On Tuesday May 17th, we had an apointment with the doctor specialist of transplant. She explained with a lot of details the process.
The first very good news she gave us was that they had found a 100% matching person! Yes! The drawback is that the process will be delayedd by a few weeks, but it is not a big deal!
The first day of hospitalization, a catheter is fixed on the chest. It will be used for all the injections, avoiding to destroy the veins. Then the chemotherapy starts. It lasts around 5/6 days. It is made to “clean up” the bone marrow: to remove the faulty stem cells. At the end of the process, the harshest part, I will be in “medullar aplasia”: no white blood cells, no red blood cells, no platelets. Transfusions and antibiotics will be needed!
Then the hematopoietic stem cells of the donor will be injected. The process is similar to a blood transfusion. The stem cells are cleaver enough, so that they will find their way to the bone marrow! Usually, they start to work after around 2 weeks, and the first blood cells produced are white blood cells. Daily blood analysis are used to follow the process…
In average, it take 6/8 weeks before the doctors give the green light: go home and be careful!
Of course, there will be “side effects” such as losing hairs, vomiting, etc… Very often, the “new hairs” are growing back with different characteristics. I am dreaming of red, curly hairs! Why not?
Once at home, it will not be the end of it. At the beginning, I will visit the day hospital twice a week (for one month); then it will be once a week (for one month), then not so often….up to the finish line when I will be free again and go visit my family and friends without restriction!
A last information: as the hospitalization will be delayed by a few weeks, I will have the pleasure to have a second chemotherapy with Vidaza. It will start on May 24th….
The statue at the top of this page is Saint Antoine!