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.