Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +350

For quite awhile, my journal entries have been essays on living with a nearly invisible disease. I talk about my thoughts, and how well I'm doing. Everything negative has been simple complaining...

I guess you could say we've gone from simple complaining to full Red Alert. The kids arrived about 3:00 PM on Saturday (02/04/2012) for an impromptu early birthday party, and upon arrival, my youngest grandson, says: "Grandpa, why is your face so red?" At which point, everyone gasped (in unison) and I ran for the bathroom.

I don't spend a lot of time looking in mirrors because there's always this old guy looking back at me. This time, he appeared to have a really nasty sunburn...not just on his face, but everywhere. It seems only my hands and feet have missed out on the fun. A daily body-check, done that morning, showed no hint of a rash or redness. The doctors at Mayo Clinic warned us that changes happen quickly. Still, even my paranoia didn't see this coming.

Hospital, redux...

Quick as a wink, the party was put on hold and we drove swiftly to Portage Health Emergency Room. They drew blood, not once, but twice. Did a chest x-ray. Did urinalysis. Poked, prodded, and finally called the BMT desk at Mayo Clinic. Looks like my rash is back. There is nothing systemic wrong with me. Liver and kidney screens were normal. They checked my drug list and found nothing to cause this. The assumption is that GVHD may be back and playing with my skin again, but that has not been proven. We're trying steroid creams again, and I have to call Mayo tomorrow -- they may want us back down there, pronto.

There's not a lot of pain and only minor itching. I feel pretty weak, but did not and have not run any kind of fever. I am hoping we can control it here -- with the steroid creams.

Home again, home again, lickety-split...

The doctors prescribed the same steroid cream we used in Rochester, and sent us home. Fortunately, I still have some of that cream. We resumed the party (for my grandson's birthday) with a very subdued (and well greased) lobster-man in place of noisy old grandpa.


This morning, my rash was less angry-looking than yesterday, but still very warm to the touch, and this time (unlike last time) there are a few places that it itches. I feel rather weak and tired, but not sleepy.

So, here I sit, in the radiant glow of my flat panel monitor, and ponder just how quickly the situation can change. I am also praying that the steroid cream will work its magic overnight, and tomorrow morning I can say, "Pink" instead of "Red." It is definitely a set-back, but we have overcome many such set-backs on our journey of nearly two years with this awful disease.

Well, I have to get more rest than usual, so...

Good night and God bless,


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