HSCT…. My Next Step

What is HSCT?

Why Me?

What is the Treatment Process?

  1. Stems cells are taken from the blood after a small dose of chemo and other drugs to encourage the bone marrow to make more cells so they can be more easily extracted
  2. High dose chemotherapy is used to wipe out the immune system
  3. Meanwhile, the extracted stem cells are frozen for later use
  4. The stem cells are reintroduced into your body
  5. You are placed in isolation for 3–4 weeks to allow your new immune system to build and to protect you as much as possible from any risk of infection
  6. You will be followed up in order to monitor outcomes

Thoughts

How am I going to handle time away from my family?

How are the kids going to manage without me around?

Is it fair on my husband, who is going to have to do *everything* — with the house, kids and me — when I am back home recovering?

How am I going to cope with hair loss — a likely side-effect of the chemo?

How are my kids going to handle seeing me sick? I am already, but it will be much, much more obvious due to the fact that I will be in hospital and will have to recover at home.

Will it run smoothly? The mortality rate is currently at 0.3% and those of us with mobility problems are apparently more at risk of infection (according to the haematology nurse I spoke to).

Will it stop the MS in its tracks? If it does so, will this be permanent?

And, ultimately, this is what has made me decide. Because MS is a slow, insidious disease that has taken so much away from me… my mobility, my energy, my ability to be an active parent, an equal partner, my working life, my ability to dance, to run, my independence, spontaneity… and I would do anything, anything to try and stop it in its tracks. This is my anything.

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Jenny Clarkson

Jenny Clarkson

Diagnosed with a chronic illness (Multiple Sclerosis) at 15 years old. Now parent, blogger, SLT, healthy eater, self-help www.trippingthroughtreacle.com :)