Photography Challenge Day 8

Today’s theme is “Routine”.

One of the complications of a bone marrow transplant is Graft versus Host Disease.  My skin, joints, and GI tract are affected.  That means that I have abdominal pain, joint pain, and I have skin issues.  The skin problems started off with a red, scaly rash, almost like poison ivy, but now it’s gone down to dark patches running from my face to my abdomen.  I’ve been getting treatment for a couple of months now and the symptoms are slowly resolving. My oncologists and I have been trying various immunosuppressants, mainly steroids.  Prednisone seems to be what works the best, although it’s not a long-term solution. However, every time we reduce my dosage, my symptoms return in full force.

One of the bigger downsides of long-term steroid use is drug-induced diabetes.  Part of my daily routine is injecting two types of insulin up to three times a day.  I’m grateful that we’re working on managing my GVH, but I’ll be happy to be off Prednisone. Diabetes isn’t fun and after six years of cancer treatment, multiple hospitalizations, and numerous injections, you could say that I’ve developed a slight aversion to needles.

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