My first GVHD

A few days ago I got a rash. Thus far, we’ve learned that any change in my status quo, means something. So I contacted my NP at UCLA. Since we had a scheduled appt already and I had no fever, we waited for that appt.

The gist is this. I have my first case of graft vs. host disease, aka GVHD. It sounds horrible. The notion that my grafted cells are being combatted by my immune system seems to be the worst case scenario. Here’s the explanation…

My NP dumbs it down for me with the realization that I actually got some kind of sickness; the flu, bad cold, etc. My grafted cells (the stem cell transplant) have been grafted, and thus are my immune system. So, they went to work killing off the sickness! Yippy! I never even experienced the sickness!

However, as soon as they killed the virus, they went looking for something else to kill, and those “foreign” cells were the next target. Hence, I got GVHD.

This is a sign that my graft has has grafted, and that I’m actually doing well! I even recall being told, so many months ago, that getting a little GVHD is good, and will be a welcome sign. They plan for this, and were quite ready. I’ve returned to a med I once discontinued, and have added a few more. These should do the trick!

Now, on a side note, very few truly understand how hard my wife has worked over the 18 months. There have been months that were basically single-parent months for Deanna. She has done a tremendous job! I cannot fathom doing this without her!

So as I thank God for his provision and care during this long journey, I’m reminded to thank Him for her as well. She has been the active and real Jesus in my day to day.


Author: TREVOR

Leukemia survivor. Son of The Most High. Father. Man.