Tuesday, March 25, 2008

GvHD anyone?

Soonja, my new PA at MDA, gave me a call yesterday and delivered some rather surprising news. My biopsy results were in and it would appear that I don't have GvHD of the skin. Rather, she managed to find the one minuscule spot on my back that didn't have GvHD and took a sample. What are the chances? She reassured me that the results didn't necessarily mean that I didn't have GvH, since I was displaying all the symptoms. You think?

Way back in January when I first met with Dr. Hymes(dermatology at MDA) she told me that she wasn't going to take a biopsy because it would be an unnecessary procedure (at the time) that would more than likely come back as inconclusive. It seems that she's something of a seer and in my case was absolutely right. Soonja warned me that another biopsy may be in my near future and that it would be harvested from another area of my body. Choices, choices.

My hands are more often itchy than not and I'm breaking out in tiny rashes all over my fingers and palms. The nails look like I've been rubbing them against a cheese grater and I'm desperately fighting the urge to soak them in steroid cream. I know it would bring sweet relief, but the good doctors need to see what's going on with me and using the steroid cream would give a false impression.

My eyes feel just fine and that is a blessing.

Saturday, I spent some time outside keeping Chris company while he watered Dixie's garden. I thought it would be nice to be out since it was such a beautiful day and it would give me a chance to see how well I tolerated the sun. Not so well. Even though I was wearing long sleeves and a hat, the areas that were exposed felt tight and itchy after a very short period. Add to this general discomfort an unholy allergy attack that left me completely congested in under 15 minutes. God help the poor kid who's stem cells I received. I can only hope that he lives in a cooler climate where things don't bloom maliciously, caking cars in pollen and spores.

Chris is coping well with my extreme sensitivity to different environments. When I start to sniffle or cough a little, he knows it's most likely the result of devilish histamines. Today I accompanied Chris on a little field trip to his old office and as soon as I hit the door my sinuses started acting up. These new allergies tend to confound me since I live with 4 cats and pre-transplant I had pet allergies, and yet now I don't have a problem with them.

As for my forbidden foods weekend, I have survived with none of the digestive consequences that I was worried about. I feel really, really well and just want to forge ahead through next week. Maybe I'll have some answers about what's going on with my blood numbers. Local doctor's appointment on Thursday, then we're back in Houston next week to see what we can see.


Nancy said...

Sorry about the GVHD. It sounds bad. Are they sure it's GVHD that's making your fingernails that way? My GVHD is on the back of my hands and is red, raised, itchy and blotchy looking. Sometimes, fungus can cause nails to deteriorate. (you aren't going to nail salons yet, right? They don't let me go to the salons due to the possibility of fungal infections. Course, it has a lot to do with the prograf, which you don't have to be on anymore! yeah!!.) Anyways, hope your skin feels better. Glad your eyes have recovered. Please stay out of the sun... Take care, love, n

Anonymous said...

Those skin troubles sound just awful. Really bad. At least your digestive tract is intact. Perhaps try some more food and beer options---that always makes me feel better.

Susan Carrier said...

I'm getting itchy just reading about your GvHD. I hope you find relief soon!