Last week I scheduled my stem cell transplant (SCT) for January 6th, 2014. I am very fortunate I was able to put this off until next year as I have mentioned time and again I am extremely busy with work through year end.
I was hoping to avoid transplant altogether as some schools of thought suggest treating Multiple Myeloma as a “chronic” disease and maintaining quality of life – BUT – as Dr. J says – we want QUANTITY of life as well. QUANTITY is important when you are 46 years young!
The fact that I have “high risk” Myeloma (17p deletion) plays a role in this decision as well. Hopefully the SCT will buy me a few good years because there are great articles I am reading about immunotherapy developments that could someday lead to a cure. With 17p we know that Myeloma, once/if gone, will come back quicker and stronger so this procedure, which I once hoped to avoid, is one that I am looking very much forward to. It gives me a chance – for however long – to hit the reset button.
Here is a link to a study on the overall survival rate of Myeloma patients with SCT and chemo vs. those with chemo only:
In the study, complete remission increased from 26% to a little over 70% with SCT. Five year overall survival was a little over 52%. I am confident that if I get five years out of my SCT someone, somewhere will find a cure.
SO – January 6th I will be at Hackensack University Medical Center for a procedure I once dreaded but now look forward to. As I tweeted out yesterday, I think the best part of the deal is that I probably get to hang out in sweat pants for a few weeks!
It’s a great day to fight Cancer!