Yesterday I met with a physician’s assistant at the Blood & Marrow Transplant (BMT) clinic. Here is what we learned.
First, I am now off immunosuppressant drugs! If it weren’t for the coronavirus, that would mean that in 6 weeks I would no longer be under quarantine. But alas, my immune system will not be considered “mature” until November (one year from the transplant). So, given my age, this means I am still at high risk with respect to the virus, and will need to be very careful even after the 6 week period ends.
Second, now I only have to go into the BMT clinic once a month…unless I start to develop signs of GVHD (Graft Versus Host Disease), in which case they will want to see me right away. I am no longer at risk of developing acute GVHD, and my risk of developing chronic GVHD is about 25%. By the end of the year, the risk will drop to 5%. There are treatment regimens for chronic GVHD, so it’s not serious.
My blood numbers and liver and kidney numbers are holding steady, all in acceptable ranges. My recovery is simply proceeding steadily, thanks to God and all of the prayers that friends and family have been saying since the beginning of my ordeal. I am continuing to work out carefully to try to restore my strength and stamina. That will be a long process. I’m hoping to be able to start playing golf soon, but only riding solo in a cart.