Verfasst von: melscholz | 9. Mai 2012

The next big step is done

Sonja already mentioned it in her German contribution – not enough stem cells to trump the other two MS-keteers, but absolutely all we need for our purposes (which of course are much more noble than comparing numbers!)

Dr. Nadir and Samira went over the results with us today – 1.2 million stem cells per kilogram body weight were collected. (Editor’s note 2 mil. stem cells are needed in some cases but in my case, 1 million is plenty) We are right on schedule and everything is going according to plan.

With me freshly showered and on an empty stomach, Sonja and I were at the clinic at 7 for the bone marrow aspiration (which I will now abbreviate…BMA) Bone marrow is removed with a large syringe und anaesthesia. Plenty f people assured me beforehand that it’s no big deal, but I admit I was anxios and nervous because I hate giving up control and that is obviously what has to happen with anaesthesia.

However, with Eric Clapton blues in the background and caring, competent people around me it went fine. Counting backwars from a hundred? I didn’t even make it to 98! 20 minutes later I was gently woken and that was it -all over, all easy. So just in case you know someone who is up for a BMA, you can tell them: No big deal. Sounds worse than it is.

And now a few words about the reason for the BMA. There is a second kind of stem cells, called mesenchymal stromal cells -MSCs, which don’t let themselves be tricked into entering the blood and therefore must be collected directly from the bone marrow.MSCs are special because they can be cultured and differentiated. For MS in particular that means that MSCs can be directed to repair and/or replace damaged nerve cells which cannot regenerate even after HSCT. The science behind this is not 100% ready yet but Professor Slavin and his team are making progress by leaps and bounds.  I decided to have MSCs extracted now, put in Professor Slavin’s deep freeze and then in 1,2 maybe 3 years, then can be thawed, cultured and reinfused to (hopefully) help repair whatever nerve damage still exists after finishing and recovering from HSCT.

That was a lengthy explanation but I thought it might be interesting.

The anaesthesia did leave me groggy so I spent most fo the day dosing and reading. Later on , I did stir my stumps and get out for a short walk and some fresh air as well as a trip to the supermarket. Tonight’s dinner will be big fat steaks -to replace some of that bone marrow 😉

Sonja really worked „overtime“ today – helping me deal with my inner stress and making me feel so much better. I’m glad she was able to hop on a bike and go for a ride to the beach to stretch he legs and get some fresh air!

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