Chris' journey to end his multiple sclerosis by undergoing a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation at the Ottawa General Hosptial. This blog will show his entire treatment and all the highs and lows along the way.
Chris' progression over the last six months. Top left: Chris looking healthy at the beginning of
August. Top right: Chris not long after his first dose of Cyclophosphamide in October.
Bottom left: Chris one month post-transplant (January 13). Bottom right: Chris at his IVIG
transfusion (January 30).
Chris went in to have his IVIG yesterday. It was our first time in the Medical Day Care unit since he had his stem cell collection back in October. The IVIG is used to help immune recovery after a bone marrow transplant and can also help prevent infection. We were told that it isn't crucial, but when they started this study on MS patients ten years ago they incorporated IVIG transfusions into the protocol. Since they are trying to keep all of the MS patients on the same treatment plan, Chris will get these transfusions every month for likely the next six months. At the same time we were told that if we need to delay a transfusion because we are going away for a weekend or have important plans, it is not a big deal.
The first transfusion was a breeze for Chris. The only possible side effect was headaches and Chris didn't even get that. His only real complaint is that he is seriously getting sick of needles. Taking into account that Chris was getting two needles every hour for some days while in the hospital, we think that he may been poked over 500 times during this procedure. A consideration for anyone thinking about doing this procedure, be prepared to have a lot of needles.
A lot of the nurses that work in the Medical Day Care unit also work in the unit that Chris was admitted to (5 West). A bunch of the nurses recognized Chris and commented on how much better he was looking (we included some photos that show Chris' progression.) They also relived some of Chris' finer moments. I don't know how much Chris likes being referred to as the patient that had "those weird reactions to the drugs" and having some of the nurses joke about his drug induced escapades. I, however, enjoyed it thoroughly.