Crossing the line into GVHD (Graft vs Host Disease)

8/20/15 – Looking at the events of the past week for me it shows just how crazy a ride this adventure could be. With my last post I had mentioned that I have managed to avoid any hospital stays… well that has changed. On Wednesday, August 12thI was in the ER with fevers in the 102 range. I was given the normal work up, where they took blood cultures etc… I was given an antibiotic and after a few hours my temp was gone, my blood counts were normal and initial blood cultures were clear… so I was sent home.
I had a follow up appointment at the Cancer Center on the following day; I was given a CT scan and was told that they show GREAT improvement of my MCL. But there was nothing that caused concern of the fevers.
On the morning of Friday, August 14th I was again running a fever and headed over to the Cancer Center. We reviewed all my tests. Being there were no signs of infection with my blood cultures,  it was decided that this was most likely something viral. If fevers did return I should take Tylenol. Any Virus will simply run its course.
Well... it is just never that easy.
On Saturday, August 15th at around 10PM I had a fever of 104.3. Knowing full well that this is more than viral… I ended up in the ER again. The ER drew blood, put me on antibiotics, and gave me Tylenol. I was eventually admitted into the hospital by the morning of Sunday, August 16th.
While in the hospital my fevers were treated with antibiotics, Tylenol and cooling techniques (chilling blanket and being packed in ice) but it seems that each day I still hit a fever of over 102.5.  
If you think about it… the Tylenol and cooling techniques simply mask what is really going on. In my case I was being given antibiotics that we not working… could it be that I was being treated for the wrong thing???
Each day I was visited by my doctors from Oncology, Infectious Disease and Transplant. I would get my normal checkup along with some very similar questions: Do you have a rash? Do you have diarrhea? Is your mouth dry? Are you experiencing any indigestion?
It was as if someone from above wanted to give assistance in solving this mystery, on Wednesday, August 19th all of a sudden I had a rash on my arms and legs, I had dry mouth, I had diarrhea and I was starting to feel some indigestion.
It was now clear to my doctors that I had Graft vs Host Disease. By adding steroids to my IV regiment my fevers were soon gone. If all goes well I may be released as soon as tomorrow. That would make me very happy. I am ready to go home.
I would be completely negligent if I didn't say THANK YOU to my wife who has been by my side every second of this most recent episode. I am a very lucky man to have someone who loves me so much. I truly love my wife of almost 31 years.. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.Matthew 7:7
More to come…

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