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It's Been 1 Year Today!!!

Such a strange thing to look back on the previous year and to think that one year ago today I got my transplant. The nurses said to consider this my "new" birthday...so Happy Birthday to me!

Honestly there were so many times I was unsure if I would make it to this day. The transplant itself was not easy and although it has been VERY worth it, the Meningitis, Stroke and everything else that came as a result was so not easy. I am not going to get into a big discussion as to how I feel about making it the year or thanking all the wonderful people who helped me get through this past year as I did a lot of that on my last post. What I am going to do is tell you my plans for the future...now that I can be hopeful about having one. Or at least my plans for the next year. Oh, and give you a quick update on my 1 year appointments in Seattle last week.

Last Thursday and Friday as you know we went to Seattle for all of my 1 year appointments. A couple of my doctor's, I'd swear you almost had to pick their jaw up off the ground, were so happy to see how well I am doing, considering how I was last time they saw me (end of May). I have come leaps and bounds. Due to the Bactrim causing my Meningitis and my having a stroke, there were changes on my MRI, and so I am considered (from a data standpoint) the one "transplant failure". Great! If there would be someone, it would be me. Anyway, I am not looking at it like that though because in all reality for me this was VERY MUCH a success and if anything I just may be the biggest success of all...seeing how I not only recovered from the transplant but all the complications that came after. I'm guessing there are not many people out there who are fortunate enough to go through something like I did this year and come out the other side better than ever.

So, everything looked good, all my tests/appointments were cake and everyone was quite pleased with my progress. We were all a little nervous about me getting my childhood immunizations again but it went well. I had NO reactions! YAY! The next day I felt a bit like someone used me as a punching bag (imagine getting 5 tetanus shots....that's what it felt like) but I did so well that we were able to return home Friday night. I didn't even break a fever. So, what did they give me? There were 8 immunizations in all (5 injections). I was given DPaT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus), Hepatitis A & B, Polio, Pneumonia and the Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b...bacteria that is the leading cause of Meningitis). All of the immunizations were inactivated or non-live viruses. I can not have (or be exposed to) live viruses post-transplant. Had they had the vaccines for Flu and Swine Flu I would have gotten those as well, those I need to get here at home.

I go back to Seattle October 15th for another MRI (study mandates two MRI's at the 1 year mark...last being a month later without contrast, the first was with contrast). I will then need to have more immunizations at the 14 month mark and then again at the 2 year mark.

Okay, so the next year....

I am currently going to the gym two to three times a week. After the year I've had everyone has been very cautious, however after a little persistence I was able to get my Oncologist to sign off on me getting back in the gym. I figured if nothing else but to use the treadmill I would be happy. Anyway, he agreed with the condition that I go through the Cancer Well-Fit program. Basically that just means that I go twice a week and work out with a group of other people who have been through chemo, transplants or other treatment. There are personal trainers on the floor and available if we need anything. The service is free and it gives me full access to the gym, so I've been going at least one other time a week too! Anyway, the program ends next month and so I have already submitted the paperwork to join the gym and join the Total Solution program, which means I will still have access to a personal trainer and more! The best part is that I am doing well enough that the treadmill is not the only thing I can use. I am able to use the recumbent bike, upright bike, weights and more. I have actually surprised myself because for the first time in years....maybe my whole life, I can go and exercise for a good hour and a half, sometimes two hours and I DON'T NEED my inhaler. That is just one of the many wonderful pluses that came from the transplant. For the first time in a decade I am loosing weight. It's really a miracle to me.

So I am taking the next year to focus on getting as healthy as I can be. I don't want to jinx anything but I have not been the luckiest person when it comes to my health so I want to do all I can NOW! Plus, my MS neurologist gave me a goal....be on her MS Bike team next September. Um, I think the last time I was on a bike I was 12. :) And, the SHORTEST course is 22 miles. Quite a goal, I know, but if I can do it that would be amazing!

Thursday we are having a big party to celebrate my 1 year! We have a lot to celebrate and I just can't explain to you all how grateful I am at this second chance at life (and an even healthier, better quality life then I've ever had).

I hope you are all well. :)

~Jaime

4 comments:

Kim said...

Wow! Happy Birthday to you girl! You're sounding great and still making great strides in recovering from the transplant! So great.

Ravi said...

Hi
Thanks for this post. I am enjoying your tips.
After that all you have to do is roll your body over
the foam roller which will massage out the tight spots and alleviate any kind of pain,
pressure, and inflammation.
For More information please visit www.travelroller.com

Jaime said...

Thanks Kim! How are you doing? Things have definitely improved....haven't had a relapse in over a year, but I've had all the fun post-transplant side effects one can manage. Over all I am pleased with the transplant. It has not been an easy year and it's not looking as if the coming year will be a lot easier either (I'm currently in the hospital for an infection) but as much as I really do hate getting sick and don't like getting sick, at least I know I'm going to recover now, where there were times before that I didn't. Also, I'm so grateful for the "good" side effects I've had...like less asthma, no more major food and environmental allergies. Anyway, no one said this was going to be easy, at least there were no guarantees, and even more so none for the first 5 years which are the hardest, but they did say it could change my life as it does my immune system and it has. Hopefully my experience will also give them great information that will help to change the lives of everyone with MS! I hope you are well. Take care!

Jaime

Jaime said...

Ravi, I checked out your website and the travel roller looks like something that would help, having said that, I'm not sure how many people with MS could benefit from this product as it appears you have to be able to get on the floor to use it. Everyone with MS is so different and some of us can get on the floor, would maybe benefit from your product, able to take Yoga, etc. Then there are others who may not be able to. Anyway, I do wish you the best of luck with your product but I'm unable to say much on it without trying it out myself and it's just not something I would purchase at this time. Good luck and I hope you are well.

Jaime


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I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, have been through all of the FDA approved treatments I qualify for and now am participating in the HALT MS Study. This is my story...my life with MS (among other things).

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