Sunday, May 19, 2013

I can't even "enjoy" a summer cold!

Nothing is ever simple when you're immune compromised. And that's me. After my stem cell transplants, I was "given" a brand new immune system. It's like I have the immunity of a baby. So I caught a basic summer cold. You know, coughing and sneezing. I didn't even feel bad. Except three weeks later, I still couldn't shake it.

So one evening, I realize I'm running a fever, and fevers for someone like me are not good. I called the Huntsman BMT hospital and they tell me to pop a couple Tylenols and see if I can get my fever down. Nope, it didn't help, not even .01 degree. Dangit. All I wanted to do was sleep but, no, instead, I have to go to the emergency room. Noooooo!

At the ER, they run all kinds of tests. Urine, chest x-ray, chest CT scan, blood, blood cultures from my port and my veins, throat swab, nose swab... I think there are a few more that I can't remember. I was so tired and annoyed. Turns out I had a kidney infection and pneumonia. Antibiotics.

I have to say, I'm very tired of doctors and tests and needles and pills. The mental (and physical) fatigue is just... so tiring.

While I was recovering from my fever/illness incident, I was just exhausted. One morning after I dropped the children off at school, I came home and had to lie down. I turned on the TV and was so tired that I didn't have the energy to roll over to a more comfortable position. I just closed my eyes and... "fell asleep" isn't the right word for it. It was more like I just faded into a daze. Was this how death would be? Just a fading out?

At my weekly injection appointment this past Friday, I was talking to my PA Abby. She said that considering I was starting month seven of my year of maintenance, I was doing extremely well. Blood work is all great. There is no sign of new disease. And at this point, many of my fellow Multiple Myeloma warriors need to be cajoled into continuing with their treatment plan. This is hard stuff, I'm telling you! Overall, I think I'm doing great but it just sucks. I have major chemo brain, I get this strange "fuzzy feeling" without warning, some days I'm exhausted, and other times I feel completely normal. It makes planning things "interesting."

I look forward to finishing up treatment. They say that a few months post treatment, you kind of find your "new normal." It could be 80% of what you used to feel like, or less, or more. Whatever it is, I just feel blessed to have good health insurance, a great support system, and a body that is fighting like hell.