Monday, October 5, 2009

Transfusion-free day #2

Today I had my second transfusion-free day at the clinic, and, to balance out last week's marathon, it might have been my shortest visit too. I was in at 11 a.m. and out at 1:45 p.m. I hardly knew what to do with myself.

My platelets were 27, a high for this round. Red blood count was pretty low – 24 – but I feel OK and have been getting around fine. So I just got a shot of Aranesp. White count was normal, 6.9.

It reminded me that a day of downs like I had last week does not signal down, down, down. We should not expect recovery to be a straight upward line, even though some of us get frustrated when it's not. It's called a rollercoaster ride for good reason.

I asked Dr. Alyea about the peculiar way my hair and my eyelashes are behaving, or, should I say, misbehaving. The lashes on half of each lower lid fall out, then come back in, then fall back out and come in again. Currently I am in the half-off phase, and it looks kind of odd to me. As for my hair, it has stayed in the fuzzy duckling stage for longer than after past transplants. Also it is very thin, and I have a couple of bald spots. What I do have that I remember from before is the Denis the Menace cowlick. I actually have enough hair in some places that I could use a trim, and tomorrow I'm going to see my hairdresser in hopes that cutting it shorter might help it thicken. Small potatoes, but still ...

Dr. Alyea said it might be some mild graft vs. host disease, which is actually not a bad thing.

Anyway I got home on time to take Katie to the runner's shop in Northampton for a badly needed new pair of running shoes. I looked at all the clothing and general running stuff and felt anxious to get back into it. A wall of gloves and mittens drew my attention. I continually buy those and lose one. I was going to go look, but then I thought, well, I'm not running, so why spend the money, which is a variation of, I don't really deserve these. My mother's voice did not rescue me by saying, "Oh, go ahead, buy the mittens, you'll wear them soon," so I didn't do it. I can always go back some other time.

When we got home, it was getting dark, but it was still warm, and the sky and trees looked beautiful. Before dinner, I took Maddie for a quick twilight walk around the lake. Inspired by the trip to the runner's shop, I jogged between two trees that were kind of far apart for me. My legs still haven't regained their spring, and it was more like a fast walk, but it felt like an accomplishment. Later in the walk, I "jogged" again. It feels like starting from scratch. But I assume that when you get going, your muscle memory comes back and helps you out.

In any case, those little steps felt pretty good.


Ann said...

What you described with the hair and eyelashes is the same thing that's happening to me. My doctor attributes it to a drug I was given during conditioning. I don't think you had the same one, so I'd be curious to hear what your doctor says. As for the running, you'll be back at it before you know it. If I want to keep up with you and PJ, I'm going to have to start running again. Feet, don't fail me now. :)

Susan C said...

Hurrah for another transfusion-free day.

Looking forward to the day when all of us (Ann too) can go running together.

Meryl said...

Great news! I certainly have no doubt that you will be running before you know it. I am inspired by your strength. Pretty soon I won't be able to keep up with you (not being a runner- I'm happy enough with walking!).