Words of Hope – April & May challenges


Here is a synopsis of April/May 2009

I am sorry for the delay in blog posts.  Hero has been quite busy the past few months running bone marrow drives with Nestor Aparicio, WNST and Baltimore Ravens Players.

In 2009, April and May had a new set of challenges.  I had cleared the extremely difficult RSV and the urinary track infection that had slowed my recovery considerably.  At this point, I had been on steroids and immune suppressants for several months to control the graph vs. host disease associated with my new bone marrow.  If you recall, I have had a rash over 90% of my body, a cross between sunburn and poison ivy.  That rash has been a consistently there, even though I may not have mentioned it lately in the blogs.  One of the problems with being on heavy doses of steroids for a long period of time, often patients will develop diabetes.  I did.  I started having to take insulin shots to control my blood sugar and I had to change my diet.  My vice and weigh gain tool had been chocolate milk with every meal and at night.  The vengeful leukemia even took that away, I could not handle the extra sugar intake with diabetes.

I was able to manage the diabetes with shots in my abdomen.  It was uncomfortable, but I became a pro at giving myself shots.  I have many friends with diabetes, I now had a pretty good idea of what they endure for a life time.  In April, in addition to the diabetes, I  also developed an eye infection.  It developed quickly and it wasn’t long before I couldn’t see.  My eyes were so infected and crusted, they would not open and they watered incessantly.  In addition to my daily visits to the world class Kimmel Cancer Center, now I got to experience Wilmer, Hopkins world class eye hospital.  Thankfully this eye issue was short lived, only 3 days of blindness and a week of being uncomfortable.  I am certain I also had a bout or two with pneumonia through April and May.  That was common for me.  I knew the onset so well that I could diagnose myself and ask the doctor for antibiotics before major issues incurred.  Through my treatment I had upper respiratory infections around 13 times, give or take.

April and May were the last months of the major issues.  As I approached the summer of 2009 my situation and recovery started to take a more positive turn.  Thankfully, things did get better.  Stay tuned.