Some folk like to know, so from time we post a medical update on my Leukemia recovery. Fourteen months after transplant and a year and a half since this journey began, the doctors are exceedingly pleased with my progress and not at all concerned with what seems to me a long recovery time. Most of my blood counts are returning to low normal range with a handful of ones still struggling. The medical team seems especially pleased that I’ve had no fevers or hospitalizations. (Thank you God!)
I was glad to get 3 more ‘baby’s” vaccines, including DPT. I may get one more in August; maybe some of the live vaccines next spring if my immune recovers enough by then. They are hesitant on giving live vaccines even then as there is a 50/50 chance of contracting the disease. Along with the ‘baby’ stuff, I continue to require my preschooler naps to contend with lack of strength and endurance, though that too is slowly improving.
I had completely underestimated the impact of the disease on my body and the time it would take to recover. They say it is common to take 2+ years to recover from this type of Leukemia and transplant operation… or to find your new ‘subnormal.’ The seriousness of the transplant is deceptive because the infusion of stem cells was so routine; it seemed just like one of my 30 some blood transfusions. (Thanks everyone who give blood on a regular basis. It really DOES save lives!) But the process of destroying your entire immune system <think Galatians 2:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:17> is a major deal. It’s a journey of enduring patience and trust.
As good as all the reports are, they want to continue to keep close reins on me. So no letting up on the frequency of labs and treatments or the current med regime to keep Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) at bay. I will also continue regular pulmonary treatments to reduce the chance of lung infection.
I’ll have to manage the fine line between exertion and rest in order to regain strength and endurance. I’m trying to work on regaining mental acuity and concentration, but that is a harder row to hoe. The ‘cancer brain’ continues to pose some cognitive issues…hopefully I will grow out of these. (I suspect some of you thought I was a bit brain-damaged BEFORE all this happened!)
God is good all the time, and we are pleased to wait on His perfect plan in and through all of this. Isn’t that true of each of us, whatever journey we are on?! I am not remiss in remembering the pain others are going through. Except my friend Bob who lost his AML transplant battle recently. Now in heaven, he is doing better than ALL of us! Please pray for his dear wife, Betty. Thanks for your continued prayers.
Live life fully each day while time remains!