The 'fun' can start!

Hello everyone! A little later message than planned due to some connection problems and feeling a bit less, but here is a new update! The first steps of stem cell treatment started on Saturday 15 February. During the video clip with the previous update (the conversation with the doctor) the different phases of the treatment are also briefly discussed, I am currently in the first phase, which is focused on stimulating the production of stem cells. This phase lasts a few days and I will briefly describe below what you saw yesterday (the first day):

8:30 am: take the first tablet, about half an hour before breakfast. This medication suppresses the nausea that often appears in the next step.

10 am: Arrival at the clinic. After arrival, I had to wait about 00 minutes for the nurse to connect the drip and start using the prednisone. The prednisone ensures that inflammatory activity that can be stimulated by the G-CSF is suppressed. The prednisone dose is infused into the bloodstream in about half an hour. Halfway through the dose you start to notice the side effects, the most striking of which is a very bad taste in your mouth. This taste is present throughout the day and cannot be drowned out very well. I myself have noticed that sweet things such as cola succeed reasonably well (at least for me).

see phase 1 outlined on the left, this usually runs from day 1 to day 5.

The second day of this treatment unfortunately all went a bit less, I had a fever in the night and therefore I vomited considerably. It is possible that this was a nasty reaction to the injection, but this is unlikely. We also spent the free moments outside the clinic and therefore also ate outside the clinic. It is more likely that I have incurred something there.
Fortunately, a great team is ready for you day and night, so they were there as well! With the help of some medication (also via drip) the fever had already dropped to a 37,5 at the beginning of the morning. Around 7 o'clock I was already neatly on the 36,9, really super arranged!

The night of setback did not influence the process, we are just on schedule! The rest of the days went very well again (with some extra medication to keep the stomach a bit calm).

Wat nu?
Today preparations have been made for the second phase, the harvesting of the stem cells that were created during the first phase. The harvesting of these stem cells is done by means of a kind of dialysis machine. As you can see in the photo below, a 'neck line' has been placed. This connection will remain in place in the coming days so that I can be connected to the dialysis machine. Through one tube (red) my blood goes from my body to the device. Here the stem cells are filtered out and then it is brought back into my bloodstream via the blue tube! This usually takes 2 or 2 days. The goal is to collect at least 3 million stem cells per kilo of body weight during this period.

Neckline for harvesting stem cells

To be honest, it is a bit uncomfortable, but I am convinced that I will get used to this tomorrow. The placement is done under local anesthesia. You can feel it, but it is not too bad, I expected worse. They also close the wound with a suture so that the neckline stays in place. After placement, an X-ray is also made to check whether it is positioned correctly, which was fortunately the case!

Finally, I want to say that in recent days I have also spoken a lot with other MS patients who are currently being treated. Everyone helps each other with questions and support, it is really a very close group from all over the world! For example, there are patients from Ireland, Canada, Australia, Germany and more countries. Super cool to see and everyone equally positive! The nice thing is that everyone is at a different point in the process, so you can reassure the people who have arrived later time than you and provide them with information and you in turn learn from the people who are already further in the process!

Soon another update, with a bit of luck tomorrow, after harvesting my first stem cells! If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask them! 🙂

See you soon,
Stephan

6 Responses to “The 'fun' can start!

  • Hi Stephan, here again a message from this side, now at this moment it is 1.00 o'clock at night with you.
    Today was the last day for harvesting your stem cells and tomorrow was a rest day and if necessary a 2nd neckline and if necessary the harvesting of stem cells.
    We follow you closely and are happy that there is another update, so thanks for that.
    A lot of strength, we are looking forward to the next update.
    A bitch and lots of love from it
    Henk and Lenie Bezuijen

    • GeertsenS
      1 maand ago

      ❤ thank you Henk and Lenie! Meanwhile half past six here, so the sister will come in soon. During yesterday's session, about half of the required stem cells were harvested, so another session today, 7% certainly the last! Thx for the dear ones and good luck wishes!
      Greetings, Stephan

    • Peter and Ina
      1 maand ago

      ❤❤

  • Hi Stephan, good luck tomorrow with the chemo. It will be a long day again, but luckily you are all very strong and find a lot of support together.
    Until the next up-date!
    white

    • GeertsenS
      1 maand ago

      Thank you for following and thank you for the sweet words Bianca! ❤

      Greetings, Stephan

  • Ina the Goods
    1 maand ago

    ❤❤

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