Verfasst von: melscholz | 17. Mai 2012

Why wait?

This morning I had a good and thorough meeting with professor Slavin.

He answered questions that have come to mind since our first consultation on April 30th. But before I delve into that, I want to say that Prof. Slavin is a wonderful person, good listener, good explainer, excellent thinker -clear, precise and modest.

After all that praise, I’m sure his ears are ringing now. He deserves it!

One of my questions may be of interest to others as well:

Why are we taking a 10-day break between apheresis and the chemo?

Prior to apheresis, the stem cells are mobilized using the drug Neupogen (human growth factor) to leave the bone marrow (where they live in a basically dormant state), reproduce/divide and enter the blood stream, where they filtered out through apheresis.

However, not all blood stem cells are collected. Many remain in the body.

Chemotherapy attacks cells in the process of dividing, multiplying, growing. (That is why chemo helps fight tumors and why hair falls out -hair grows quickly.)

So that the chemotherapy kills as few of the stem cells (which are the „good guys“ as possible, we are giving them 10 days to settle down, wander back into the bone marrow and start to hibernate again.

That’s the best time to hit the lymphocytes (which have/carry the MS) with a dose (or two) of chemo -killing them and protecting the stem cells as much as possible.

Blood stem cells are an important factor in the speed of recovery. That is why it is important to treat the stem cells remaining in the body like raw eggs, so that they, together with the cryopreserved stem cells returned to my body on Day 0 can get back to work as quickly as possible -which means they produce lymphocytes that do not have MS.

So, that was a little „field trip“ into the scientific backgreound of what we are doing here.

Other than  that, it was a quiet day. Mother Mary and I took a taxi to Old Jaffa and had a look around.

Later, I met with the director of the bone marrow transplant division at the Ichilov hospital (next door). If I get a fever or infection after the chemo, I will be admitted to the hospital, so they can put me on an antibiotic drip and keep an eye on me 24 hrs a day.

The meeting today was to meet each other, record all pertinent data in the hospital’s system and get „pre-registered“ so that things will go quickly and smoothly if I do need to be admitted.

At the end of our meeting, the doctor and I said goodbye with a wink…

„It was nice to meet you and I hope I won’t see you again“ 😉

What could Mom possibly be wishing for on the Wishing Bridge in Jaffa?

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