Alan here, with help from Susan. It’s been almost a week since our last post, and in this case no news is definitely good news! I was released from University Med Center on Fathers Day. After a slow day on Monday, every day has been very pleasant for the most part. I started taking Prednisone and two other steroids last week to battle Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) in my gut (essentially diarrhea), and it has been totally successful. Enough so that after just 7 days I’m starting the slow process of weaning off of Prednisone.
I am in very good spirits, because every day that passes comfortably is a day closer to a final successful outcome. So far, all of the problems that have cropped up have responded to treatment even better than we expected:
(1) My disease progressed from MDS to an agressive kind of leukemia, but one round of chemo treatment beat back the leukemic blasts;
(2) An Aspergillus mold infection took hold in my lungs, but the medication got it under control in time for the transplant;
(3) The transplant regimen was tough, but by Day +28 the donor’s cells were 100% engrafted and my blood counts have been coming up on their own.
(4) Gastro-intestinal GVHD appeared 10 days ago, but is under control thanks to Prednisone.
The latest hurdle is that my blood-sugar level is too high (250 instead of the desired range of 62-125), and so now I’ve learned to prick myself before each meal to test the glucose level in my blood, and Susan is coordinating my diet to include protein with frequent meals and to keep track of carbohydrate servings. As the Prednisone dosage is reduced, hopefully this problem will take care of itself.
We’ve had some beautiful, sunny, warm-but-not-too-hot days, and have enjoyed neighborhood walks with a number of friends. This acts as a real tonic.
Two other superb tonics: our kids. Yesterday Jay and Rachel arrived from Oakland and they will be staying with us for a month or two until they find an apartment. Rachel is already having some success job hunting, and Jay starts UW law school in September. And today we were lucky enough to finally meet the parents of Brian’s girlfriend Kolby, who are visiting from Palo Alto. We had a delightful sunshiny BBQ dinner on the rooftop deck of Brian and Kolby’s apartment overlooking Lake Union. It was a quintessential summer afternoon in Seattle.
Meeting the Merilos