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@loribmt Although I have not had an SCT, I find these discovered differences to be absolutely fascinating! Wow!

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Ginger, I remember my daughter’s words when I started undergoing all the treatment for AML and the SCT, “Mom, this would be an utterly fascinating scientific adventure if it wasn’t happening to you.”

Receiving someone else’s stem cells, which then set up housekeeping in the bone marrow of the recipient is truly incredible. The process is so involved, requiring significant matching of genetic biomarkers. In my case I had one person out of 20 million match me 10 for 10, which is a significant match for someone completely unrelated to me. It’s the best we could have hoped for.
A peripheral stem cell transplant (from donor blood) and a bone marrow transplant (marrow aspirated from donor) provide the same outcome. The newly transplanted cells, whether placed into the bone by injection or into the blood stream by transfusion all end up in the marrow, essentially transplanting the bone marrow. So, that’s why you’ll hear people say they’ve had a bone marrow transplant even if it was a stem cell transplant. They have new bone marrow either way. The procedure is different, the outcome is the goal.

My husband affectionately refers to me a little Frankenstein monster because I now have two sets of DNA, making me a Chimera. If you were to take a swab from the inside of my mouth, I’m still ‘me’. If doing a DNA sample from my blood, I am 100% my donors DNA and his blood type. Perfect scenario for a murder mystery! I thought it would make a great plot of a book, but it’s been done already. 😀

As you can imagine, there are some major adjustments when an entirely new blood type and immune system takes over the controls. With an organ transplant, the recipient takes meds so the new organ doesn’t get rejected by the body. With a SCT/BMT it’s the entire body of the recipient that can be rejected by the new immune system! So meds are a must until the two can learn to play together. Takes time!

Sorry! I could talk about Stem Cell/Bone Marrow transplants for hours. Two years ago I had no concept of the process. Now, it’s like learning a new language through immersion! I’m well versed. LOL.

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