Immune Ablation is what they call it at RUSH University Medical Center. I will be having it done sometime in May. I've already started protocol and have started all the inclusion testing.
Yes, I will lose my entire immune system, but the one I have now is telling some of my white blood cells to attack me. Once I'm "rebooted" all the mature white blood cells will be gone....my system wont know it's okay to have the MS white blood cells in it and it wont be producing them. I will take Copaxone for 6 months after the chemo, because it has been found that Copaxone has stopped the immune system from excepting MS in the white blood cells in the future. Will it? We are still in research study phase, bit I do know I am one attack away from a wheelchair, or one attack away from blindness, or one attack away from bed ridden.
We don't know what the next attack will do, or what it will take away from us. I am mobile now. I walk unassisted. I can't run and have spasticity in my legs. I have no vision problems, but my hands tremor and I have an over active bladder.
I have had 6 MS attacks since 2006 and have been on Avonex, IVIG, and Tysabri. I choose to try this study after researching and talking to several patients that have had it. I followed the last one all the way through it. Her name is Michelle Colledge and she was discharged just before Christmas. She's doing great and is one of my inspirations. I have a list of 10 others.
I want the chance to stop it...not slow it down and wonder what my next attack will do. Stop it!!! I am going in with a positive attitude and hoping this research helps others further along. It seems to offer the most before you reach SPMS. I am blogging it all, if you're interested, http://rebootingsteph.blogspot.com
There have to be those of us willing to put ourselves out there for the research to continue and the monster to be defeated. If I only have 5 years of freedom from MS...it will have been worth it to me. I hope it's worth more to the doctors that are figuring this all out for the rest of the MS patients.