I don't really have anything new to report, but I didn't want to let a week go by on the blog without a post. I get anxious when my friends in the blogosphere are quiet for too long and didn't want anyone to worry because I did the same.
The skin GvHD persists and I have to take benadryl at least three days a week as a result of flares. I still have it much better than others who suffer from the same thing, so no whining here. The stinging sensation has been a little worse lately and comes on without warning now. If it's hot or really sunny and I'm outside for more than five seconds, I can anticipate something happening, but it's starting to happen more and more when I'm in the house being active. Last week I had an attack while vacuuming and ended up dropping the thermostat to 70 in an attempt to cool off quickly. Sometimes it happens in the shower if the water is too hot, which is not very hot at all. It's evidence that the new immune system is on patrol and doing what it's programmed to do and I'm hopeful that if there are any hidden pockets of leukemia or clone cells waiting for an opening to mutate, my donor's system knows what to do.
I'll confess to being a non-compliant patient last week and since it's the first time I've done something that I shouldn't have, I'm feeling very sheepish. You transplant veterans can probably relate to what I'm about to confess and everyone else is probably going to think it's just funny. I colored my hair.
Because of the conditioning regimen I had with this last transplant, my hair still hasn't fully grown in. My doctor swears that it will and that I need to be patient. People, it's been eleven months. With the first transplant, I had a full head of hair by the six month mark. What did manage to grow back this time around was a 60/40 mix of gray and brown. Every time I looked in the mirror, I could see my dad's hair, curls and all. I felt like this one act of rebellion would make me feel more normal even though I could hear my transplant doctor asking me why I would do it.
After transplant, the doctors like for you to wait at least a year before you do something so vain as adding color. Your skin tends to be very sensitive to chemicals and if you have GvHD, the dye tends to cause flares. So, I did it and I do feel more normal because of it. Of course, if you saw me in public, you wouldn't know since I still have to wear a baseball cap. I don't mind being marginally bald and would rather go out in public without a hat or scarf, but people tend to stare and it gets tiresome after a while.
Chris and I are really looking forward to having our first house guest next week and I'm doing my best to stay out of trouble. Things will probably be quiet on the blog front, so please don't worry if I don't post for the next few days.