Archive | October, 2013

One Year Later

1 Oct

It is now one year since I arrived in Moscow and in two weeks it will be one year since my transplant.  I continue to heal and I thought it would be appropriate to make an update about how I am doing so far.

I think that, if HSCT was an advertised product, I would be the much lauded poster child.  My results have been phenomenal.  However, even as I celebrate my body’s incredible response, I know that others have not recovered as well as I have.  All patients who have gone after me have seen the ongoing progression of disease halt, though not all have seen a reversal of symptoms as significant as I have.  That’s the thing about poster kids – they have tiny print under their image that says, “Individual results may vary.”

If I compare myself to how I was doing this time last year, I could easily say that I am completely symptom free.  Though, if I compared myself to a body that had never experienced MS, I would notice a handful of symptoms.  This does not disappoint me in the least, but I want to post about these lingering symptoms to keep future patients aware of what they might expect.

  • I still experience weakness in my legs, the left leg in particular.  I can easily jog up and down stairs most days, but there are still days when I find that I must grip the rail and take it easy.  A recent cold made this symptom more pronounced.
  • I no longer have painful tics in my face.  I experience occasional twinges that feel like a tic is threatening, but they are short lived and never reach the level they once did.  I am able to continue talking, eating, or whatever without fear that they will escalate.  I am hopeful that the twinges diminish with time.
  • The tight band of the MS hug is gone completely, but I do still have days when the pain of the spasms is on the same level as it was pre-transplant.  I am able to work through it and it is not as uncomfortable without the added stress of the hug sensation.
  • My cognitive thinking is completely healed.  I no longer have a confusing fog that over whelms me.  I know this post was supposed to be about symptoms I still have, but I had to sneak in a symptom I DON’T have.
  • My left arm is still weaker than my right arm.  It is significantly stronger than before, though it does still fail me from time to time, some days more than others.
  • I do still experience a certain amount of bladder issues.  These are not as significant as before, though it still continues and I had to report

There.  That’s all the lingering MS I can think to tell you about.  While some days are more “MS-y” than others, I am still far better than I was last year and cannot complain about my results.

I continue to thank God for all of you, for this opportunity, for the good people of Russia, and for the work before us all.  Thank you for being such a big part of my healing – for your financial support, your prayers, your check ins, your patience with me as I heal, and for your love.  I am honored to be a vessel of so much glory.  My cup overflows.  I love you all.  Mean it.