Things have been pretty quiet here on this site, since I’m just slowly building my muscles back up, and there’s very little medical news to report. That’s a good thing. I’ve been walking in the neighborhood every day, and recently walked 3 miles in one stretch using trekking poles for balance and support. I’ve also begun driving short distances, which is liberating, but I admit I’ll miss all of the visits with friends and family who were kind enough to chauffeur me about town during the past several months (you know who you are; thank you!).
Another bit of progress is that I’m starting to work a little bit. I am very thankful for my law partner Lisa who has carried the workload for so many months. It’s about time I give her a hand.
I’m fortunate that I work at home, since the main thing that has been delayed is the return of my immune system. In early September I started tapering off the immune-suppressing drug Tacrolimus, which protects against chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease. GVHD is where the donor’s cells are fighting my body’s (the “host’s”) existing cells. This can manifest itself in various ways.
My GVHD has been in the form of dry, patchy skin on my face, dry eyes, and an elevation of the numbers that measure liver dysfunction. Primarily because of the liver involvement, my taper was ended just a few weeks after it started and now I’m back on my original dosage of Tacrolimus. Unfortunately this delays my ability to get off the drug for an undetermined period of time. As long as I’m on Tacrolimus it would be risky to be in large crowds (especially during flu season) or riding in an airplane. So certain aspects of my life will have to remain on hold for the time being, like visiting my parents in Virginia and vacationing with the Hatlens in Mexico. That’s disappointing, but on the whole I’m just so thankful to be doing so well that I’m willing to postpone those things.
Thanks for all of your good wishes and support. It has meant the world to me and Susan!