Colitis treated. Two sets of good looking post-treatment scans. Obviously, it was getting too calm around here.
We can’t have that. It makes for a boring blog. So let’s backtrack to April…
Right around when I came off the prednisone, I started getting congested. At first, it seemed like the immune therapy might have caused me to have some nasty seasonal allergies. It happens. But the OTC allergy meds didn’t help. Nasal steroids didn’t help. My sinuses were so congested that even when I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all, I could feel them swelling more. My nose would literally throb as things smushed even more forcefully together. Also, I lost my sense of smell. My allergen tests came back negative, but things didn’t get under control until June when my surgeon put me on a prescription nasal antihistamine combined with a nasal steroid. I could breathe again (and eventually smell again), but if I stop taking them, I immediately re-congest.
May now. I wake up one morning and it looks like someone’s punched me in the left eye. The bruising goes away, but my eye remains swollen.
June. One day my left knee starts swelling. Over the course of a week, it becomes so swollen I can’t bend my leg. X-rays show nothing wrong, and my pain (and lack of it) confuses my orthopedist. She guesses it’s a strange meniscus tear, drains my knee, gives me a cortisone shot, and sends me to physical therapy. All seems well.
About two weeks ago, my hair starts falling out in large clumps again. I have no clue why.
Then July, last week. My right foot starts swelling and hurting. Wondering what the hell I did this time, I go to the walk-in clinic on Saturday because the pain is horrific. Again, X-rays show no damage. The nurse practitioner talks to me, and when I bring up my knee, she has an epiphany. This could all be autoimmune related. She orders three blood tests, and the one for a general inflammation response comes back positive. Yay? Answer?
Maybe. I saw my oncologist this morning, and in his words, he “takes responsibility” – it’s probably all treatment related. My immune system is “still really angry.” This is good for all things cancer, but obviously not so great for other things. Unfortunately, when people have these autoimmune responses to treatment, usually they follow a known diagnosable pattern. Mine appear to be random. (Doc told me again how I make his life difficult.)
So, now I wait and hope the orthopedist can drain my foot next week, but that doesn’t seem likely. Doc said the fluid is spread out; there’s no pocket to drain. I will cross my fingers anyway because my foot is huge, I limp, it hurts if I stand or walk too long, and I only have one pair of shoes (my Chucks) that fit. I am not happy. If I get too fed up, I might repeatedly stab my own foot at this point in the hopes that shit will leak out.
Meanwhile, doc and surgeon are going to discuss me and figure out where to send me next. I still can’t have a summer off. Last one was 2013. On the other hand, it’s not cancer.
*stab stab stab*