T+915 No news is good news
On Wednesday of this week I went to the transplant clinic for my usual check up. My last one was two months ago. I saw the consultant who dealt with me through most of my transplant and whom I hadn't seen for a while so it was nice to catch up with him.
Everything is going fine and my blood results were all in the normal levels. I've been having a few grumbling patches of bad skin on my face, in the creases of my elbows and the backs of my knees. I've tried treating them with the steroid creams I have and it does get rid of them for a while but then they come back. However they don't get really bad and they are not very itchy at all so more recently I've been just leaving them to their own devices in the hope my donor's cells get bored and leave my skin alone.
That said the consultant said low level GVHD was no bad thing as it means it's quite possible that I also have GVL (Graft Versus Lymphoma) meaning the donor cells are also going around killing off any lymphoma cells that might still be lurking in my body. The doctor showed me the results of my latest chimerism blood test. This measures the percentage of donor cells in my blood compared to my own original ones. The most important one is the T-Cell level ( the white cells that fight infections at a cellular level such as viruses and lymphoma cells). My T-Cell chimerism level is over 95% which is a good sign.
The doctor explained I'm now in a basic maintenance routine of blood tests every so often to make sure nothing untoward is happening. He put my next appointment down for three months' time which is the longest I have been between visits to the clinic. Of course if I have any problems then I can call the clinic to get a drop in appointment for the Wednesday clinic or just ring the bone marrow transplant unit at the hospital if it is more urgent and be seen straight away.
So this is pretty much it then. I'm down to my lowest level of tablets and my clinic appointments should only start to get further and further apart. Of course you never know what is round the corner ( which is prolly just as well ) but all being well, or rather me being well, I won't have much to report in this blog and it will be a case of no news being good news.
The primary purpose of this blog was to detail my treatment for MCL and give friends and family an easy way to keep in touch with how I was doing. I have also used it to talk about other things I've done like attend concerts and conferences or my creative writing endeavours as well as pontificating on various topics that have got my goa,t but of late there haven't been so many of those.
One of the reasons for not posting very often to the blog is that after six years with the logistics firm I worked for I have recently taken up a new job at an express parcels carrier in Atherstone. This has been quite an upheaval albeit a mostly pleasant one and I've been incredibly busy at work taking on a whole load of new information and getting used to people and procedures at the new company. When I come home at the end of the day I don't feel like spending an hour or so typing up a blog post when there isn't that much news to report and there are no burning issues I feel I should write about. I've also for some time now being using twitter to post micro-blogs so that lets me let people know what I've been up to on a day to day basis and vent my (under-active) spleen if need be. ( You can see my twitter feed at the top of this blog and also via http://twitter.com/simonstanford . Or follow @simonstanford if you use twitter yourself).
So, whilst I won't be officially closing this blog as there will always be occasional medical updates or anniversaries to post, I won't be posting to it very often. Things may change in the future and I may take to blogging about other topics again if the muse and motivations strike me though I might also choose to start a new blog for that.
In the meantime I would like to thank everyone who has read this blog and especially those who have commented on or responded to what I have written. I hope you have found it interesting, educational and entertaining in various measures.