Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) Steps
Steps Completed to Date:
Once I found out that SCT could possibly help me lose my Scleroderma for good I…
- got a referral from my main Scleroderma Doc in Denver,
- did a phone interview with Carol at Northwestern Medical (NwM) and was asked to send paperwork on medical records for a paper review
- Sent paper and passed the paper review as a good potential for the still very experimental treatment,
- Flew to Chicago for a week of in person tests, procedures and meetings (tons of fun!)
- Accepted into the study and invited to become a stem cell transplant patient using my own stem cells
- Make plans to go to Chicago for the procedure in 2 steps:
My SCT will be in two very distinct parts.
Step 1 February
Monday – Thursday Feb 5-8, 2018 Go to Chicago for tests, appointments and final meeting with the SCT doctor, Dr. Burt. Also, must make sure I am any kind of illness, infection, cold or any sort of sickness free 100%
MOBILIZATION: Friday Feb 9th Get admitted to hospital overnight to receive a massive dose of chemo and stay until OK to leave the next day, Saturday Feb 10th
Saturday Feb 10th to Tuesday Feb 13th recover from the chemo.
Wednesday Feb 14th to Sunday Feb 19th Medication to build up the stem cells in my body
HARVEST stem cells on Monday Feb 20th – through vein in neck they will
- Take out some (not all) of my blood
- Separate out my stem cells
- Give me back my blood minus the stem cells
- Take my sweet precious stem cells and put them in a deep freeze until transplant day
- Let me go back home to Colorado to recover, rest and be good to myself
NOTE: The Chemo on Feb 9th is supposed to be strong enough to cause me to lose my hair. (I won’t freak if you won’t) but you are MOST welcome to send a hat my way
Betsy Craig c/o MenuTrinfo, LLC 155 N. College Ave. Suite 200, Ft Collins, CO 80524
Step 2 April
If fully healthy, no sore throat, no bugs, no sneezing, no colds, I am not sick in any way then…
Wednesday Thursday April 3rd Go to Chicago and acquire a PIC line for treatment.
Thursday April 4th (Day – 5) check into Northwestern Medical Center and begin the countdown to stem cell transplant with 5 days in a row of seriously nasty chemo. The point is to get my immune system to as close to zero as possible while still leaving a small amount in case for some reason my stem cells can’t be returned to me. (This is crazy highly unlikely)
Friday April 5 – Monday April 9 (Days – 4 to Day – 1) to get me close to zero on immune system.
TRANSPLANT DAY Tuesday April 10th I get my stem cells back.
Wednesday April 11th to April 25th or longer ?????
I get to start to rebuild my immune system making it strong enough to go home. Then when home I must rest, recover and not be anywhere near anyone who is in any way shape or form sick. This can cost me my life and where folks perish so no kidding.
Note: I am waiting through March because my doctor will not be in the US to do the second step in March, so I wait.
My stem cells can stay frozen and fine for a long time so 5+ weeks is no biggie
Yes, I am scared but as a recent angel used to say “My Faith Outweighs My Fear”.
No plants, flowers, raw veggies, fruit, no food un cooked, this is a seriously dangerous time.
When all is said and done I will no longer have the disease Scleroderma. That will also stop the damage to my heart and lungs Scleroderma is causing. My future will look so bright I will need to wear shades J No doubt.