I have been communicating with Asher nearly every day during his hospital stay in Heidelberg. I thought I'd provide a very brief update. . . . .
Things have not entirely proceeded in an "ideal" manner. All of his chemo & transplant went precisely as anticipated. However, today (Sunday) he is at day +18 post transplant and he is still in the hospital (I was discharged during my own HSCT procedure at day +13). Some explanation. . . . nearly everyone that undergoes this HSCT experiences an idopathic (cause unknown) fever that is is both common & usual. However, it is not common for the fever to extend beyond the engraftment day that shows rising immune cell counts. Asher had the absolute best possible immune cell count recovery starting on day +8 (my own recovery was day +9) and he was showing initial indications of a fantastic recovery. However, his idiopathic fever continued beyond his engraftment day which is quite unusual. The doctors don't risk the delay to try to identify the potential infection so they quickly transferred him to the ICU where he was pumped full of broad spectrum anti-infective agents to blast any possible infection that he might have had. After two days in ICU they released him back to his normal hospital ward room where he is today. He feels somewhat better but is still not 100% past the fluctuating body temperature levels. A specific infection has not been identified (and he might not even have an infection but instead his body might just be having a undesired reaction to the treatment regimen).
Asher's case is somewhat unusual for an HSCT patient but it highlights an important issue in that the treatment is a serious & complex procedure not to be taken lightly. The procedure should be performed at a proper hospital facility (such as Heidelberg where they are #1 in treatment with HSCT) so that any unexpected or unusual adverse reaction can be addressed immediately and competently. After my telephone discussion with Asher today he is definitely better than this past week and appears to be improving. It is expected that Asher will pull through this fine with little or no unexpected after-effects and is looking forward to hospital release as soon as possible (perhaps sometime later this week? Maybe, I hope.).
But to keep things in perspective, regardless of Asher's current experience, the excellent probability of his underlying MS disease process/progression is very likely completely 100% stopped. I am looking forward to his future report of his (likely) MS symptomatic improvement and that he has regained a better certainty of his (and his family's) future by stopping his MS disease progression.
I will update on Asher's progress when I learn about the next milestone:
http://themscure.blogspot.com/2011/06/p ... cohen.html
Asher, get well soon!!