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Apheresis!

Per a request from my father, I am going to do my best to include a link to definitions of medical terminology. I guess being someone who worked in the medical field as well as someone going through this process step by step (getting explanations that I don't know along the way) it had not occurred to me that you all may not know what certain things like G-CSF and/or Apheresis are. :)

Today was my second day of apheresis. Things seems to be going well. Yesterday went really well. They collected about 3.2 MILLION (that's right million) stem cells but usually only 1/2 of them are viable for transplant. In my case yesterdays collection brought forth 1.7 million viable stem cells. I have been told they need 2 million for transplant. The numbers are not in yet but we are hoping they got what they need. My nurse is supposed to call before he leaves tonight and let us know what the plan for tomorrow is.

Yesterday my calcium and potassium dropped a bit. They gave me supplements and my levels have stayed in the normal range since. I have been told it is not uncommon for the calcium levels to drop during aphereis because of the way the cells attach to the calcium in our bodies. :) My platelets however have dropped quite a bit (I think they said my level was like 60, anything below 50 and I would need a transfusion).

This morning I woke up moving much slower than I have been, a little weak....mainly fatigued. At breakfast this morning I had a mild swallowing problem which caused me to aspirate just a little....gave me quite the coughing spell, but that is typical. Basically the meds seem to be catching up with me and my MS is showing itself. They warned me that these meds can cause me to have a flare and although I don't think I am having a true flare, I do think my MS is reacting a bit. But, I have definitely had worse days with my MS and if this is the worse I get (through the apheresis and GCSF) that's fine by me. :)

At this point I really have no idea what the plan is. If they got enough stem cells then I think I will go to daily blood draws so the GCSF can wash out of my system. Before they can do the transplant my blood count needs to go back to normal. If they didn't get enough then I will need to go in for one more day of apheresis. If that happens they will surely need to do a transfusion. Otherwise, I was told my platelets should level out on their own. As soon as I know more, I will keep you updated. For now I think I am going to take it easy, relax....probably go to bed early. One thing I do have to say though....the Doctors, Nurses....all of the staff at the SCCA are WONDERFUL!!! I am in very good hands. :)

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your week. Until next time......

3 comments:

kmilyun said...

Still reading - great updates!

Hope your not having a true flare.

You are a trooper that is for sure :)

Jan

Jaime said...

Thanks for sharing!

Jaime said...

Thanks guys! Fortunately it was not a true flare....just what they said could happen with the G-CSF. I am doing quite well at the moment. :) I hope you are both well. Take care!


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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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