Before I get into the leukemia update portion of this post, I would like to announce the launch of my website, www.hypnotictoast.com! It collects all my digitizable work to date, and will be a major platform for new work. Check it out! Edit: This site is no longer online.
There have been several episodes related to my leukemia since the last time I posted, however the current effect is zero sum: I’m still going good, my counts are going up, and I feel better. Specifically, my platelets, which had been dropping for a week, shot up to 87 thousand parts per million, which is safely out of the critical range. Also, my red blood cells and hemoglobin have been steadily creeping upwards, although my white blood cells did drop to 1 thousand (where the low normal is 4 thousand). However, the doctors aren’t concerned, as it’s expected that the blood counts will hop around a bit.
A few weeks ago, I was complaining of nausea and stomach cramps, which the doctors thought was gut GVHD, and if there was enough of it there, they would immediately treat me with steroids (Prednisone). So they did an endoscopy, which for those who are not familiar is when they take a giant hose and stick in down your throat, and take samples of your stomach lining. I was pretty freaked out by the concept, but it turned out that they knock you out for the procedure, and I literally remember nothing. It was like that half hour didn’t happen. For me, it seemed that as soon as I closed my eyes I started waking up, and I thought I was coming out of it too soon. Then I opened my eyes and saw I was in a different room, and judging from the amount of drool on my pillow, had been there for a while. Later, I saw an episode of House where they perform and endoscopy, and though the girl was knocked out, she kept making gagging noises during the operation. I kind of hope that just Hollywood, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s accurate. For some reason, it’s fine to think that people stuck a tube down my throat which I have no memory of, but if I was making gagging noises? Totally creepy.
Yet I digress. When the results of the endoscopy came back, there wasn’t enough evidence to make a case for gut GVHD, so I dodged the Prednisone. It is almost definite that I do have some GVHD, but it’s very mild, and as I’ve said before, a little bit of GVHD is quite good. One statistic said that people are something like 50% less likely to have a remission if they have had GVHD in some form. In other news, I’ve been exercising much more; every day for one hour or more, plus walks (It’s so beautiful!). Thanks to Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary for the Thera-Bands, they really get the job done! And that’s all there is. Catch you all on the slip slide.