Sunday, March 4, 2012
Mick McKellar Update -- Day +379
Our jaunt to Rochester has taken us in directions unintended and down paths unforeseen. When we left on Monday morning (February 27), we intended to complete my tests, deal with the rash and head home on Friday. That changed when my doctor(s) finally examined me on Thursday.
The Package Arrives:
The tests on Tuesday actually painted a pretty nice picture of a fellow experiencing some problems, but well on track. My blood chimerism test shows 100% donor. (The blood in my veins is 100% my brother's blood...as it should be.) There is no indication of the BCR-ABL fusion protein in my system, which (I believe) indicates I remain in full remission from the leukemia. My hemoglobin, white blood count, and platelets are all in good places. My kidney function appears normal. My pulmonary funtion study shows performance once again equal to when I left back in June, 2011. My bones are as dense as ever. This is all good stuff.
However, my liver function is abnormal and appears to require contination of treatment with prednisone. That's when the doctor finally gets a look at dusty, crusty old Mick.
But, He was Molting...and Looked Revolting...
Leaving was immediately cancelled. Appointments were made with opthamology and dermatology for Friday. Monday, I will see an endocrinologist about potential problems with diabetes (triggered by the prednisone). I will have another set of blood tests, and meet again with my doctor.
The eye doctor was pleased to report that GVHD did not appear to be directly attacking my eyes, although it was having a field day around them (including the eye lids). However, I now must take Restasis to increase tear production. In fact, I wondered if maybe I simply had no tears left. I add artificial tears several times per day.
His secondary diagnosis, although not earth-shaking, was disquieting: I have an early, dry form of macular degeneration in both eyes. He did agree with my previous decision not to have the cataract in my right eye surgically removed yet.
Then, I drifted on down to dermatology.
I was photographed from head to foot...literally. Posing in a photo studio in my underwear felt ridiculous, but it appears to be a major part of their medical records. There is even one face close up with my tongue hanging out. Oy, vey!
Then, the doctor took three skin biopsies! The red patch on my right foot may be a form of scleroderma caused by GVHD. It will take time before results are known. Yet, the worst was yet to come...
Wrap it up!
The wet wraps are back, the home version. Creams, wet pajamas, wet socks, a wet towel for the head, and a rag over my face -- place it all in a well-protected chair and cover with blankets for an hour twice per day. Oh, well.
I hope to have more (and better) information tomorrow. I wish I could write longer, but my eyes get tired easily, so I will retire for the night.
Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts.
God bless and good night,
Posted by Mick at 11:09 PM