Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good thing I got over my fear of needles

Here's the short version of a long story. My immunoglobulin levels are abnormally low. This was the case prior to chemotherapy, and has continued to this day. Whether it predated cancer is unknown. My oncologist basically shrugged his shoulders and said he couldn't do anything about it, talk to my GP. My GP sent me to an immunologist in Toronto, who took some blood (all doctors are vampires, I'm discovering). The immunologist told me I have panhypogammaglobulinemia. Am I ever glad I took a medical terminology course as part of my paramedic diploma. That 24-letter monstrosity means that all of my gammaglobulin levels are low. That immunologist said I would need a therapy called intravenous immunoglobulins, or IVIG. He sent me to another immunologist who apparently provides this treatment. Of course, no doctor is content to believe the blood test results from previous doctors, so this doctor/vampire ordered new blood tests. These tests will not only gauge my current immunoglobulin status, but also the effectiveness of previous vaccines I've received.

One thing I did have confirmed is a statistical link between NHL, celiac disease (I may or may not be celiac, but I do have a gluten sensitivity), and low gamma globulins.

So that's where we're at right now. Going home tonight, finally.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back home

Finally, after over 2 weeks on the road, we're home again. First to Maine to visit with Hilary, Peter, Ben and PD. Then to Vermont to visit with a whole pile of Anna's friends. Then New Hampshire. Then St. Catharines to see Sarah Laughton and Sophie, her 2 month old daughter. Then Toronto, and now home again. But we won't rest for long. We're headed back to Toronto for my first IVIG appointment at St. Michael's Hospital. (Don't think I've blogged about this before, but will soon. In short, my body currently produces insufficient quantities of immunoglobulins, so I will soon begin a lifelong supplementation program. Should make me less susceptible to bacterial illnesses and maybe H1N1!) We're staying in S. Ont. for the weekend to visit Mom and Dad. Matty's looking forward to a swim in the pool. Then another appointment in Toronto on Tuesday, and we'll be home again. Then I think we're glueing our asses to North Bay for awhile!