Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Once again we're grateful as we compare this year's Christmas photo to the 2005 Christmas photo, taken not after we thought Denise would die. But she's alive and, considering the alternative, well. We've heard over & over that an infection of Valley Fever (especially when disseminated with meningitis) makes for a very slow recovery, and Denise is proof of that as she slowly progresses toward restoration of health. We mark her progress by comparing to the previous year as we evaluate & adjust for her fatigue, cardiac & neurological status, coordination, cognition, and the laundry list of organ and system functions (liver, kidney, digestive, vision, hearing, etc.). We went another year with CF titers for cocci at an undetectable level (so the voriconazole is doing a good job whereas the fluconazole wasn't effective) and therefore not need for a spinal tap, CT scan, liver biopsy, and all those other unpleasant procedures. The drawback of the voriconazole doing well at suppressing the cocci is that it does liver damage and increases likelihood of skin cancer. We've gotten used to not being alarmed when liver labs come back abnormal, but Denise had increased visits to the dermatologist this year to treat lesions that appeared precancerous (by freezing or using lotion) and get biopsies done. It's an adjustment for the family to do fun SoCal things, while trying to keep Denise out of the sun and/or covered up. I've sometimes thought that she should be a model for Coolibar and other makers of SPF clothing.
Next post probably won't be until after the 58th Annual Cocci Study Group this April in Phoenix.


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