I went to shaare zedek today to get my Hickman catheter placed.
My daughter finally got to meet Dr. Rowe and she seemed to know all the minute details of the procedure. I’m very happy to have her here and now I have more information on what’s going to happen and when.
Tuesday I will have my stem cell numbers checked and then go to Haifa to get my stem cells collected from the Hickman catheter. It’s a process called pharesis; they hook me up to a machine that takes my blood (similar to donating blood), they filter out the stem cells (CD34 cells) and then put the rest of the blood back into me. Depending on how many cells I get I may need a second collection on Wednesday. Then the plan is to admit me on Wednesday evening and I start chemotherapy on Thursday.
The chemotherapy regimen is called BEAM. It’s 4 different types of chemotherapy given over 6 days. On the 7th day I rest (how biblical!) and then Thursday April 7th is known as day 0, my 2nd birthday!!! That’s when I get my new stem cells infused.
Every day after day 0 is referred to in positive numbers. (And hopefully the beginning of positive outcomes!) On days +1 and +2 I get ATG which is an antibody that targets human T cells, which are the immune cells that are the most responsible for the demyelination that occurs in MS.
Also I learned that I’ll be on antiviral and antifungal prophylaxis throughout the entire procedure. They don’t used antibacterials in the beginning but the minute I feel unwell or get a fever they will add them.
My neckis sore but tolerable.
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