It’s been a month and a half since I went into the hospital.

I have stopped taking the Zyrtec, which was prescribed to abate possible reactions to the steroid and other medications. I’m also attempting to stop taking the Prilosec, which was for stomach/GI discomfort due to the Cyclosporine.

I am still taking the Cyclosporine, twice a day at a dosage level only recently pinpointed - after several trials at both higher and lower dosages. There is a specific level that my doctor would like to see in my blood – and for a few weeks we seemed to not be able to hit that target. I would take one dose and end up with nearly toxic levels in my blood, so then we’d drop that dose down and end up with levels that barely registered. Anyway, we eventually got it right – and I’m attempting to do it without the accompanying Prilosec (but not without the accompanying Nystatin). So far so good.

One thing I’ve learned about this whole process that I wasn’t prepared for is that it isn’t one furious sprinting battle that I’m fighting, but several much smaller long-term ones. And for me, that is harder. I’d rather attack like crazy and get it over with, but unfortunately that isn’t an option. I had prepared myself for some sort of immediate life or death struggle, thinking I had a form of cancer. When that didn’t happen – at least not in any obvious way – I started to let my guard down. That’s where the little things become even more dangerous. If I don’t take all of my prescriptions when I’m supposed to, or properly care for my PICC line, or keep visiting the Cancer Center 2 or 3 times a week for what has become my normal blood work/doctor visits – I could very well lose this battle. So for me, it is a struggle to remain focused. Especially considering I’m back at work now and most people I know there have moved on. I don't really look sick, and if I'm back at work then I must be cured, right? I am better than I was before I began treatment, but I can’t lose sight of the fact that I still have a long way to go. I can't let myself forget how serious this is.

I’ve also learned how much I value my family and friends. I thought I knew that before, but it’s different now. If I didn’t have the girlfriend, parents, brother, aunts & uncles, cousins, friends, boss, or co-workers that I do have, I’d be in a much worse place right now. Even my landlord sent me a get well card. I barely know my landlord. I can’t imagine dealing with this alone, and it hurts me to think that there are people out there who are forced to go it alone all the time.