For Better and Worse

I am feeling better! I got my Guardian Angel to come take care of me that night I was so sick. He drove 57 miles to get here after working a full day. He took care of my every need, by reading the notes I wrote. If I spoke I would cough incessantly! He changed the bed, cleaned the bathroom, held the trash can as I got sick. Oh, I felt so much better after that episode! While I finally lay there in comfort, he did the laundry until 2 am. Then got up at 6 to go back to work again. I couldn't ask for more!

The next day, still sick, but not as bad. Emailed my doctor. His nurse, the one I like, called me to ask questions and let me know doctor had ordered cough medicine with codeine in it to help quell the cough. A neighbor who had seen my posting on facebook volunteered to pick up my prescription. Bless her!

The next day after that I was well enough to have my housekeeper take me to the store to pick up a last minute Christmas gift. I didn't cough once the hour and a half we were gone!. Oddly, by evening the coughing was back again. But, the nausea has not returned.

The coughing does a number on my neck, upper spine and rib cage though. I even heard my neck crack with coughing. Every muscle is sore. I'm using my super duper official medically therapeutic heating pad to help with all that. I don't know what I would do without it. Originally it was ordered for me years ago for arthritis bone pain. I is so large I goes from my shoulders all the way down my back to buttocks. I learned about it from my physical therapist who used it in her practice. Because of the special cover, it produces moist heat. There is a safety feature, too. You have to hold the switch into the on position yourself. That way you can't fall asleep with it on, and burn your skin or over cook your joints.

It heats up real fast and quite high, so, believe me, you don't need to hold onto the switch for very long at all. The heat takes a while to dissipate too. I love it! The only drawback is the price. I don't know if you can get it ordered by your doctor as a prescription, and insurance pay for it. Though, I didn't mind paying for it myself. It has outlasted any small size common plastic heating pad I have ever had by years! Here's the link, if you want to take a look at the site where you can order it. Then click on "Moist Heat Therapy" I like mine the best though. It's model #055, size 14" by 27".

I hope I'm not sounding too whiney and hypochondriacal. But, this is, after all, my journey, the good, bad and ugly. Having the Leukemia may seem to be what it's all about, but it is more than that. The Leukemia and the Chemo will not affect every aspect of my health. And because I already had several underlying conditions before diagnosis, then they are affected at well. I still have so much to learn in how to get things managed and back into balance.

So, the title of this posting is for Better and Worse. I've written about the better. Now for the worse. Or what I think may be the worse.

In January of 2009 I started taking a prescription drug for one of my autoimmune conditions. It is called Cellcept. It is usually what transplant patients take in order to keep their bodies from rejecting their donated kidneys, livers, lungs or whatever. When I first looked at the possible adverse affects of Cellcept I didn't think they were too bad, and was willing to take it even though one of the remote possibilities was Lymphoma. I was desperate and so tired of the battle with my autoimmune disease which had me in it's grip for five years before. I took the Cellcept for 22 months before I needed to stop taking it. Cellcept lowers the immune system and therefore you are more susceptible to infection. I came down with a bad cold and bronchitis at the time. The doctor told me to stop taking it otherwise I would end up with Pneumonia.

So ten months after stopping the Cellcept is when I was diagnosed with the Leukemia. Is there a connection? I don't know for sure. Lymphoma was an expected possibility.

It had not occurred to me until today that maybe there is a connection between Cellcept and Leukemia. To be fair. I don't know that for sure. I hope the company will call me back so we can discuss it.

So let's get back to something better now. How about this picture? Not taken by me, by the way. But, I thought it's nice for this time of year. I've got it on my computer as a desktop background.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/25/2011

    I am so happy you are feeling better. You are lucky to have such great people around you to take care of you!
    My friend Stephanie, has a lot of health conditions and we are slowly finding out that they are all, or almost all linked to one another...and some of her medications make her worse because of side effects or interactions with meds. It is just crazy!
    I know how painful coughing can be too...When I was pregnant with Matthew I had bronchitis, really bad. One day, I coughed so hard that I tore the tendons or ligaments (Not sure which one is there)on both sides of the ribcage and it hurt so bad for nearly 2 months. I had to sleep on the couch with pillows tucked up under my ribs. I have arthritis in my ribs now from that and it seems to bug me when I sleep. The pain is so bad it takes my breath away, but it doesn't last long as long as I get up for a little while and move around...
    I love the photo! It is very Christmas-ee!
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas!


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