John had a great checkup!
As most of my readers know, my husband John had two cancers, but is in remission from both of them. After much chemo, a Bone Marrow Transplant, and excellent medical care -- John has pulled through. It has come at the expense of many complications. As John says, however, it's all been worth it, as he is alive...
Anyway, John and I have been gone for about two weeks. We went to Hershey, PA to see John's oncologist Dr. Claxton on December 21, 2009 . As usual, Hershey Medical Center and it's staff are superior.
John's checkup went quite well!
The Shingles and Chicken Pox he had gotten again this year (in November and December -- just like last year) had already cleared up a few weeks prior to his appointment with Dr. Claxton. John's local doctor as well as his doctors in Hershey were just that good that he was able to be treated and his Shingles and Chicken Pox were eradicated without hospitalization this year!
That is pretty unheard of for a person who has almost no immune system, as John does. John has almost no antibodies since he received his Bone Marrow Transplant (for two cancers) in January of 2006. He lost his antibodies after his bone marrow transplant and they never returned. They probably never will. He wears a mask everywhere and is not going to venture outside -- at least during the winter months. Especially this year with flu and H1N1 (swine flu) pretty rampant in our town.
If I were to mention any other problems that are going on with John, I would mention he still only has about one third kidney function and that is never expected to improve in his lifetime. He has about a 50/50 chance of getting dialyzed in his lifetime. But then we've known that for awhile.
And then finally there is the issue of Hemolytic Anemia, of which he could get back at any time, and was getting seven bags of blood for at a time at one point. He had to get several bags of blood every day or every couple of days for months and months.
My old readers remember that. I guess I'm mentioning this for my new readers.
Having said all that, John really is doing fantastic. New complications are not constantly creeping up which is fantastic. John is beginning to live his "new life." You can never go back to your old life, because it will never be quite the same after cancer, but you have to make a "new normal." John's deciding what he wants to do with his life -- what he wants that new normal to be. He's gone back to writing. He has already started, and will soon be posting again in his blog too stubborn to die.
John gets stronger every day. He does a lot of work around the house, drives us places. Most don't know he has kidney problems or anything wrong, when they just see him around the house or whatever. He doesn't just lay around... Many don't know he had cancers (except for the mask he wears) and we are praying his cancers stay in remission. He was told he has a 90% chance that his cancers will remain in remission. Praise God for that.
On his tests at Dr. Claxton's appointment he John did excellently. He also had four baby immunizations! The immunosuppressants you receive after the Bone Marrow Transplant wipe out alll your baby and childhood vaccinations, so at three years post Transplant, you have to get your childhood vaccinations again! He usually gets four or more shots at a time! You can imagine he doesn't like driving afterward, each shot must be given in a different place, LOL.
So, overall, John is doing quite well, and if he doesn't have any problems he doesn't have to go back for about 4 1/2 months, which will be his longest time between appointments ever!
Next time I'll post about my "New Normal" and some of the things I've been doing with my new life. It's been good and I've been loving it, even though I have struggles. I'm so glad my life is starting to move on... krissy :)