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Stem cell transplant

carolp99
Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 2012

So scared about my appointment on Tuesday with my appt. with the specialists at the James Cancer Center. My family and close friends are pushing me to go ahead with the transplant,but it's the biggest decision I will ever make in my lifetime. As you can see it's very late, but blessed sleep just wont' come, mind is racing. While I don't want to disappoint my family I feel like I have to do what is best for me. I just wish that the odds were better about a remission. Also, I have to think about the financial aspect of it. My hope is that I can make it until next year when I will be 66 and retire with full medicare.
Has anyone decided not to go through with the transplant and what were your outcomes. I still feel that quality of life for me is very important. I have tried to tell my family that I certainly don't have a death wish, but I'm so scared that the cancer will come back way too soon.
So happy that I found this group and pour out my feelings and others that have faced this decision will understand my reservations.

Carol

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1971
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Carol. Sorry you are in such a state about this.
I can't respond to your question directly from experience but I
can offer my thoughts.

1. Get second or third opinons on this if you can.
2. Try not to worry about the financial aspect right now, focus
on your survival and quality of life in your decision. The financial
is going to be a headache regardless - unless you win the big lottery right?
3. They are constantly coming up with new treatments in research, etc. The longer
we are around, the better our chances of benefitting from that.
4. Regarding Medicare, you can apply for it now (you are at or over 64 years and 9 months).
If you have good insurance now, you may want to wait as you stated.

Below are a couple links from Social Security (you are probably already aware of these):

SS-Medicare

Retirement Planner: Applying for Medicare Only

I don't know if this helps you much and I'm not sure what I would decide in your
situation. I hope you got some rest/sleep and have a clearer perspective to help
you with your decision(s). I know this is difficult.

Sending you warm hugs and positive thoughts, Carol.

Jim

po18guy
Posts: 237
Joined: Nov 2011

The type or sub-type of lymphoma that you are fighting will determine whether or not an SCT (and which type of SCT) may help you. Autologous transplants have less risk, but may offer less of a chance for a durable remission, depending upon your type. Mini or full allogeneic transplants carry a greater risk, but can offer the greatest hope for a cure. Have you checked into clinical trials? A clinical trial helped me to avoid an auto transplant (which would not be a cure in my case), and I cannot have an allogeneic transplant, as no donor is available. Doctor advised me that the latest studies show that some of the new drugs ("novel agents") hold the promise of being a viable alternative to stem cell transplants. I have been in full response now for over 3 1/2 years on a formerly experimental drug. This has been an absolute blessing, as there is no chemotherapy combination that holds any hope of a cure - let alone a remission. We are in a very dynamic situation and hope is on the rise. Please consider seeking a second opinion from another doctor or cancer facility, as cancer treatment can be as much an art as a science.

vinny59's picture
vinny59
Posts: 1030
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Carol I agree with Jim, to get at least a second opinion. There are other treatments out there other then stem cell. Getting a couple of opinions is worth the hassle. Wishing you the best Vinny

carolp99
Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks everyone for your support and suggestions. I have my consultation this afternoon. Had a couple of sleepness nights, but after today I should know what options are opened to me. Will keep everyone posted.

Again thanks!
Carol

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