Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ups and Downs

The problem with being a transplant patient is you're never sure if a sniffle is the first sign of pneumonia, or whether stomach pain is graft-versus-host disease or just something you ate. I spent much of the week feeling blah, and not sure how much I should worry about it.

Any symptom is a sign and it's always bad. You blow your nose and are startled by a bit of blood on the tissue. Oh no, my platelets are low, so low I might be relapsing. If you were a rational person you'd chalk it up to the season's low humidity. You forget what it's like to be a normal healthy person who gets colds, aches, pains and other minor conditions that don't portent life-threatening diseases.

I spent all Thursday night moaning and groaning, getting up in the icy cold, chugging Mylanta. At one point I even vomited. That hasn't happened in a long time and was all very reminiscent of how I was feeling in the fall. At that time, my doctor said it might be gut gvh and we should keep an eye on it. The symptoms disappeared one day, and that was the last mention of gvh. When they came back the other night, I was miserable. By the way, a little gvh is good for you because it means your donor is actively hunting alien cells such as residual leukemia. Some of your good cells also suffer but there are drugs for that. A lot of gvh is bad, even deadly. The trick is to recognize it and treat it in time. It's a delicate balancing act.

Twenty four hours after my guts started churning, I began to feel better. I guess I had a run-of-the-mill virus after all. Today I feel fine, except for being a little tired. I'll take it.


Ronni Gordon said...

Hmmmm. Sorry you felt sick, and of course glad you're better. You know, I just wen through the same relapse worry, compounded by the fact that I felt sick on a relapse anniversary. So just like with you, nothing happened. I wish there was a way to stop the worry. I almost called you today but there were three kids around and I ended up just hanging out with them. That's a good little bit of medicine. I'm sure you know about that too!

Ann said...

I threw up on Christmas eve which threw Chris into high gear. My stomach was all over the place and all I wanted to do was sleep to escape the nausea. I woke up the next day feeling fine. I think you, Ronni, and I are all moving in a similar pattern right now. Maybe it's just really great minds acting in synch.

Anonymous said...

Just glad you're feeling better now.

Wishing you a Very Happy and Very Healthy New Year!

Take care, Brenda

George Jempty said...

Sorry you haven't been feeling so hot. Happy New Year anyway