Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nearly Two Years

An email from the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link came in this afternoon. In the sidebar was a little offer for patients or friends to call attention to anyone who will be reaching the two year anniversary of their transplant. And I realized that mine are coming up shortly.

My first transplant was the 18th of January 2006 and my second was on my brother Steve's birthday which is the 13th of April. I am a little surprised that the time has gone by so quickly. That must be because the days are going so easily. My health is exceptional and my life is full of real happiness and joy. Pretty neat, huh?

Sporadically, I get notes from people who read this blog and want to post a bit of information on a resource that I've found very helpful. The title of this post is a hyperlink and here is the URL again so you can be sure to get it: http://nbmtlink.org/resources_support/resources.htm

All my best,

- Mark

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One of the things about ongoing healthcare

Follow on checkup appointments have become almost boring. I don't fret while waiting in for someone to come and get me for my vital sign collection. I have learned to really look forward to the collection of magazines my oncologists receive! There are certain ones that I couldn't afford to read all the time -- the are expensive to subscribe to and the articles are really long -- so I don't notice how long I am waiting...

I've had a couple troublesome health issues over the past few months. The first was a nasty pain spread all through the center of my chest. Breathing was difficult, moving my arms above my head was uncomfortable and if I pushed in on the center of my chest and quickly released the pressure, I would nearly pass out from the sudden pain. Horrible and mysterious... to me. The nurse practitioner who nowadays takes care of me now that cancer is not my main concern 'guessed' during a short phone consultation what was wrong. And within three minutes of my office visit she pegged it as "costochondritis." Here is a link for the curious: Costochondritis on WebMD. Thanks to her quick recipe (perscription) for those strong new analgesics with the cool acronym "NSAID" (non-steriod anti-inflammatory drug) and rest, I got through it in a week or so. The pain was nasty as I said, but I learned again to call earlier to ask for advice about my symptoms and shorten the time of my treatment manyfold.

So; I've been coughing in the morning for months... nearly a year. I thought it was simply because I slept with my mouth open and snored horribly. I guessed I must have sounded like a gang of landscapers running a small forest through a chipping grinder every night. Well, that may have been, but when the coughing became an all day thing, I started getting bugged by it. A couple weeks ago, I started waking myself up at night to cough long enough to clear my throat. Over the course of a week, I was waking up way too often. So last week I called into my doctor's office only to find everyone there had cut their hours down to spend time and their money boosting our economy by shopping, partying and driving all over the place to find whatever they were looking for or wherever they were going besides work. I mean... that it took three calls to get anyone to call me back. Then I found myself speaking to a caring nurse with great listening skills who phoned in a prescription for antibiotics and a spray with steriods in it for my nose. I don't know what bugs we killed, but they weren't the ones making me cough!!!

I will have to wrap this up later...

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