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stem cell transplant

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2011

Hi my name is Katie. One of my closest friends has been diagnosed with leukemia. She had lymphoma and actaully was in remission for a very short time before her leukimia was discovered. A stem cell transplant is an option she may have to take and is super scared about it. Her doctor offered her some insight about it but wasnt very compassionate when doing so and I think it scared her even more. Does anybody know much about it or has endured it themselves?......I know she would feel alot better if she got to talk to somebody who knows first hand..........katie

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2011

hi, katie...my brother is facing a stem cell transplant, as he has lymphoma from CLL leukemia. He's in his late 40s and has no other medical problems, so he's a good candidate. The doctors began talking to him about a transplant approx. 4 years ago, but at that time he was responding well to chemo and it seemed unnecessarily risky. Now it's 4 years later, he's ill all the time, altho he still goes to work, and aggressive chemo is getting more aggressive. We know a lot more about the stem cell transplant process and I kind of wish now we'd done it when he was having good results from the chemo. Because he's so ill now, I feel if he just gets cleaned up enough to be able to do the stem cell, he'll be OK. It's really difficult to see him so ill, but there's nothing to be done. The doctor who first spoke to us about stem cell kept emphasizing "or, you could die", which was just not the way to sell the procedure. Now we understand he could die with or without the procedure...at least having the procedure gives him an option. Have your friend investigate it, if possible hook up with Gilda's Club or something like that so that they can have a big picture understanding of the process. That's about all I can say. Good Luck...it's very hard, isn't it? meg

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Katie,
Sorry to hear the news about your friend. By way of introduction, I am a 70 year old male diagnosed with M2 AML. Had successful induction and consolidation treatments and was faced with the decision to have a SCT or go with chemo. Decision was made more difficult with my age, above 60, and at that age treatment has a greater negative outcome. However, I spent close to a month researching the decision, finding out everything I could from good web sites, and read a lot of medical journals on the subject. Also had a long thread on "Dailystrength to get the opinions of others who either are facing that decision or have gone one way or the other. In my case, decided that quality of life more important the the length of survival so went with chemo. Very Important - that decision was based on my age and percentages of 2 year survival rates which are FAR different for those under sixty. Are there risk - yes. Is it a battle, sure is. However with medical advances in this field, improvements are made every year.

It is a big decision, and there are many factors that go into making that decision. Of course, by now that decision might have been made. Can it be a rough trip having a SCT, yes, both with the transplant and Graft vs Host Disease (GvHD) that follows the transplant. However, the alternative isn't too attractive either. Most likely I will relapse within a couple of years,based on my age, and at that time will face the decision again if it is still an option.

Keep the faith,

rubberduck's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2011

I am a 33 yr old ALL survivor and am not yet one year out from my 2nd stem cell transplant. It is a difficult process, mostly getting prepped. The actual transplant itself is as easy as getting a blood transfusion. The preparation though the chemo and radiation and scrubbing your system clean to receive the new cells, that's the hard part. It is a lot less scary when you know what to expect. Feel free to ask questions I'll answer any I can.

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2011

Whoa a second stem cell now that scary how come?? And i just had my first now i feel so insecure and scared by thinking this will not work but ama stay positive and believe in god that this nightmare is over. Well im glad u have been a strong survivor.

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2011

Well i just had my transplant in oct 5: 11 i wus there@ the hospital for 30 days now im finally home. The whole transplant process is sorda hard they give you strong chemo to kill all your cells in order for ur donor to enter ur bone merrow it wasnt that bad when i had the transplant after it u feel sick a little like fatigue, loosing appetite and taste and feeln down but im coping and trying to be patient because after the transplant your at risk of any infection and you have to take care yourself other then that with eating and vitamins you can recover fast after the transplant good luck with ur friend if anything u could ask me:) and stay positive!!

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