March 1, 2013 (Friday)by Sheri Nocelli on 06/14/13
Another year has gone by at lightning speed! This has been a trying year in some respected, but super rewarding in others. I had a bout of Shingles which took me by surprise, but was manageable to deal with overall. There's not much you can do to treat Shingles, so I was on Acyclovir for a 10 day run, and then just let the Shingles run its course. My “rebel rock star” patient traits reared their head again with this… I knew I had Shingles, I could tell from the way it looked on my side. I also knew that if I told the oncologist, then I would have been subjected to a multitude of tests and possibly a hospitalization. Therefore, I chose to go to my primary care doctor (who I NEVER go to), and begged him to keep the Shingles between the two of us. He agreed, but told me if it got any worse or if I developed fever, then we would have to tell my oncologist. Sounds like a deal! So, he put me on an antibiotic and sent me on my merry way. By the time I saw the Oncologist a few weeks later, the Shingles were gone, but when I told him, “Oh yeah, I had Shingles a few weeks ago…” he flipped a noodle! He was like, “Why on Earth didn’t you call me?! Shingles is serious!”… to which I answered, “it was no big deal!”… to which… he laughed hysterically. We have fun at least!
This year I had a development with my eye damage when I was forced into switching eye specialists, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. The new doctor did a whole exam and work up which revealed severe cornea damage (something that the first eye doctor failed to mention). Then the new doctor says, "You don't see as well as you think you do, in my opinion you should have been wearing glasses for quite some time now. I think a lot of the discomfort you are experiencing is from eye strain." I was shocked at this news, I mean, I thought my vision was blurry because of the dryness. So, I was prescribed glasses... and let me tell you, as soon as I put them on, it was a whole new world! The doctor was also concerned that because of the severe scratches and damage to the cornea that I was at a high risk of infection, so he prescribed a low dose antibiotic for a few weeks. There has been various other excitement, when he tried to change the ointment I use from Bactracim (ointment) to one that had another ingredient in it as well. I ended up having a severe allergic reaction to this new ingredient, and had to do a round of steroid eye drops to recover from the painful infection. I'm not back on the regular ointment and still the Restasis, which is working well.
My blood work thus far has been spot on, with all of my counts in the normal range. My Oncologist is encouraged by my progress, and always looks very happy with my status when I see him. I'm still on an every six week blood work and office visit schedule which is often for someone this far out from treatments. I cannot even begin to fathom that it has been 4 1/2 years since my bone marrow transplant - this just seems impossible, but amazing!
Life otherwise is incredible. The kids are so big. Adrian is in 4th grade and Luciana has started full day Kindergarten! My babies are not babies anymore, and I am so fortunate to be able to witness them growing into the mature pure hearted little people that they are becoming right before my eyes. We are up to seven dogs now… they are my little babies! We still have Francine the Schnoodle, Gigi and Pierre the Shih Tzu’s and Penelope the Boston Terrier, and we have adopted Darla the 4 pound Yorkie, Mabel the teacup brown Boston Terrier and Rupert the 5 pound Maltese. Puppy chaos is wooftastic; I love every second of it!
As of August 2012 we have made a huge change in our lifestyle as a family. I was shocked at one of my appointments when the scale read that I was up to 170 pounds, and I started to do research on "diets". What I found instead is a new way of life, which is more than about losing weight, but is also a way of keeping your body healthy. I've started collecting these gorgeous dishes and bake ware from QVC called Temp-Tations which I am *obsessed* with – and now I’ve begun dabbling in the kitchen… I’m shocked to admit that I love to cook! Lucien, the kids and I all now follow a Paleo life style. The whole premise is that as humans, we should be consuming foods that are wholesome and real such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts. The human body doesn't know how to digest and process all of the junk "fake" foods that our society is bombarded with daily such as sugars, breads, pastas, rice, dairy, and anything else that has been man made. By cutting all of this completely out of our diets, I have lost 25 pounds so far, and have never felt healthier in my entire life. We eat more quantity and quality foods than we ever did, and even more variety than ever before. We eat such a large variety of meats, vegetables and fruits, it's truly mind boggling. Many times I'm so stuffed; I can't finish what's on my plate. I’ve again become an improved version of myself; the kids, Lucien and I have survived this winter season without one cold of any kind... it's amazing how our bodies are stronger, leaner and all around healthier. It has been a pivotal part of our year as a family, and keeping our bodies well. Our bodies are our temples, and to inject anything unnatural to our genetics makes no sense whatsoever. After everything I’ve been through, I might as well do everything in my power to keep my and my children’s bodies in the healthiest shape possible.