DAY +96 (D 236)
The blood draw went off without a hitch on Monday and I got some crazy news. Maybe just crazy for me. My hemoglobin is at 11.6. That's just a sneeze away from the low end of normal, which is 12. Chris keeps asking me how I'm feeling, the idea being that if my hemoglobin is almost normal, I must feel pretty well. Truth be known, I don't feel any different. My afternoon nap only lasted one hour yesterday, which is shorter than normal.
In the past, just before my transplant, my hemoglobin had to fall below 8 before I'd start to feel really bad. Immediately before I got diagnosed, my joints hurt, I would start to black out at work, it was hard to catch my breath and I couldn't eat more than a few bites before I'd feel extremely full. At the time, I was working a full time job, going to school full time, and taking turns with Chris caring for a very beloved cat (Max) who had a nasal carcinoma. Max couldn't eat on his own, so we had to come home several times a day to feed him through an esophageal tube. I just thought that all of the combined stress was causing my symptoms. A co-worker suggested that I was having anxiety attacks. I thought I was losing my mind.
One of the symptoms of leukemia can be a loss of well being. Whatever this honestly means, I don't know. I'll admit to thinking that I was depressed and burned out. Friends even suggested that I take a break from school. I even considered it, trying to rationalize it to myself. This was definitely not the way I saw it happening.
After all of the treatments and all of the drugs, I feel more like myself. I'm not 100% and from what I understand, I won't be for some time. I still have to worry about getting sick and I have to be extra careful around plants, animals, and children. Chris pointed out that walking through the lobby of MD Anderson was like a bad zombie movie for us. We're constantly ducking babies and small children, speed walking down hallways and hiding in corners until they pass. Chris started chanting brains like a B-movie ghoul. He is the king of the sillies.
We still haven't heard about the last handful of tests that I have to take, so this may delay us leaving Houston for a few more days. I have a few follow up appointments tomorrow and we're hoping to say good-bye to a lot of friends. For now, I'll just sit back and let things happen.