Today is the 3rd anniversary of my Stem Cell Transplant on September 30th, 2010. Other than a few lingering issues caused by medications, I have no signs of blood cancer and have been cancer free since the transplant. Now officially, you have to be in remission five years before the doctors will say you are “cured” but all things look good.
The past year the doctor has been lowering my medication dosage, which has caused a couple of issues. Dropping the Prednisone and Tacrolimus to every other day finally resulted in my first normal liver readings in three years, but I immediately had issues with rashes and hives. This may also be Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD) of the skin, but that cannot be confirmed without some tests and biopsys, which we won’t do because the symptoms are very mild. After a month of on and off flareups and taking some antihistamines during outbreaks, I have gotten that under control.
Sunlight can cause a lot of problems so I have to use a lot of sunscreen, which will be a lifelong thing. For the rashes/skin gvhd, I have some prescription lotion to control outbreaks. Since that one good liver reading, my numbers ticked back up a little again, so now we will stay at current level of medications for the time being. In some (distant?) future, I will eventually be off all medication!
Still doing monthly lab work but I only see the doctor every other month now. Flu shot will be the next thing and maybe some booster shots in the spring. Take care everyone!