My Autologous Stem Cell Transplant Journey - Mayo, Phoenix

Posted by jstpeachey @jstpeachey, Jul 24, 2023

First of all I have to give a huge shout out to my whole stem cell team. I can’t think them enough for making such a scary ordeal into something not so bad. It was scary to me cuz I have never been sick a day in my life and I’m 66 years old, diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma February 2023….happy birthday to me. Anyway, I started the transplant journey on July 10th, which started off with what I call the big chemo blast, got a day off then went in for the stem cell harvest. The worst part of that was having then put the catheter in my neck but luckily, they harvested what they needed on my first day, which usually takes at least 2-4 tries to get what they need for 2 transplants. Then starts my Day +1, I’m doing good and continue doing good throughout my whole so far +12 days is where I’m at today. The only side effect I have had from the chemo is diarrhea which in turn caused a few more uncomfortable issues but other than that and feeling tired, really my only complaints. This past Saturday I’m calling my bottom of all bottom days, I felt awful, no energy, but my numbers were all still and required 0 IVs, in fact I’ve only had to have 2 IVs thru this whole process. But they told me to prepare for a platelet transfusion tomorrow or the next day. Yesterday I woke up a different person, my old person, I really felt good, other then the fact of my hair starting to depart my body 😭😭. When they did my bloodwork, my regular labs came back pretty quick but it was taking forever for my platelets and neutrophils were lagging. Well, come to find out the lab was in awe they ran them a few times to make sure it was right, my platelets had come up on their own which is a real rarity evidently, they more then doubled. My nurse said she had never seen it.

That’s my journey so far in a nut shell, it’s been a long road, but at least not too bumpy. Looking forward to seeing this all in my rear view mirror. Those of you who are believers PRAY!! Keep a morecthen positive attitude, gather the biggest support group you can gather, prayer warriors, etc. you need as much good juju as you can get from everybody, not to mention an awesome care giver, hubby has been the best❤️ That’s what I owe my complete success rate so far to. Grant it, I’m not through it all yet but feel the roughest of roads are all behind me.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Blood Cancers & Disorders Support Group.

Thank you for sharing your experience, @jstpeachey! I’m so happy that you’re recovering quickly after the autologous stem cell transplant. You’ve definitely come through the worst and should be clear sailing ahead! With your great progress you’ll be heading home in a few weeks!
Your encouragement to keep a positive attitude was also the key to my survival too…still is. ☺️ Thank you again for sharing!

I’d like to invite @jiminmorris to read your story because his wife will be receving her autologous stem cell transplant soon at Mayo Rochester.

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It just got even better today, my DAY +12 my PICC line gone, my numbers just keep accelerating & I’m in grafting stages. Transplant is a success. I don’t go back in now til 7/31 unless something comes of of course. Feels so weird that I don’t go in there every day now, we won’t know what to do with ourselves. I asked if I could just come hang out, lol. Kicking it in the butt!!!

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God also saved me —from CNS lymphoma . I cleared bloodwork after stem cell transplant in 21 days. My doctor jokingly called me an overachiever. I’m a 4 year survivor!

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@jstpeachey

It just got even better today, my DAY +12 my PICC line gone, my numbers just keep accelerating & I’m in grafting stages. Transplant is a success. I don’t go back in now til 7/31 unless something comes of of course. Feels so weird that I don’t go in there every day now, we won’t know what to do with ourselves. I asked if I could just come hang out, lol. Kicking it in the butt!!!

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Congrats! My sister has MM and is going thru chemo & treatment now. She hasn’t been cleared for the stem cell transplant yet. She has echo on 8/4. She’ll probably hear in Sept/Oct if it’s a go. So far her treatment has gone well for her. Continued success to you!

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I am glad to hear you are doing so well. I am at the crossroads. I have biopsy next week after going through chemo 6 months/stages. My doctor is pro chemo for life/ maintenance. But I am thinking I should check on BMT . I live alone and while have friends and work family, I don't have help after such a radical procedure. I am wondering about how the transplant impacted you and did you have a lot of support people to make it happen?
Prandin blessings your way.

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@secglc2

God also saved me —from CNS lymphoma . I cleared bloodwork after stem cell transplant in 21 days. My doctor jokingly called me an overachiever. I’m a 4 year survivor!

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Haha!! That’s what they call me too, lol. That and here comes “VIPeachey”

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@secglc2

God also saved me —from CNS lymphoma . I cleared bloodwork after stem cell transplant in 21 days. My doctor jokingly called me an overachiever. I’m a 4 year survivor!

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And agree without God and all my prayers I would still be fighting

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@tlgreen12605

I am glad to hear you are doing so well. I am at the crossroads. I have biopsy next week after going through chemo 6 months/stages. My doctor is pro chemo for life/ maintenance. But I am thinking I should check on BMT . I live alone and while have friends and work family, I don't have help after such a radical procedure. I am wondering about how the transplant impacted you and did you have a lot of support people to make it happen?
Prandin blessings your way.

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Hi there, has your doctor never once mentioned stem cell transplant?? Where do you live?? Can you get second opinion. You only need one care giver. Even if you had to interview and hire one. I just don’t understand why pumping you full of chemicals is even a thing,

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@doreenseal

Congrats! My sister has MM and is going thru chemo & treatment now. She hasn’t been cleared for the stem cell transplant yet. She has echo on 8/4. She’ll probably hear in Sept/Oct if it’s a go. So far her treatment has gone well for her. Continued success to you!

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I wish her the best, my advice…..start building her support group now, don’t be ashamed to throw that “C word” sometimes you just have to. Attitude is the next thing, we’re all entitled to go thru that poor me stage and God why me!!! I was always taught not to ask why, so I haven’t, and I have since figured it out on my own. You quickly need to pick yourself up from the bootstraps and decide who’s gonna win this. I strongly believe these are the 3 biggest things in getting you thru. Luckily it was a shorter road for me. She’ll be fine if she can just stay strong and keep a great attitude.

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@jstpeachey

I wish her the best, my advice…..start building her support group now, don’t be ashamed to throw that “C word” sometimes you just have to. Attitude is the next thing, we’re all entitled to go thru that poor me stage and God why me!!! I was always taught not to ask why, so I haven’t, and I have since figured it out on my own. You quickly need to pick yourself up from the bootstraps and decide who’s gonna win this. I strongly believe these are the 3 biggest things in getting you thru. Luckily it was a shorter road for me. She’ll be fine if she can just stay strong and keep a great attitude.

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One tool we found very useful in building our support team was Caring Bridge. Most of those who have shown desire to support my wife follow our Caring Bridge daily.

As caregiver to my wife I can say it is nice to have backup caregivers to provide respite care when needed. Sometimes cancer seems to be harder on the caregivers than on the victims. We all need a break once in a while.

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