We were looking forward to going on holiday.
I was making good progress during the summer months of 2014 & my visits to Marsden were now monthly, however that was about to come to a sudden halt. This is where Chronic Graft versus Host Disease took a hold...
We had booked a holiday for August 2014 at the start of the year so we had something to aim for. Over the last few weeks l had started to feel GREAT ! & as l have mentioned l was even considering a return to work, so the holiday would give me a chance to get ready for this. Fourteen days beach, warm weather, nice food & a drop of wine, there's nothing going to spoil that... About day 7 or 8 l noticed that l was not able to finish my meals completely, my skin was itchy & blotchy & my eyes were irritated... the list goes on & on.
I managed to keep this under control but once home l was admitted to hospital with a fever & reunited with a "Dave & antibiotics", l was soon sorted & told to report to the Marsden. This is where Chronic Graft versus Host Disease took a hold... if there is 100 symptoms then l have had to date 99! Each week l would go to see the Doctor with a different symptom, it has caused problems with my eyes, skin, hair & scalp, joints, muscles, finger nails, mouth & lungs. Even now l still attend SIX hospitals for treatment and monitoring.
All thoughts of a return to work were done for. l was attending the Marsden on a weekly basis for blood tests, followed by endoscopes, x-rays, CT & MRI scans, lung function tests over the coming weeks. These didn't show anything other than symptoms of Graft versus Host Disease.
Mean while l had been suffering with blurred vision & very dry eyes. l had reached 55 yrs young without the need for glasses, however due to GvHD l now had to use them for both long distance & reading. I had my eyes re-tested after approximately six months & my vision had changed again, l now only use glasses for watching TV & driving.
The main things l have been left to deal with are, erratic hair growth, flakey finger nails, shortness of breath, hardening of the skin, aching muscles & joints, & finally cramps. Its a case for now of learning to live/cope with these problems. The doctors prescribed different pills & potions to help keep these in check...