Friday, December 18, 2009

Struggling With The Side Effects

As predicted, I am coping with a collection of side effects of the transplant. The main symptom is fatigue; I don't seem to be able to sleep enough, and I have been sleeping quite a bit. I have to force myself to get up and walk around a bit, for exercise. Brief waves of nausea break over me at unpredictable moments. My appetite is poor, as many foods seem to have a vaguely metallic background taste that I find off-putting. That, plus some esophageal discomfort, causes me to prefer relatively weak liquids, or foods that are on the lighter side, such as soup or fruit.

Then there is the loss of hair. I am beginning to regret my decision to get just a buzz cut, instead of having my head shaved. Even with short hair, there is a lot of it, filling my bed and clothing and towels and clogging the shower drain. I am reminded of the character in the "Peanuts" comic strip -- named "Pig-Pen", I believe -- who moved through the world in a cloud of dust and grime and clutter. I am moving through the world in a cloud of falling hair.

Based on the daily blood tests, so far I have not had to have anything special done to me in the IPOP clinic. We are watching the blood cell counts continue to drop; they still have further to go before they begin to bounce back.

Meanwhile, of course, Huong is watching over me like a mother hawk over her chicks, so never fear. Her main adversary would seem to be boredom; perhaps the big snowstorm that is approaching will provide a bit of a diversion. It's supposed to give us 18-24 inches of snow by early Sunday, here in the city.

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