GvHD: Graft versus Host Disease

Mitch Schneider
November 16, 2019

I missed yesterday’s blog post and I’m manic! I didn’t want to, but by the time we returned home from the City of Hope, my tank was empty!

I’ve been fighting several symptoms and conditions that began to present approximately a month ago. They were getting worse and not better, which meant moving my Lab visit and doctor’s appointment to Friday afternoon, November 15, rather than waiting until Thursday of next week. It also meant being here at Zero:Dark:Thirty for an Endoscopy to see what was preventing me from swallowing.

We won’t know until the biopsy results are available, but there are two ulcerated sores present and it looks like it could be one of three things. The first is Graft versus Host Disease: my donor’s white cells attacking the cells in my body when they are recognized by the donor’s cells as non-self: not the same as those of the donor. It could be a viral infection, which would not be unexpected considering I am still 100% immunocompromised. Or, it could be both GvHD and a viral infection.

I’m not a doctor but I’m willing to bet the smart money is on both!

In all honesty, it makes no difference. I’m back on one of the same anti-rejection drugs I started with immediately after the transplant. I’m taking the anti-viral and anti-fungal drugs that I started taking as an inpatient with a little prednisone added to the mix just for good measure.

It makes no difference because this is just a bump in the road. A glitch. Something that would have been more extraordinary if it hadn’t materialized, than it is now that it has. Just another obstacle. Another challenge. Another opportunity to improvise, adjust and overcome!

Related Stories