Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pushing Through - Segue to Reborn

Time I break the silence on the blog.  So much has happened since last September, I could write an entire book.  The problem has been every time I've stopped to write something, I couldn't focus on any one part in reflection to jot the first word.  Health.  It's been all about that. 

After being admitted to the hospital in September I was given several serious and rare diagnoses to go with the Addison's disease I've been living with for several years.  The trouble was none of my specialists could correlate any of them.  Worse yet, they didn't seem to care to try.  My wife had made an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN back in August.  Before I ended up in the emergency room, just out of frustration with my worsening condition and lack of interest from my attending physician's.  We had to go.

I book-ended November with a couple of week long trips to the Mayo Clinic.  The first week I got around on my own fairly well, save for some leg fatigue getting through the airport in Detroit.  The last week, Beth was pushing me around in a wheelchair.  The reason being peripheral neuropathy from POEMS Syndrome.  That is my diagnosis.  A single diagnosis that explained everything I've been misdiagnosed for previously.  Including, Addison's disease.  My POEMS Syndrome was being caused by a single plasmacytoma on my left femur.  A malignant lesion the size of my thumbnail that appeared unexpectedly on a PET scan.  I needed to undergo six weeks of radiation therapy in order to kill the source of the disease and hope my rapidly worsening condition would stabilize.

As an aside, the song that is playing, "Segue to Reborn" I recorded just prior to my second trip to Mayo.  I played the drums as best I could and barely got through the 2 minutes before the legs quit me.  The title invoked my state of mind.  I was ready to nail this diagnosis and start my treatment and recovery.

At this time, I have seven more radiation treatments left and I finally feel as though things have stabilized.  I've got a long road to recovery and don't yet know what permanent damage I will be left with.  But, I do know I am very fortunate to have caught this as early as I did.  As it turns, the Mayo Clinic is the premier research and treatment center for POEMS Syndrome.  A poetic fate indeed.  My wife is my guardian angel, and my gratitude is not even fully realized.

I am just now shaking the dust from my lowest point.  Which can only mean one thing.  Things are definitely looking up!  I can honestly say, I am looking forward to the new year.  With that, I wish a Happy and Healthy New Year to all of you!  God Bless.