I haven't said much about my health in this blog, mostly because it's been great. In fact, since my transplant almost five years ago, I have been healthier than at any previous time, it seems that my immune system is very strong, perhaps stronger than ever. When everyone else is suffering from colds or whatever, I am fine.
Last week, I was exercising and while I was lifting weights I had a pretty sharp pain in my elbow. I had fallen about a month ago and cut the back of my elbow, and I went to a mirror to see if perhaps the cut had opened up. I was surprised to see that the back of my elbow was swollen to about the size of a golf ball, if not larger. I went to see a physiotherapist at the sports medicine clinic at the sports club where I exercise and he told me it was a bursitis and that the swelling was fluid, and that I should ice it, apply a compression bandage and it would get better. I did this for a few days and aside from the swelling, which reminds me of an alien growth (where is Ellen Ripley when you need her?), it didn't really bother me very much until Thursday when I woke up and it was sore and a little red, and warm to the touch. I feared an infection so I went to my hospital, Maisonneuve Rosemont, where I am pleased to say I was very well treated. I had my blood tested and my blood work is normal (hence my mantra – my body is a temple). While I have a bursitis, it's not infected and I have been prescribed Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory . In ten days, I should be as good as new. More importantly, I ran into one of my doctors, to whom I had sent an invitation for my trip, and he told me he thought it was a great idea and that he was planning to participate, perhaps for the last leg from Vienna to Budapest. Even better, he is trying to interest other doctors to come along. That would be wonderful, a real victory and celebration.
I've added a link on the right to the Velo-6 route and I plan to do the first 9 stages from the coast of France to Budapest. I am then going to continue off the route for a further 200 kilometres to Tolzva, the home of my maternal great grandparents and, until they immigrated to Canada, my grandparents.
As I was driving to the hospital this morning, I was thinking about how I would react if the results to blood tests were bad. It led me to reflect on how appreciative I am for the almost five years I have had since my transplant.
I feel an overwhelming gratitude for the second life I have been given. I remember being in the hospital after I was diagnosed in 2004 and being ready "to settle" for maybe just a year, a two or three of good health. I have had much more and I am looking forward to many more years. If however it is not to be, then I am thankful for what I have had. As I said in one of my earlier postings, that's what leukemia does to you, and it's not a bad thing.
I am very excited about the prospect of my doctors coming along with me on my cycle. I believe this will be an extraordinary experience. It's all part of surviving leukemia.