Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Photopheresis Treatment

The worst part of my first treatment was the frigid temperature outside. Otherwise, it was manageable. My nurse was great; it only took 3 hours; my friend Jeff escorted me home. I tried to use my time tethered to the machine wisely. Unfortunately, I couldn't see straight most of the time and so sat there like a slab of meat undergoing a bizarre koshering ritual.

My blood was sucked out and sorted into components. The T-cells were isolated and treated with UVA light. Most of the blood was returned to me. T-cells are the white blood cells that are attacking my body, keeping it leukemia-free but wreaking havoc on various body parts and systems. Photopheresis is a non-toxic way of handcuffing these bad boys and keeping them in line. Soon I will be weaned off steroids, which are bad for you long-term, and treat symptoms, not the disease itself.

For 24 hours post-treatment I am very sensitive to sunlight, especially my eyes. If I go out today, and I plan to, I get to wear these very cool sunglasses. Of course, right now, it's snowing so I think I can safely leave the apartment without them.

1 comment:

Ann said...

So happy to hear your first session went smoothly. Hopefully you won't have to do it for long.