Since 2014, I have had three stem cell treatments, each time hoping it would help fight off the progression of my multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. Because the procedures Ive undergone do not have a very long history of use or many studies to support them, Ive basically made myself a guinea pig by trying them.
So far, Ive experienced failure and success, but overall, the positives have been life-changing for me. I am continuing down this path of healing because there is currently no cure for MS, and now that Im 61, time is not on my side for a cure to be discovered!
In 2014, I had a procedure in which adult stem cells were isolated from my fat tissue, grown in a lab, and reinfused into my body. Initially I had great results, but they were short-lived, and within three months, all my MS symptoms had returned.
In 2018, I had a different type of procedure, in which 300 million stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissue were infused into my arm. I wrote about my experience in a blog just two months after that infusion. At the time, I was having a positive response, but I was also skeptical, since I had seen similar early improvements in 2014.
Two weeks after my 2018 treatment, my left-side drop foot was gone, I could jump off the floor, and I had regained some feeling in my left arm. But I needed to give this new stem cell treatment some more time before I could positively state that this one had worked. So I waited and kept working out in the gym as I have always done, pushing myself harder as time went by.
I found my body getting stronger and stronger as the months passed, and I even filmed myself squatting 500 pounds and posted it in our MS Fitness Challenge GYM Facebook group to show the community that I was not just imagining the results.
Months after the treatment, my left leg was almost as good as my right one, which has never been affected by MS, and my overall strength was increasing.
By the eighth month or so, I was running on the treadmill, and at approximately nine months post-infusion, I was jumping rope. I had not run or jumped rope in almost 14 years.
I was and am extremely happy with what my legs are now capable of, but I only got partial feeling back in my left arm and hand, and I want that back the same way I have my left leg back.
With that goal in mind, I reached out to the doctor who had performed my stem cell procedures and asked if I was eligible for more cells. I also asked if he thought more cells would bring back the feeling in my left arm and hand.
His response was that no one had predicted what results I would get from the 2018 treatment, and here I was running, jumping rope, and squatting like a champion. So we had nothing to lose by transfusing another 300 million cells into my body. We both thought that since my leg no longer needed the stem cells, maybe they would find their way to my arm!
Theoretically, stem cells go where theyre needed to repair the damage.It seemed worth a shot, so I booked my flight to the Cayman Islands for a January 2020 infusion. And now I am home.
Its only been a few weeks, but I can already feel hot and cold in my left hand, which I have not been able to do since 2006, when I was diagnosed.
Again, I am cautiously optimistic that I will get similar results in the areas I need them now. But only time will tell. All I can say is that this therapy has changed my life, and I am hopeful that an ongoing clinical trial of the stem cell treatment I received will provide evidence that it will also be helpful to others with MS.
Read the original:
My Third Stem Cell Treatment for MS - Everyday Health
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