I thought I should write a general update so you all know what life is like right now. I'm down to one doctor visit a week -- at Barnes in St. Louis. Much better than the original 2-3 appointments for blood draws that I originally thought I'd have. That could change, but I'm happy with it for now. I have an appointment tomorrow and I am curious to find out what my counts are because my energy level is really low. I'm hoping I won't need a blood transfusion, but that's not uncommon at this point and is a distinct possibility.
Originally they wanted to do the bone marrow biopsy tomorrow but they didn't have an opening, so it is scheduled for next Friday, which I believe is the 22nd. We discussed various options regarding pain medication/sedation and I expect this one to go much better. Hopefully I won't have the swelling and pain for days afterwards. I just want to have a very special Christmas with my family this year.
Two of my sisters are still here assisting me as my strength has been slow to return. I'm so thankful for their willingness to serve me and sometimes it seems be my personal maids. Mom pointed out that it's only been a month since I was basically dead -- all my counts at zero, and to not be hard on myself. One of my old friends wrote on the blog to "Rest in the Lord, and trust in His strength." I needed to hear that today, thank you.
Other than the overall weakness, my only other struggle has been with side effects from either the radiation, chemo, or both. I've developed what I think is neuropathy, mostly in my feet, and for some reason mostly at night. The pain is bad enough to keep me from sleeping, though enough pain meds eventually knock me out. I'll be talking to the doctor about it tomorrow. Thankfully from what I've read this is a less common side effect that should eventually go away. I've also lost most of my eye brows and eye lashes, and the hair on my head is still falling out. I had about 3/4" growth prior to the transplant but we had to shave it off while I was at Barnes. I think the chemo they gave me was some rough stuff. I'm anxious for the growth to return. The radiation also leaves me with very, very dry skin that also feels like a sunburn, and even lukewarm water feels hot to the touch. These are little things in comparison to the overall picture, but as I said, I just wanted to let you know what life is like right now.