Saturday, August 7, 2010

Parting Shot

Next week the tan team will meet with me once more. A lumbar puncture is scheduled with a shot of methotrexate if my platelets are high enough. My platelets have been dipping near 40. I'm a bleed waiting to happen. My central line is pulled next week. Dr. Petty, here I come. I've been patient and abided the rule -- no kayaking until the line is out and hole to my heart clots over. Then, they tell me, I'm free to go. This past week I've been learning more about living post transplant. Did I know that skin cancer is one of the most common secondary cancers for a transplantee? I do now. Water sports beware. Sunscreen is my friend. Tooth decay is anticipated so I'm advised to brush with prescription fluoride toothpaste once a day. Don't swallow. Don't rinse. Wait half an hour before eating or drinking. Every day! Chronic GVHD can happen. I've been given a list of signs to watch for. A muscle in the vagina can close shut -- self-exam once a week to detect early. The throat can close down, watch for gradual weight loss or trouble swallowing. Living with the cure comes with a care manual, long term follow-up and a phone number for when, if and questions.

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