Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Strange Disease

It is the middle of the night, but yesterday was my IVIg day and the steroids never let me sleep.  I thought I better post to my blog before some folks get upset with me again.  It has been a difficult couple of weeks.  I last wrote about the stomach virus and it seemed like it was almost gone when I posted.  But it wasn't.  It kept making a comeback.  By Saturday I thought it was finally over and then Sunday morning about 1:30 a.m. it made a huge comeback.  During the night I felt worse and worse.  And I started running fever along with the stomach stuff.  I was scheduled to give the prayer before the morning sermon in church that morning and I also teach a class.  I knew I was in no shape to go but I was also upset because it was too late to get a substitute who would have time to study for the class.  I waited until a respectable hour to call the pastor to tell him I would not be praying in the worship service.  He said that was no problem and he would get someone else to fill in.  I knew that could be taken care of easily with just a little bit of notice. 
My class was also well taken care of.  Fortunately I do not teach my class by lecture.  We learn by discussing the lesson and the class is great with discussion.  The two books I use were already marked up with underlining and notes in the margin and questions to ask, so I gave Cheryl the books and asked her to get one of the capable members to lead the group.  Well, three people stepped up to the plate.  My daughter served as moderator to begin with for opening announcements and sharing time of blessings and prayer requests.  While that was going on, two of the guys, Joe and Cliff prepared by skimming the books.  Cheryl said it all went very well.

By afternoon my fever was about 102.  However, ever since the CLL/SLL diagnosis, my regular temp is in the low to mid 97 range, so it was really a higher fever equivalent to over 103.  I felt rotten and I was coughing too. 

That night the high fever broke and I decided I needed to keep the appointment the next morning with my oncologist and I knew I could wear a mask in to protect the other patients.  (They also have a sign posted asking for anyone with flu symptoms to wear a mask.)  The exam went well until he was listening to my chest and he didn't like what he heard.  Since I am so prone to pneumonia and have had it three or four times since the cancer diagnosis and twice when I had no symptoms including no coughing and it only showed up on "routine" CT Scans, he sent me right over for a chest x-ray and told me to bring the films back to him.  When I got back he and his PA assistant looked over the films and decided I had something cooking in my lungs.  He pointed out the light areas to me indicating fluid.  So he gave me a prescription for antibiotics.

It is a week later and I still have a slight cough, but it is much, much better.  With the excitement of the chest X-rays, I had forgotten to get my blood test results, so I got them today when I had my IVIg infusion.  I knew they had been good lately, but I was shocked when I looked across the columns and saw that there has basically been NO CHANGE, neither in my white count nor in the absolute lymphocyte count since last March!  After the rapid increases of late last year and early this year, the brakes were applied!  Thank you, Lord.  Even my platelets which had plummeted last month came back up to 120.  My IgG level had only dropped into the 600's also.  Still low enough for the infusion (under 700), but not real low.  The one thing I wish I had thought to ask and didn't was, "why wasn't the white count way up last Monday when I was in the middle of the lung infection?"  Normally when you have an infection your white count rises.  Is it because of the damaged immune system that I don't mount a normal defense?  I know some other CLL patients have had a jump in white count when they have been fighting infections, so I really don't know.  However, as Dr. Wierda at MD Anderson has remarked several times, "I don't follow the norm at all."   That could be a good thing to be abnormal, couldn't it?  Stupid cancer, stupid disease.

I told Cheryl tonight that I sure wish I felt as good as my blood counts looked, but that is probably from fighting the stomach virus and pneumonia.

Now I have to go write another entry (I have several I have written in my mind - wish you were all mind readers as it would save me a bunch of time!)

1 comment:

kaney said...

Swollen legs are a common ailment caused by a number of conditions. For spider or varicose veins, support socks can be crucial in maintaining comfort and mobility. In addition to the comfort afforded by wearers of compression stockings, the technology involved helps to support overall health and improved symptoms of the underlying condition.

UltraClear PLUS Adrenopath