It has been three years since I was diagnosed with CLL. I often wonder in how far my health condition has deteriorated since then. The lab results are an important indicator, of course. But the strength (or weakness) of my immune system is equally important. In general, CLL patients whose immune system has become really weak suffer from pneumonia various times per year. Three times in twelve months and you are ready for serious treatment is something I hear from American patients quite often. Night sweats, yeast infections and inexplicable fevers are other indicators.
I have not had pneumonia in a long time now (and I cannot tell how grateful I am!), but many other respiratory diseases. Tonsilitis, sinusitis,…you name it – I have had them all several times in the last few months. My night sweats are coming and going – and so are my yeast infections.
On the whole though I feel surprisingly fine. One of the reasons is my lifestyle: I live in Southern Europe, where life takes places outdoors all year long. I don’t need to spend time in tramways or offices with many people as well as virus and bacteria. In our house, we do not have a central heating system installed. It is not necessary here.
When I go to Central or Northern Europe during the colder months, I get sick immediately. My lungs cannot stand the dry heated air indoor.
As leaving my home country in Central Europe and my diagnosis of CLL coincide more or less, I sometimes ask myself if my disease would be much more noticeable had I continued to live there.
I believe the Mediterranean climate is like a therapy for me. I have everything under the sun. And I feel extremely blessed! I still suffer from fatigue and I have not found a remedy against it yet, but I promise, I will!