Immune Failure

Just a short note today.  I had a successful trip to Las Vegas that I will write about in more depth later this week.  But I am afraid my immune system is still not up to deal with a planeload of strangers in the confines of a pressurized cabin.  And with layovers in Detroit and Cincinnati, I really had four separate flights.  I returned home feeling tired – not unusual.  Then the sneezing started, followed by coughing, accompanied by fever and that old muscle ache all over.  My new immune system is just five years old.  So I am like a kindergardener going off to school and catching every bug floating around.  Tish reminded me that this seems to happen every time I travel.  With our upcoming trip to Ireland I hope my body starts doing a better job.  And, oh yeah, since I had another viral infection just a few weeks ago, the old nagging anxieties about relapse pop up in the back of my mind.  But what can you do?


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.


Immune Failure — 2 Comments

  1. Sorry to hear that! I don’t know if that “Airborne” product works or not. I tried it on my last plane trip and didn’t catch anything. I think the key is to be well-rested before your trip and keep yourself hydrated. Most people don’t drink enough water while traveling. You could also talk to your dr. and see what they recommend to boost your immune system.

  2. Immune system depression is a difficult aspect of the continued trial of cancer survivorship for me as well. When I do catch something, it lingers so much longer, wipes me out more than ever before. I usually require treatment, although just a few years ago I almost never took antibiotics.

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