Category: Life

Life

Test results

I got the results of the tests done last week at Duke. The report states, “Compared to 8/3/07, no significant change in previously characterized IgA lambda components from 0.28 to 0.19 and 0.12 to 0.18 g/dL.” The PA let me know that it’s possible for the m-spike(s) to drop more in the next few months. One good thing is that my IgG is normal for the first time in five years (probably a few more). It was 223 in February, 2003, for example.

Immunoglobulin Profile
IgG 709 mg/dL Reference: 588-1573
IgA 374 mg/dL Reference: 46-287
IgM 29 mg/dL Reference: 57-237
IgE 12 mg/dL Reference: 4-269

Uncle Fester

I think I look like Uncle Fester. All I need is an ankle length black coat with a (faux) fur collar. If you run across anything like this, let me know. I need one for my wardrobe.

You probably think I’m just joking!

It seems like little bits of hair are starting to grow. I predict that I’ll have what could be thought of as a normal amount of hair by spring. I can’t remember what happened last year. It seemed as though I had a short curly head of hair by spring.

This is what my head looks like now.

Sir?

Why would anyone call me sir?  I was pumping gas today, wearing my IMF cap to cover my bald head.  I had on flowered pants and a neon orange t-shirt with a cartoon dog on it, for crying out loud. Plus, I’m only 5′ 5″ tall, not to mention other obvious attributes. There’s no way anyone could mistake me for a sir!  It happened last year when I lost my hair too. I think hair must be more important to how people perceive another person than I realized.

Remember Julia Sweeney’s Pat character? I don’t even own any clothes like that. :)

A 3 Mile Day

I walked 3 miles today: two on the treadmill and one in the real world.  I really like treadmills.  Weird, huh?

I was surprised to get a call from Senator Burr’s office yesterday. I had written to him about something, and I expected to get some kind of form letter. Instead, I got a call from an aide who said she was going to talk to Senator Burr for me.

I’m here

It’s been a while since I posted.  I’ve just been taking it easy.

I’ll have my (close to) 30 day check up at Duke soon, and maybe I’ll find out that my m-spike has gone down.  My local doctor let me sneak in a SPEP a couple of weeks ago, and I was surprised to see that the results weren’t much different than they were in July.

Today I walked 2 miles. I’m working my way up to 3. I even have a workout buddy, so I’m more motivated to do well. The time goes by a lot faster and is much more enjoyable when you have someone to talk with while you’re exercising.

Almost a week

Tomorrow it will be a week since I got home. I’ll have an appointment with my local oncologist for a blood test. I’ll have a weekly blood draw until I go back to Duke in about 3-4 weeks. I don’t even remember when my appointment is, so I’m counting on them sending a reminder!

I think it will be a good long while before I leave home again. I keep finding things that remind me not to trust people. For example, in my back yard someone took an old broom and burned the end of it off. There’s an ashtray on my deck with cigarette butts in it. Things are missing (including prescriptions like percocet and xanax).

I have some lingering side effects from the SCT. There’s fatigue, which must be from anemia (I’m guessing). My eyes water constantly. I have a lot of trouble getting to sleep at night. The first several days I had achy legs, but that’s better now. I have what looks like mild rosacea. I feel like I lost muscle mass while I was gone, because my legs are weak. I’m walking every day, but probably not as much as I should. Last, but not least, my GI tract is still not normal. I was told it could take up to a month for that to get better. I plan on writing more about what the mucositis was like. I’m just not sure when. My concentration is weak, so writing is a chore. Oh! If you’re waiting for a reply from me via email, I promise to get that done soon.

Home at last!

I made it home yesterday.  I’m SO glad to be here. I went straight to bed when I got home, and slept for what felt like forever.  I got up at 5:30 this morning, walked the dog and then went back to bed until 10:30.  It felt great to sleep in. It’s nice not to be on anyone else’s schedule.  I found myself feeling bored this afternoon, but that passed. :)

Thanks to everyone who made this easier for me.  You all know who you are. Thanks especially to Rachel and Monica.

More tomorrow!

Day +12

The only thing I have to report today is that my WBC is 4.7! Can you believe it? As soon as I get the rest of the results, I’ll post them. It was mentioned that I might get to go home earlier than predicted.

I forgot to mention that I had my head shaved on Saturday.  My hair started to fall out some, so my sister went ahead and gave me a buzz cut.  Since then, it’s been falling out like crazy.  I could be bald in a few days.