It's GVHD on my boobs.
GVHD (graft-versus-host disease) is a very common occurrence after allogenic transplant where the donor cells recognize the host (my body) as a foreign object and go into attack mode. It can effect any part of your body, though it typically shows up on your skin or your GI tract first. Before transplant, all of my doctors (and rightly so) worked really hard to scare the shit out of me about GVHD, oh boy did the succeed in that too. If left untreated, it can get very nasty very quickly, potentially life threateningly so. There are two kinds of GVHD based on when they show up post-transplant: acute (within the first 100 days) and chronic (after the first 100 days).
In the hospital, I was told to watch the palms of my hands and my feet for the first signs of a 'sunburn-like' rash and to have P check my back every night for the same. Well, being the ever compliant patient, I did all of the above, however, where has my GVHD shown up? On my friggin' boobs and tummy (well, very lightly everywhere else too, mostly my forearms and lower back). Does it look like a sunburn? Nope. It's kind of bumpy, very rash like and itches like a motherfucker. Ladies, if you have ever been to a tanning bed and not put on sufficient sun protection (not that I've ever done this...um) and you get that itchy slightly burny blotchy rash, that's what this is like. You have to be standing quite close to me to actually see it, otherwise it sort of looks like I just have a healthy glow goin'. The Advanced Practice Nurse (this is a correction from one of my other posts, apparently she's not a nurse practitioner...whatevs) and PharmD prescribed this gloppy steroid cream and Aquaphor (which is like putting Vaseline all over your body, gross) and have assured me that this will make it go away. Weird. They keep saying that this is neither a good thing or a bad thing, just a thing that happens. Good thing it's an easily taken care of thing:) Wait, let me type 'thing' one more time. THING.
Aside from this mild GVHD, my numbers have been looking pretty stellar (and the muscle relaxers TOTALLY HELPED, BOOYA!) so I have been given today (Friday) and the rest of the weekend off from clinic. So, here I sit a bloggin' and infusin' at the same time in one of the big comfy recliners.
A little birdy told me that the weather is gorgeous in Philly right now so, dear friends, I hope you enjoy a gorgeous weekend! Thank you so much for your steadfast support and love, it is humbling and sustaining. Missing all of you so, so much.