I like to group my appointments in Boston in clusters so that I can minimize driving back and forth, but when it comes down to it, it can amount to a tiring day or two.
I have one appointment on Wednesday and four on Thursday, like so:
On Wednesday I go to Mass. Eye and Ear to see the specialist who has been watching out for Graft vs. Host of the eye. When I started seeing him, my eyes felt scratchy, but with twice daily drops of Restatis, they feel fine now, so I think I'm OK. Sometime that day I hope to see Katie and check out her new digs, which I haven't seen yet.
Thursday is the busy day. I start out in nuclear medicine with a two-hour "gastric emptying and motility scan" to try to find out why I am still throwing up. I'm not sure what they do, but I have the impression I might come out glowing.
I thought I was done with throwing up, but unfortunately it has come back at the most inappropriate times. Yesterday I went to a tennis clinic, ran into the bathroom to throw up, and then returned and finished the clinic. Melissa said the endoscopy ruled out anything serious, and this could be something that can be fixed with a pill. Also, she said that after transplant this sometimes happens to people like me who immune systems have been manipulated.
I will have to tell Dr. Alyea, a fellow tennis player, that this is harming my tennis game. I play tentatively because I am afraid I might jar my insides. I have even been demoted from the more competitive Friday 9 a.m. tennis round robin to the easier 10:30 one. In the overall scheme of things, this is no big deal, but as a competitive person, it bothers me. My father would understand. I have a match coming up on Sunday and hope to find a solution before that.
Next up on Thursday is my check-up with Melissa, followed by "therapeutic phlebotomy" in the blood donor center. The plan is to take out some blood to lower the amount of ferritin – stored iron – in my liver, a substitute for taking the nauseating Exjade, which adds to my throw-up problems. The blood will be donated to the trash.
After that I go to another location to see my dermatologist, who has scheduled another PDT, or photo-dynamic therapy, to burn the top layer of skin off my face in order to get rid of the little pre-cancerous spots that keep popping up. This is a fun procedure where they put a chemical on your face, wrap you up like a mummy and have you sit there for an hour before putting you under a burning light.
On Saturday I will go to Meghan's wedding shower looking like a lobster. If anyone asks, I can tell them I took a quick trip to Puerto Rico.