Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Coffee klatch and coma-versary

My checkup at Dana-Farber yesterday went well, with my white count normal, hematocrit down a little but almost normal, and platelets still low (86) but good for me and not worrisome.

It was an interesting appointment. I had told Melissa about the return of the blister on my lip, and Dr. Marty, the infectious disease specialist, wanted to look at it. They had previously treated it with an increased dose of Valtrex, the anti-viral I have been taking since my transplant to prevent a return of CMV, a virus that I had a few times.

Turns out Dr. Marty was on rounds around the corner at Brigham and Women's. I said I could go over there and meet him, and she messaged that to him. He wrote back asking if we wanted coffee.  She wrote that she couldn't, but I could. Then all of a sudden he was writing to ask whether we wanted regular, cappuccino or latte...we both said cappuccino at the same time...and in a few minutes he arrived with three coffees from Au Bon Pain.

It is pretty nice to sit in an exam room having coffee with your caregivers.

Meanwhile, Melissa called in a request for a kit to take a swab from my lip. Dr. Marty looked at it and agreed that it looked a virus but also wondered if there was a connection to the other spots on my face, and then Dr. Alyea arrived and wondered if some of those spots might be mild Graft vs. Host Disease.

I told Dr. Alyea of my tennis loss and pummelling from the day before. It had already turned into a funny story; he laughed and said, "I think you're doing great!"

Today Melissa called me with the results from the swab: It turns out I have shingles on my lip. No wonder it hurts so much. They are going to increase the Valtrex again, and Dr. Marty wants to see me in a couple of days for more blood work and to look at it again. Sigh.

I stayed over at Diane's last night. We went to yoga this morning and then I drove about half an hour north to meet with a prospective client about some freelance writing work. It went well, and I think it will turn into something.

This morning Diane reminded me that three years ago today, I went into a coma.

"And here you are going to yoga and to a job interview and doing so well," she said.

I looked it up on my blog and read about those scary weeks when I lost consciousness and developed so many problems they thought I might not make it.

It's intense stuff. The description that Diane wrote is pretty long, but I'm providing a link in case anyone wants to skim it.


Ann said...

I don't think I've ever heard of shingles occurring only on the lip. Ouch! I hope the increased dosage of Valtrex does the trick and that you're pain free soon.

PJ said...

I can't even bear to read that description. I'm just so glad you're doing well, shingles and all.