This is MY journey with MS! I give you my thoughts, feelings, hopes, and prayers. My wish that one day this disease will come to an end. That one day there will be a cure. For now, I hold on to possibility. I HOPE this will help and inspire not only myself but others.
 
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Halt MS.....

HALT MS! Sounds nice doen't it??? Well here is what I know so far.....

I am now officially in phase 3 of the HALT MS Study. I had my screening appointment yesterday and well here is what I have learned/have to look forward to, etc. There are several phases of the study, which is really for my own benefit so that we can all be sure that I am going to be a good candidate. So, here is how this works....

The first phase was going through all of my medical records to make sure I am a good candidate and they feel I am. My appointment yesterday was phase 2 and the study neurologist believes this is gonna be a good thing, I agree! Phase 3 is the review board and he is pretty sure that won't be a problem seeing just how thorough they went through my records to begin with. Phase 4 will bring getting the insurance company on boardm which can sometimes be tricky. I am hopeful that it won't be too difficult with my insurance because I have gone through all the FDA approved meds that I qualify to take and they have already transplanted people who have my same insurance.

Phase 5 is the real determining factor. This is where they test you for everything under the sun to make sure your body can handle the transplant. Everything from bone marrow, to another spinal tap, to blood tests, lung tests and more. The point being if I happen to be a carrier of JC virus or EBV or something like that there could be a complication and then I would not be a good candidate....so hopefully that will all go smooth and it will be a go. Time will only tell.

If that does go well though (should take about 2-3 days) then the next week they start to harvest the stem cells. This process takes about 4-5 days and then you go into the hospital to start the chemo (kill off the diseased immune system), transplant the stem cells back into the body (create the new immune system) and wait until the blood counts go back to normal. A process that takes on average 10-14 days but in some has been as much as 21 days (in the Phase I trail). Anyway you look at it I just may be transplanted and on my way to remission by the end of the summer! I can't wait.

As usual I will keep you all updated on how things are going. As much as I am hoping and praying for a smooth ride through this process, if nothing else maybe this account will help the next person who is deciding if this is right for them. Of course as always it is a personal choice what treatment we pick for ourselves and no two MS patient seems to react the same, so remember there are lots of options available and it's always best to talk to your doc and make an informed decision on how to best treat your MS. I wish you all the best and hope you are all well. :)

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I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, have been through all of the FDA approved treatments I qualify for and now am participating in the HALT MS Study. This is my story...my life with MS (among other things).

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