Friday, 30 November 2007

Week of Firsts

You know there's nothing quite like recovering from an illness that knocks you flat that makes you think about your mortality and about little things that others take for granted that you relearn or develop the strength to do for the first time. As I begin to regain my strength, this was really a week for that kind of reflection and that kind of development. Some really simple things occured this week. Simple for you, maybe, but for me somewhat momentous.


First I had visitors! Yep, Megan and Mikayel came by. Second, they brought me lunch: a loaded down six inch submarine sandwhich with vegetables! (Another first!) Lettuce, tomato and pickle garnished this delicious turkey submarine sandwich.






Third, today I had my first shower since mid-October. What a joy. Lest you think I haven't been washing, because of my lack of strength I couldn't stand very long so I've been taking baths. But it's just not the same. I know you'll laugh but you just never know how much you've missed something until you've done it again.




And fourth, I've started reading books again, picking up the same one I left off half way through in mid-October.

All in all it's really been some week. Oh yeah, and big birthday wishes go out to Jim and to Megan!!!

Book: French Kiss - Stephen Harper's Blind Date with Quebec by Chantal Hebert

Music: Dirt Farmer by Levon Helm

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Better and Better

It was a positive trip to the Bone Marrow Transplant clinic yesterday, all-round. First, I didn't need a wheelchair, and I felt pretty good after the walk from the hospital entrance to the clinic. (And the walk back to the car for that matter.) Next, the doctor told me how pleased she was with my progress, especially my blood work. Then she told me not to come back for 2 weeks. Yay, a holiday next week!


She also said that come the new year, they'd likely transfer me to the Multiple Myeloma clinic (same location but Wednesdays instead of Fridays) where they'd probably monitor me every month to month and-a-half. This means they're pretty much through monitoring my progress post transplant and are now interested in ensuring the myeloma is gone. She's very pleased I no longer have any hip and leg pain and says this is an excellent sign in terms of the results of the procedure.


She does say, too, that this doesn't necesarily count as a cure; that it could be more of a containment and that some patients go through a second transplant or the use of some strong drugs to prolong their quality of life.


Nevertheless, so far so good. I'm happy and feeling better and better

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Winter Wonderland

Surprise, surprise, Christmas has come early here in Aylmer! What was forecast early in the week as the possibility of some light snow late in the week actually arrived mid-week with a bang. Now we can expect 15-20 cm by Friday. Amazing.

I still don't have enough strength to go wandering around outside so these pictures are taken from inside the house.

On the food front, I've worked myself up to toast and peanut butter for breakfast every morning. And a sure sign my appetite is returning is the fact I had french fries for dinner last night. In another week maybe a cheeseburger!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

A Positive Sign

I visited my kidney specialist this morning, the first time since June. He was very happy with my bloodwork results from the hospital, calling them a vast improvement since the last time he saw me. Back then my kidneys were functioning at around 30 per cent. Today, he was pleased to tell me they're up to 66 per cent. Wow, that's some reversal!


On the food front, I've actually graduated to sandwiches and I have an appetite - compared to a week or so ago when I really had to force myself to eat.
My favourite is a tuna salad sandwich.

Things appear on the up and up! Next step: appointment at the Bone Marrow Transplant clinic on Friday.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Couch Boy

That's pretty much what I've been since my transplant. It may sound funny but I feel kinda weak when I'm walking around the house, however as I spend more time on the couch I feel myself getting stronger. Yep, I've been feeling noticeably better; actually started to eat solid food - I had a small bowl of tuna salad for lunch yesterday; the first solid food I've had since my transplant October 11.

I've lost a lot of weight and all my hair but I feel myself coming back and it really instills optimism, believe me.

Last Friday I had my appointment at the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic. It was a good and a bad day. First why it was good: the head doctor was very pleased with my blood results, calling them "amazing". It'll still be awhile before they know the true effect on my myeloma, but in terms of recovery from the procedure I'm in the upper percentile. Why it was bad: I'm still rather weak so getting myself all dresssed up and trudging out to the car for the long trip to the hospital takes a bit out of me. Couple that with the fact there were no wheelchairs at the hospital and I had to walk to the clinic and back to the front entrance, I was really dead by the time we got back home.

My focus and endurance are starting to return. I was becoming a daytime TV junkie but lately I've started to read magazine articles and today I watched 6 hours of "The Prisoner" DVDs - the old British TV series with Patrick McGoohan. I'm looking forward to getting back to books. I've got a few lying around just waiting to be read.

Well, gotta go and recharge my batteries (have a nap). I'll try to write soon!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Over the Hump

Did someone get the number of that truck? The one that ran me over, backed up and did it again?

Wow, it's been an interesting several weeks. Daily hospital visits that stretch to 4-5 hours. Several extended hospital stays to deal with infection.

For awhile there it seemed like I was caught in an endless downward sprial. But I'm happy to say I'm home now, making less frequent hospital visits and feeling much, much better.

I have a ways to go yet to build up my strength and work on my appetite, but I'm just so happy to have turned the corner. And soon maybe I'll start reading again and listening to music!
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