Autologous Stem Cell Transplants

Experiences of Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Patients

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Patient: Jacques Millette - from Fredricton, Canada (Fall, 2011)

Age: 63

Doc/Facility: Dr. Terrence Corneau - Saint John, New Brunswich, Canada


Wed, 05 Oct, 2011

Just wanted to update that I'm scheduled to see my doctor on October 20 to discuss where we go from here.

For more information on stem cell "giving" in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, on where it's happening and where I was, please check the website: I checked the site but I can't find my doctor's name. His name is Dr. Terrence Comeau.

Some numbers:

  • Born in 1948
  • Diagnosed in Nov. 2010
  • IGM on Sept. 27, 2010 was 4128 mg/dL
  • IGM on May 2, 2011 was 1940 mg/dL after 8 treatments of rituxan and cyclophosphamide
  • HGB has been slightly below the reference (lowest was 99 g/l back in Nov. 22, 2010)

Sat, 24 Sep, 2011

I just came on Sept. 22 from my stem cell harvesting. Four days in the hospital to get a count of 2 million which is what the doctor had ordered. Using apherisis it took four days of fours each. Pretty boring if you ask me. They gave me two units of blood transfusion (300ml each) after the stem cell collection was completed to compensate somewhat for the blood volume that was taken away during the harvesting and to give me some energy. I'm still feeling a bit weak. The remaining four neupogen shots were administered while I was in the hospital. I had no bone pain nor any other side effects.

My doctor says he's a hematologist transplanter. We still haven't decided on a day for the ASCT. I'm seeing him at the end of October to discuss where we go from here. I know it's a delicate procedure. There was mention of using Mozobil Stemgen at some point. Still to be confirmed.

Sun, 11 Sep, 2011

Here's what happened. The first day was spent receiving chemotherapy (etoposide) beginning at 11 AM and finishing at 7 PM. Two bags of 930 ml each were received and each bag contained 375 gms of the product. Saline solution was also administered concomitantly and after the treatment was over.

At the beginning of the administration my blood pressure was a bit low, but it recovered and remained stable. Blood pressure and vitals (temperature, pulse) were monitored throughout the procedure.

During that time a normal meal routine was followed and conversations with other patients were exchanged. It was a relaxed atmosphere.

During the second day, the same treatment regimen was followed but started earlier (9:25 AM). Etoposide was dispensed in the same quantity. Blood pressure was checked every hour. Liquid consumed and voided was measured to make sure that the kidneys were functioning normally. Saline solution was given as the previous day.

On the last day I was trained on how to inject myself with neupogen. Based on my weight I have to inject 2.6ml of neupogen in two doses (1ml and 1.6ml) everyday for ten days. I was very nervous during the training but "passed" with flying colours. The needle is very small and I don't have a problem with the injections. I keep track of my injection spots.

Next step: I'm going back to the hospital next Sunday for 4 days. More chemo to come before the stem cell harvesting. We still haven't discussed when the ASCT will take place. We'll see how I feel after the stem harvesting.

So far my side effects have been minor: nausea, a bit of indigestion and of course fatigue (i.e. out of breath after a quiet walk.

Mon, 05 Sep, 2011 I'm getting ready for tomorrow (Sept. 6) when I go to the hospital for the week to get my stem cells "in shape" so to speak. I will not have cytoxan infusions but etoposide infusion and then the neupogen shots start on Friday Sept. 9. The stem cell harvesting will only start on Sept. 18 or 19.

Information about Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia