Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cancer Boxer – Just Another Day In The Ring.

Hello to my faithful family & friends!  I guess as they say, no news is good news.  However, for those of you who get your information from my blog, I’m sorry to keep you out of the loop!  I’ll have to circle back around to the day after my last post.

I was finally released from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital one week after I was

My little cousin, Brian.  He just makes smile.

My little cousin, Brian. He just makes smile.

admitted.  The discharge papers listed Cellulitis as my admission diagnosis but upon further questioning, they still have NO CLUE what the hell was wrong with me!

The day after being discharged, I saw Dr. Zibelli in her office.  She was upset because she thought that I was to be released 2 days prior than I actually was.  When we expressed our frustration over the lack of information sharing between doctors, she validated our feelings and agreed that there was little conferring between everybody.  It was also her opinion that the original blood samples taken in the emergency room were somehow contaminated (apparently you should never draw blood cultures from a port).  Unfortunately, there is no way to tell.  As I left the office, she told me to follow up with a suggested rheumatologist if the pain & swelling didn’t go down with the antibiotic.  I was also to begin the Imbruvica again, only at a reduced dosage.

It took some haggling, but we won the fight for at home antibiotics.  Later that Tuesday, I had an already scheduled IgG infusion.  Since the nurse had to access my port anyway, she was able to teach Shelby how to administer the drugs into me.  As always, Shelby was quick to learn and was my nurse for the following week.

After the week of antibiotics, my foot still had not healed so we did see a

Aunt Ella and I at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, NYC.

Aunt Ella and I at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, NYC.

rheumatologist.   By this point, that small pain in my finger had swollen and looked deformed.  Dr. Johnson took plenty of blood, gave me a thorough exam and read my MRI report but still seemed stumped.  She also told me to continue to take the Ibuprofin for pain and inflammation – it was the only thing that worked – and follow up with her in two weeks.

I’m sure you can guess how the blood work turned out.

Inconclusive. On a positive note, I don’t have rheumatoid arthritis, the gout or lymes disease as many people began to suspect.  The bad news is that there is still no diagnosis.  Giving an educated guess, Dr. Johnson believes that I have some sort of reactive arthritis from whatever germ, bacterium or ailment flowed through my body.  As of today, I have taken 9 days of steroids, with 3 more to go.  She hopes that the Prednisone will knocked whatever the hell it is out of me.

I have also seen Dr. Zibelli again.  Her opinion of what happened to me was partly from the Imbruvica but cannot say for certain if I did or did not have an infection.  She also believes the foot was some rheumatological ailment.

So here I sit, over one month later and am still plagued by pain in my fourth toe.  The swelling in the top part of my foot is almost completely gone, but the toe is still discolored and sore.  I try not to limp anymore but sometimes it just hurts.

This has been very frustrating mentally.  I am back at work and attempting to be active again but am still somewhat sidelined by my condition.  I just wish I could have an official diagnosis.  Whenever anyone asks what was wrong with me and why I was hospitalized, I can only give them one answer….

Nobody knows.

The bottom of the falls at Rickets Glen.

The bottom of the falls at Rickets Glen.

Shelby at Rickets Glen

Shelby at Rickets Glen

On a personal note, I received a promotion at work just before I got sick.  I am now

the  Continuous Improvement Manager at Zentis in Philadelphia.  My new role is to oversee projects in the plant, food safety and the health & safety of our employees.  Also, Shelby and I were able to enjoy a couple of days off before everything happened.  We went hiking at Ricketts Glen and spent a couple of days in NYC.  We were hoping to take a fall vacation but have had to put that on hold since I just missed 2 1/2 weeks of work.  Someday I’ll get to take her somewhere tropical! She definitely deserves it.

Category: My Fight
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