As of May 6,2008 I will be at JHH for the HiCy treatment for MS.
My intention is to try and keep those interested informed of the procedure and my experience with the procedure.
At 7:15 am I went to JHH The email that I received prior to leaving Chicago was detailed and gave step by step instructions. First I signed in and was issued an orange card which one sweeps at specific stations. This tracks you through your appointments. My next appointment, at 8:00 am, was for a blood draw. They were on time. The blood draw was easy and took about 20 minutes. My next appointment was at 9:00 am with Dr. Brodsky. He explained the pros and cons and answered any questions. He spent as much time with me as was needed. He was easy to talk with and explained in detail any issue or question that was presented.
End of day one.
Today, day two of the procedure, I had two appointments. The orange card is swiped and a printout reminds you of what to do and when. My first appointment was with Dr. Hesdorffer. He is knowledgeable, warm and friendly. He answered all of my questions and added details and facts that apply only to MS patients taking cytoxan. He indicated for MS patients, for most of us, that the body responds quickly to the drug and reboots itself as per the information that all MS patients received. That was reassuring to hear.
My next appointment was at in patient out patient services (IPOP). Some information, wipes, and informational papers were given and gone over with me. However, while waiting to be called, Melissa was sitting next to me. I met Jamie as well. They are doing very well. She indicated that she feels things are on schedule and so far it is not that bad nor has she been that cytoxan sick.
Tomorrow I get the port and well be admitted for the first cytoxan infusion.
I will update after I return from the hospital.
I am back from the chemo treatment.
Thursday the line was put in. That was easily tolerated for me.
Thursday night was first dose of chemo.
All went well.
Same for Fri.. Sat., and Sun. Each dose takes about one hour.
Other drugs were given as well as hydration.
Blood and vital signs were taken often.
They weight you as well to make sure what is going in comes out
Staff was great. Everyone in the hospital was pleasant.
I was discharged Sunday at 6:15 pm.
I have prescriptions to fill and an appointment at IPOP at 11:00 am. today.
I tolerated the chemo with very few side effects. A very little nausea and loss of desire for food. Nothing else.
I returned from my first IPOP appointment.
Meet with a nurse she took my vitals, weight and drew blood.
At that point you have to wait for the blood test results.
Then you meet with your nurse coordinator. Then she writes any new prescriptions that are needed.
The entire process took about two hours.
Tomorrow I have the day off. My next appointment is on Wednesday.
At this point I have 24 hours left before the chemo drug is out of my system.
There is no improvement in my MS symptoms. Just wanted to let you know because that is what everyone wants to hear about.
I went to IPOP today. I had my weight, vitals and blood draw. My numbers that the nurse tracks are slowly falling. That is a good thing.
Some of my meds were adjusted.
Some of my MS symptoms are lessening but that happened on a daily basis before the HiCy. I will wait and see if this is temporary or permanent. My energy level is good and food is something that is still not very appealing., I have Thursday off, so on Friday they will decide what to do next based on my numbers.
Today, I returned to IPOP. They take blood, vitals and weight. Based on the results of my blood work I am ready for the next step. Tomorrow, Saturday, I return for a new drug that everyone takes. It is give through one of the ports to begin rebooting the immune system. Based on numbers 2 drugs for infection were removed and replaced with 1.
I have been going to IPOP every other day. Beginning tomorrow I will be going in every day for a while.
My hands still have tingling and pins and needles feelings. My gait and balance at time show improvement. However, they then return to their pre treatment level.
Today I went in for my first infusion to reboot my system. My blood work showed that my immune levels are significantly depressed
I was infused for 30 minutes with medication. My blood work indicated everything is where it needs to be at this point in the treatment plan.
I return to IPOP tomorrow for the same treatment.
The last two days have been identical.
2 hours per day at IPOP.
They are watching my numbers and looking for my numbers to start going up. They do not expect my numbers to go up until the middle of next week.
MS is about the same. I get a small amount of relief at times but the MS feelings come roaring back.
5/ 20 - 21/08
I got the rebooting infusions both days. Yesterday my platelets were trailing down . Today when blood was taken it indicated that I needed an infusion of platelets. We will see what happens tomorrow.
5/22 - 23/08
I did receive the platelets and my counts jumped immediately. The next day the platelet numbers were still up. I am still getting the rebooting drug each time I have an appointment. The numbers have to make a u-turn and mine have not as yet. On 5/23/08 I got two units of blood due to the fact that my red counts were getting near their low levels. They had just done their matching and checked my blood type. So they had what I needed and gave me the blood.
My platelets and blood numbers are holding. My rebooting numbers have not made the u-turn as yet. So I return to IPOP tomorrow waiting for the numbers to jump. I have had 9 infusions so far. The nurse assured me that every one's numbers do make the jump. I have had some better balance and gait movement in the last two days.
I will check back in a few days.
Today at IPOP my rebooting numbers made the u-turn. They went from <50 to 190. All of my other numbers are stable.
Balance and gait are fairly good also.
My numbers continue to climb. They are stopping some of the meds.
So I expect that I will be finishing up shortly. I am not reporting numbers just progress. If anyone wants numbers let me know.
My numbers are all good. Most of my meds have been stopped. My port comes out tomorrow. I put a call into Dr. Kerr. Mindy gave me a script for my doctor back home for follow up blood work.
I had my port/hickman removed this morning. I chose to have it done without meds. It pinched but was painless. All I have is a small bandage over the cut until it heals up.
Chanell has offered to set up a site for me under www.davis.gotHiCy.com
, we think. It is not ready yet
Returned home Sunday night. I am tired. On Monday set up a doctors appointment for blood test , first one, on Friday. I am not on any meds at this time for the HiCy procedure.
If there are any questions I am not answering be sure to ask.
First blood test indicated platelet count mildly high and HGB mildly low. Everything else was in the normal range.
Second blood test show that the numbers are stable and holding.
My gait and balance are improving. However, from day to day there is some instability in both.
For those that are following HiCy :
I had my first appointment with Dr. Kerr and Dr. Hammond. My MRI is what they had hoped it would be. No changes; that apparently is what is expected at the 3 month anniversary. My symptoms continue to become weaker and then return. That is what is expected as well. They feel that I am on track for a recovery. The next 6 to 12 months should show recovery.