Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Still on the steroids...

So, I had my weekly appointment with Lister on Monday and he has left me on the last 20mg of the prednisone for now. He seems to see some chronic GvH kicking up. He wants to play it safe, so I don't end up back in the hospital. Although I'm definitely disappointed I won't be off of the steroids yet, I would totally prefer to not get sick again like I did in February!

On the otherhand, Mother Nature has taken pity on Pittsburgh again and is offering a high of 70 on Friday! FANTASTIC!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Quote of the Day #1

"Everything sounds better in the bathroom."

This comment was said in conversation to me in reference to a husband who likes to sing while cleaning the bathroom! (Hee hee).

Sometimes folks say things to me that strike me as particularly hilarious or fantastic or weird or ignorant. I've been meaning to write them down, because they are usually so...potent/unique/succinct. So, I figured what better place, than here? :-)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Celebrate good times!

On Friday, Ralph and I celebrated 6-months of marriage. We went to a tiny, tiny Italian restaurant and ate quite well, and then proceeded to spend the weekend together (normally, Ralph has to work). We went for walks, hung out/read on the sofa, sipped hot beverages, and snuggled. ;-) It was nice. Very, very nice. Now, if I could just get the weather to warm up and get me off these steroids, we'd be smokin'!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

From 73 to 37 !!

Argh! Pittsburgh had these beautiful temperatures lately (yesterday was as high as 73!!), and now today, it's 37! :-( Oh well, I really can't complain too much, though. It's been a very mild winter in Pittsburgh this year.

Okay, it seems that I've been "tagged" to answer some questions from a fellow blogger--like "TAG, you're it!" So, here's one of those little surveys in quantities of four:

Four jobs I'’ve had:
Coffee wench
Gap girl
Summer school Arts + Crafts Instructor
the obvious current: graphic designer

Four movies I can watch over and over:
Frida ( "I think it's good. It's very good.")
Ferris Buellers Day Off ( " two weeks, you'd have a DIAMOND.")
French Kiss ( "No, not the cow! I just ate that cow!")
Super Troopers ( "Why did he say that?" "He thinks I'm Mexican." "'re not?")

Four TV shows I love to watch:
Divine Design
Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals

Four places I've been on vacation:
Croatia (pictured to the right)
Las Vegas

Four favorite dishes:
Lemongrass beef (from Spice Island Tea House)
Gado Gado salad (also from Spice Island)
Ralph's french toast
California rolls with miso soup and edamames

Four websites I visit daily:
Google (homepage)
The Superficial (although really, not daily--just whenever I wanna chuckle)

Four places I'’d rather be:
Some place warm where they speak Spanish...I'm thinking the western coastline of Mexico
Lake Winnipesaukee (but I gotta change the season to the summer)
Figure studies drawing session
German language class

I'm going to add four books that I've read recently and loved:
The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson (still reading it)
Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden
The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman (can read this one over and OVER)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Day +100 !!

So, today I celebrated my day +100 post-transplant. This is an important day, because it is the sort of line between acute GvH and chronic GvH. Granted, in my case, Lister says that the +100 mark isn't so important since I've been 100% donor since Day +26, but that still didn't stop me from enjoying a nice big piece of carrot cake to celebrate the milestone. :-)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Okay, I'm ready to be done with these steroids...

So, that initial high of appetite and motivation was great, but now the side effects of the steroids are beginning to kick in and make me wanna get off of them ASAP. The first one that I noticed was the sleep interruptions. It tends to speed up your blood pressure, and I find that makes it very difficult to wind myself down to go to sleep.

Another recent problem from them is cramping. Without warning either of my hands will suddenly contort to the shape of an old arthritic woman's gnarly hands. It doesn't last too long (like 30 second intervals) but I'd say it's happening, on average, of twice a day. Grrr.

However, the most worrisome potential side effect of the steroid that I'm on, and the true motivation for the purchase of the treadmill, is that they can cut off blood flow to the artery that feeds the ball/socket joint of the hip. If that happens, the bone won't get any blood/oxygen and can die, resulting in the need for a hip replacement. WOAH, Nelly! This, my doctor tells me after I explain to him that last week I woke up one day with excrutiating pain in both knees. He said that the best thing to do was to keep the area active, so the next day, I phoned my brother-in-law (a physical therapist's assistant) for hip exercises and went out with Ralph to pick up the machine that now dominates our second bedroom. Fingers crossed that this stuff does the trick and keeps my hip "in the flow."

Aside from those things, I'm also wanting to get off this bugger fast because it's the second immuno-suppressant that I'm on--keeping me one further step from returning to a normal lifestyle.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

"Sub Rosa"

Finally. Yesterday I finally got back in front of the easel--the last time being sometime in January. It was just an hour or so, but I FINALLY managed to put the finishing touches on this painting. The majority of this painting has been done since October, but I wasn't quite satisfied with the final layout. It was missing something. While in the hospital, I was reading the Da Vinci Code and it gave me the idea for the roses. Not a flower I would have normally flocked to, but given the Mexican nature of the painting and what was going on under the roses, it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.

The photography is a little wonky again (because it's just me taking it here in the apartment) but I am just so happy to have finished it that I wanted to post it sooner. I'll update the image as soon as I have a better quality one!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Like butter.

So, part of the whole GvH thing that I had going on over the past couple of months really took the pounds off. I've never really lost that much weight with any of the treatments that I've had in the past, but this time--good LAWD! I used to be about a size 10 before the transplant, and now I think I must be somewhere around a size 7. It's not a _tremendous_ size difference, I guess, but it just seems that way to me and my missing ass! I don't know if it will stay off, though. So, on Friday, in an effort to control weight re-gain and strength rebuilding, Ralph and I went out and ordered a treadmill. It was only my second trip out to a store since the transplant, and even though I wore a mask the whole time, it was just nice to get out of the house.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sweet steroids.

Although, steroids definitely have some draw-backs to them--and I really WOULDN'T want to stay on them forever, the energy and appetite that I'm getting from being on Prednisone is impressive. Granted, it's a bit of a scatter-brained energy and a ravishing hunger, but if those are my only complaints right now, then I'LL TAKE IT.

Status of stuff right now: feeling pretty damn well--let's hope it keeps up, cuz I'm digging this high! ;-)