Posted by: Mary Crocco | January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012

9:00 p.m.

I vowed to write about Living with CML starting this month, January of 2012. I will keep my promise.

I haven’t been feeling too well since the last week of December. I thought it was just a cold, but I always forget that I’m not normal. My immune system is not like a healthy person. But I forget that fact when I am feeling good.

I spent Xmas week at my son’s home in Sparks, NV and so enjoyed taking care of my six month old grandson. The day before I left to come home I felt like I was getting a cold. Then on the day I left I knew I had a bad cold. The flight was painful because my ears hurt. I figured they were clogged from having a cold.

By the time I landed I was stone deaf. My ears were killing me and I felt awful. I had the weekend to see if I would improve or if I needed to see my primary doctor. I felt so bad I almost went to one of those Quick Care Clinics. But once again, living with CML I can’t really do that. A doctor unfamiliar with my chemotherapy drug would not be sure what prescription would be appropriate, so I knew I had to stick it out until Monday. Even then, it would be a miracle if I could get an appointment on the same day.

Well, a miracle did happen. Because of the New Year’s holiday, the doctor had a few cancellations and I got in early Monday morning. I called late Sunday night and left messages, then called early Monday morning as soon as I knew the receptionist would answer. She didn’t get any cancellations and gave me a Tuesday appointment, but once patients started not showing up, she called me and said to come right in. I was there in 10 minutes!

My doctor diagnosed a sinus infection. Checking my ears and nose was a challenge as it hurt and was so clogged. My chest was congested and my cough was really bad by then. She prescribed a whopper of an anti-biotic, fully aware of my interactions with Gleevec. She has been my primary doctor for years, so she is very familiar with what drugs interact with Gleevec.

She said no flying or pool until she rechecks me, especially my ear. So all week has been disappointing because I love going to the Las Vegas Athletic Club and doing my water exercises. It’s the only activity I do all day. I spend two solid hours exercising. I used to go every day, but once again I forget I’m not healthy. My body reminded me and now I go every other day. It makes me feel sort of normal going to the pool. I lost almost 40 lbs. and was feeling great.

I used to go to the YMCA, but it was mostly elderly people in the water therapy classes. Don’t get me wrong, they were lovely ladies, but I felt funny being so young. I also like to be by myself and after a while I knew I could do more than the classes offered. So I took what I learned from the classes and went to the LVAC. After trying out their classes, I found a time where the pool is empty in the afternoon, and I go at that time. I absolutely love it. I still find it hard to believe I’m not working. Just writing that brings tears to my eyes.

Okay, I’m back. Tissues are my very best friends.

Back to this week, well this antibiotic has unpleasant side effects. But it’s kind of funny because I’m used to Gleevec side effects, so nothing was too big of a surprise. I just doubled my usual side effects.

It’s Tuesday night as I write this and I’m feeling better. I still have a clogged ear, but my cough is not as bad and I can breathe easier. I have had a stomach ache all day, but like I said, I’m used to that living with CML.

Tomorrow is my follow-up visit. It coincides with my six month visit, so we’ll kill two birds with one stone. I haven’t had a sinus infection and bronchitis since 2007. My students used to give me all kinds of germs and with my poor immune system; I would pick everything up from them.

So this has me scared that my immune system is getting worse. I had a scare about a year ago when my blood work from my oncologist showed an abnormal protein. My doctor was concerned I had multiple myeloma. I am scared that getting sick like this will, well, I don’t even want to think about it, let alone write the words.

So, till tomorrows follow up visit . . .


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