Thursday, October 18, 2012

Upstairs downstairs

Q: Why do wild turkeys cross the road?
A: They are just strolling around Boston, looking for peanut shells, trash and whatever else they can find to eat.

I began to wonder about this Monday when I was driving to my appointment at Dana-Farber and four turkeys crossed in front of me, right in downtown Boston, causing me to stop short in traffic. The first one saw me coming and turned around, but three were oblivious and kept going, so the first one joined them.

Luckily the driver behind me stopped soon enough that he did not rear-end me. The turkeys took their time getting to the other side, and, puzzled at the sighting, I took the next turn to Dana-Farber. This naturally took my mind off the usual check-up anxiety.

I googled "why do turkeys live in downtown Boston?" and sure enough there was a story in about turkeys having gotten used to residential and urban living in the past few years. Who knew?

Anyway, I got to Dana-Farber without hitting any turkeys.

After getting my blood drawn, I went to the 11th floor and got my tongue checked by the doctor who had removed a small scoop of it. She gave my mouth a clean bill of health.

I went down to the eighth floor for my appointment with Melissa, who was running late, so it was back to the 11th floor for my flu shot, then back down to the eighth. I was getting used to the elevators.

Everything was good. First of all, I gained seven pounds in a month. If you're just stopping by the blog, I need to say that is a good thing. People are not usually happy about gaining weight, but in my case that was the goal since I had lost about 15 pounds in four months.

My hematocrit was normal (35.6) for the first time in ages, earning me the opportunity, if it stays normal, to have a "blood letting" (sans leaches) next time to lower my ferritin. I'm not sure what the technical term is. I take a nauseating medicine called Exjade every morning, and the level – which is high from all the transfusions I got – has gone down some, but it is still way above normal.

I was happy to see that my platelets had inched up to 95 (normal is 155-410), which is still low but high for me.

In my body's topsy turvy way, my potassium level has been high; many people eat potassium-rich foods and drink potassium-rich beverages so they can get enough potassium. I take another potion to lower it and keep in with normal range. It was a little high, possibly due to too many tomatoes over the summer and fall.

Due to still-elevated though steady liver enzymes, I need to stay on prednisone. It's a low dose, 5 mgs a day, but still, it would be nice to get off.

I stayed over at Diane and David's so I could see my dermatologist, Dr. Lin, in the morning. She said my skin had cleared up well after the PDT (face fry) and suggested we keep ahead of the game and do another one in six months before little scaly things appear again.

Lucky me!

1 comment:

PJ said...

Good report!The blood-letting should speed up the ferritin exit. I had to take exjade for 8 nasty months.