Saturday, February 17, 2007

Latest Health Update

I know that many readers of this blog have closely followed my progress through my stem call transplant last December and faithfully prayed for my family and me since. We are so grateful. It has been a couple of weeks since I gave my last update and so I thought that I would write a few words and let you know how I have been doing on that front.

For the last two weeks I have been going into the office for three days and have really enjoyed being "back in the saddle" so to speak. I had missed my colleagues and love the ministry that God has entrusted to me. I have been feeling well but being careful not to push too hard. Still, I feel stronger each week and am amazed when I look back and remember how I used not to be able to do things like walk up stairs without taking a break, get up suddenly, read anything of any depth or take a stroll around the office without having to rest. These things are old hat now.

Still, I am not out of the woods by any means. In the last couple of days, the Graft-versus-host Disease (GVH) that was only a minor inconvenience has blossomed into something that now covers almost all of my body. For those of you who are not familiar with GVH (and I would assume that that would be most everyone) Graft-versus-host disease is a common complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in which functional immune cells in the transplanted marrow recognize the recipient as "foreign" and mount an immunologic attack (to quote Wikipedia). Starting a few days ago, my lips and tongue swelled up and cracked, making eating rather painful. Then a couple days ago, the rash that I had had on my legs spread to the rest of my body. Then this morning, my eyelids were so swollen that I could barely see out. I actually looked like an alien from Star Trek. The swelling has subsided some as the day goes on, but my entire face is puffy. My hands and feet have also swollen up and are covered with red blotches. In short, I would win no beauty contest right now. Thankfully, I am not experiencing any itchiness (which sometimes accompanies GVH). I hope that this continues.

GVH is actually a good sign as it shows that my brother's stem cells are trying to graft with mine, but the doctors don't want it to get out of hand. As such, I have been prescribed 125 mg of prednisone every day which I know, for past experience, will make my hyperactive, hungry and aggressive. Pray that I don't drive everyone around me crazy!

Well, that's the latest. Thanks again for your prayers. Your support has meant far more than you can imagine.

1 comment:

joel.mawhorter said...

Great to have you back, Glenn! I've had a chance in my training to work in the BMT ward here in Vancouver and I've worked with people with Leukemia and seen them get yet another painful bone marrow biopsy or painful infection so I have some appreciation of what kind of ordeal you have gone/are going through. I've also had a very close friend with aplastic anemia go through near complete theraputic bone marrow suppresion and I remember the suspense of waiting to see if recovery or serious infection would come first. Praise God he is well now and praise God that you are well on your way to being better. Thanks for keeping us posted.