Sunday, November 6, 2011

It has been a long road!

Sorry it has been so long to get up to date. The days have been a blur of doctor's visits, blood tests, pills, sleep, stays in the hospital, biopseys, battleing GVHD (graft vs host diesease), and various and sundry other fungus, bacteria, and virus that had no other purpose in life than make my life miserable. They did a pretty good job at it, but fighting a losing battle as I get stronger.

I will attempt to chronicle the past year, but will probably only hit the high/low points. As far as the Bone Marrow Transplant is concerned, I am doing great! Officially delared to be in remission and free from leukemia. The things we are battleing are the issues that mainifest themselves in reaction to medications I am taking or caused by a low immune system, which simply must take time to grow. I feel good, have a good appetite, get tired easy and am bored.......but this is what I do right now.

The big one currently, is a condition called Nocardia, a rare bacteria that attached to my lung  causing pnumonia type symtoms. Spent the month of August in the hospital at OSHU ( second year in a row that I spent my birthday in the hospital), while they tried to figure out what a had, once determined, began a 6 month antibiotoc treatment. The antibiotics used to treat that have caused great upset in my lower GI tract which is now being corrected with another medication.

OK.....I am getting off course here! I had my Bone Marrow Transplant on Jan. 27th, after another round of chemo and full body radiation. The donor was my sister Kathy who is 6 years younger than me, lives in Upstate New York and a perfect match to be my donor. She and my sister Mary flew out 10 days prior to the transplant in order to accomplish the required tests....... I had not seen either one in 32  years and to try and describe to you the emotions of that reunion is impossible! Needless to say it was a very busy time for all of us. The transplant team collected Kathy's stem cells on the 27th and I checked into the hospital the same day, after radiation. Something I will never forget is watching that strawberry colored fluid drip into my body while holding my sister's hand as she sat next to my bed.

I know have my sister's blood type and all my blood cells are now her's. My hair is finally growing back and it is coming in curley. Her cells are very active and had to be surpressed for a while, all in all a life changing/saving experience.

Up until two weeks ago we had to see the doctor and have labs drawn every week. We are now on a 2 week schedule, really helps the gas bill (33 miles one way) and our peace of mind. I  would be totally remiss to not mention the love and support of our family and friends. We heat our house wth wood that is something that was my job every year to get in the wood.......out of the question this year.A good fiend felled 2 giant fir trees behind our barn and would not take any compensation for and then my son Matt, daughter Jennifer and son-in-law David went to work and turned those huge trees into firewood all stacked in the woodshed.......I so appreciate my family! One of the hardest things for me to accept is to watch helplessly as favor after favor is done and I can't help.

Sharon, my wife and caregiver.......what can I say? For two years this woman has done for me what I could not do for myself. Feeding me, washing me, wiping my butt, keeping me warm and tryng to encourage during the down days, challenging during the good days. She has driven me to every appointment and tried to fix foods that I would eat when my appetite was gone. Don't ask me how she did it but started a bunch of plants in our greenhouse, planted a big garden and canned the vegtables and made applesauce from our fruit trees. She mowed the lawn, pulled weeds, maintained a flower garden, cleaned off roofs and cleaned gutters. Every day she builds and maintains a fire in the woodstove while keeping the house clean, dishes and laundry done. All the grocery shopping and meal prep are accomplished and all the while she keeps herself looking 20 years younger. Her joy in life is her grandchildren and a flock of baby  chicks she is raising to provide us with amazing woman, I cannot think of any anyone who is like her........a blessing from God for me that I can't expain.

1 comment:

  1. A long road, indeed...with rocks and hills and valleys and trees...and a dim light way down the path that keeps getting brighter and brighter. Pretty soon you're gonna need sun glasses... :) I love you, dad...♥♥♥ I know that everyone cares and appreciates the updates!!!


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