It's A Mess: HSCT

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) -- I can't even pronounce the first word, so you can just call it a Hippopotamus Stem Cell Transplantation if that makes you happy. It kind of makes me happy.

Here's the thing -- I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going to try to give you a technical description of what an HSCT is. I'll tell you this -- the doctors take my own stem cells, clean them out, pump me full of chemo, and then give me my stem cells back. This resets my immune system, and hopefully makes my body forget about having MS.

It's kind of like when you go through a bad break up, so you start making out with a ton of people in hopes that you'll forget your ex. In this case, my ex is MS, and I'm trying to forget him, so I'm going to make out with a bunch of new stem cells. Fingers crossed I can get over him!!!

If you want to read a technical description, (which I highly recommend you do because it's actually amazing what doctors have figured out) check out my father's blog (try saying that five times fast)

 My summer is basically like a music festival that lasts the whole summer -- I take drugs everyday, I camp out (in the hospital), there's medical staff everywhere, I feel sick, and I'm exhausted. I'm not really seeing any differences from a music festival.

If you looked at the schedule, you noticed I've already completed three days of pre-transplant testing. These days consisted of MRIs, blood tests (I'm not pregnant in case anyone was worried), an EKG, a pulmonary function test (I had way too much fun during this one), X-rays, and meetings with my doctors.

You also probably noticed that I start "mobilization" tomorrow. I wish it meant the hospital is buying me a car or something, but no, it's my first day of chemo. (If the hospital is reading this right now, I would love a G Wagon)

"Are you scared?" I hear this question a lot when I tell people I'm starting chemo. I wouldn't use that word to describe how I'm feeling. I'm not scared -- just anxious to start and get it over with. Like I just want to lose my hair NOW instead of waiting two weeks for it to fall out. Does that make any sense? It's the anxiety of waiting. I'm in this GO, GO, GO mindset. I'm on a mission to finish treatment; I don't have time to be scared. Oh gosh, please don't call me brave after reading that last sentence. It's not brave, it's just how things have to be.


  1. Dear Ivy, I'm your great uncle Frank Dodini (that sounds really old!😁) I haven't had the pleasure of watching you grow up, but you are one beautiful, strong, and funny young lady! Wonderwoman's got nothing on you! It seems we are both charter members of the "life ain't fair" club. We lost our home in the Paradise Camp Fire last November. One thing I've learned from that is that family is more
    important than "stuff". I'm so glad you have such a supportive family around you.


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