Good news this week! I got word that my stem cell transplant has been approved by the insurance company. Not that I was ever in doubt that it would be, but it is always nice when one more hurdle is overcome. My stem cell transplant will be an autologous transplant which means they will be harvesting my own stem cells. It is the kind of transplant most commonly done for patients with multiple myeloma and has the least complications.
I'm about halfway through my chemotherapy treatments so the transplant will be here before I know it--most likely just after the first of the year. The hospital has already provided me with an extensive binder about the transplant, containing information on what to expect before, during, and after the process. I've skimmed through it and am impressed with the information provided. It looks like there is a pre-transplant period of 4 weeks when I am prepped for the transplant followed by a hospital stay of 2-3 weeks for the actual procedure. From what I understand they like to harvest approximately 40-50 million stem cells, enough for up to 5 transplants. Technology is certainly amazing!
It's probably time to dig into the binder in a little more detail in case there are any issues to discuss. High on my list is a room with a view of Lake Michigan while I am in the hospital. What better way to take my mind off this process. If you have any other suggestions on how to pass the time, please send them along.
The stem cell transplant is the key to my treatment. If all goes well, the cancer should go into remission following this procedure and I can get on to leading "a long and productive life" per the doctors. My guess is that it is probably the most grueling part of the treatment as well. I know the heaviest doses of chemo are administered prior to the actual transplant. I've learned to take this challenge one day at a time so I guess I will tackle the transplant when the time comes. I'll keep you posted as that day approaches.