey math program for the browser, just for fun.
Vistors: Mom every day. Dad’s been having coughs and I haven’t seen him much in the last couple of weeks. Judy once a while ago. Zannie tomorrow! I’m still very vulnerable so, no, you can’t come see me.