To Read Tami's Story from the Beginning

Just CLICK HERE. Her blog begins on March 12, 2009 with a post titled "Tami's Myelodysplasia Diagnosis." Then at the bottom of each post, click on the words "Newer Post" located just below the comments section on each page.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tami's Post Stem Cell Transplant Update: Day +206

Just spoke to Tami on the phone tonight. Because her recovery process will continue slowly but steadily, we decided for now we will be updating her blog once a month unless something newsworthy comes up.

Presently she is still feeling quite tired. Her back is finally better and she is doing low intensity core exercises and stretching to help strengthen her back and all of her muscles. It turns out that being sedentary and in bed for weeks and months at a time really messes up your spine and muscles so it will be a while before she really feels better.

She is now experiencing pain in her knees and elbows. Her doctor thinks this may be a side effect of the medication she is on to suppress her immune system to keep her Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) under control. They are going to try to wean her off of this medication. That means her joint pain may go away but her GVHD may come back. While definitely unpleasant, it's totally normal for marrow transplant patients to experience GVHD for months or even years post transplant.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Hospital, Seattle, WA.

Speaking of her GVHD, you may recall that Tami has had a few bouts with it now. First it attacked her intestines just a few days post transplant and then months later her skin, twice. Recently Tami took an out of town trip to Seattle because she is part of a GVHD clinical trial. Fred Hutchinson is a cancer research center that partners with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Hospital. They are leaders in addressing and solving many of the problems transplant patients face due to the participation of their existing patients in their clinical trials. Her doctors there were pleased with her progress and said everything was looking good.

While in Seattle she made a stop at Lululemon. While she was there undergoing her transplant one of the employees at their University Village location befriended her and showed her a lot of kindness so she dropped back by to say hello to Pat. If you're ever in the area be sure to go shop at Lululemon if you're looking for cute and comfy yoga inspired athletic wear.

More great news, her former daily then every other day doctor's appointments have now become once a month visits to see her doctor. Man, it seems like not that long ago when she was in the hospital for weeks and getting platelet transfusions every other day last April.

And last but not least her hair is starting to come back. When I saw Tami in October her hair was just barely beginning to grow back in. She said now she is starting to have sideburns again. That has to feel like some kind of milestone. We were guessing that hair grows at about a half inch to an inch a month so it'll be awhile before her hair is as long as it used to be.

So that's it for now. Until next month!

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