Ask Caroline, a Macmillan Nurse working with people who have Leukaemia, Myelodysplasia...
Jane is a haematology nurse with extensive experience in stem cell and bone marrow...
I've never really been on this site before but the past few weeks I've lived on it!!
My MIL has terminal cancer and it has now spread to her Bone Marrow and the Dr has suggested SCT for her but I can't find anything online about the success of this with a patient who already has TC.
My MIL is a strong lady but the past few weeks she has had to have at least 1/2 bags of blood a day and a bag of platelets too, her readings aren't going above 8 (not too sure what this refers to) and her heart rate is over 100, she is clammy all the time and gets out of breath at the smallest movements like getting up or going to the loo.
She has been in hospital for 3 weeks now and had to beg to come home to sort some stuff out, her Dr asked for her to sign a DNR as she is prone to a heart attack at any time and internal bleeding too.
All I'm really asking is for some information/advice on what to expect in the next few months in regards to treatment and how my MIL will be before/during/after treatment.
Thanks in advance xx
welcome to the stem cell transplant forum although of course sorry to hear about your mother in law and why you have joined.
You haven’t said what sort of cancer your mother in law has which may be useful as stem cell transplants can be given for different types of cancer.
I had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and had an allo transplant (from a donor) which was six years ago. The treatment for a SCT can be tough but it is doable and by the sounds of things your mother in law is a fighter.
if you could let us know what sort of cancer your mother in law has then I am sure as a forum we can offer you lots of support and information to help you and your mother in law.
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It's Bone Marrow Cancer - that's all I know at the minute, this was confirmed today by her Dr.
She still has tumours in her spine, liver and spleen, it started off as breast cancer 9 years ago,
Hi sorry to hear this,
hopefully the doctor will be able to tell you the type of bone marrow cancer your mother in law has as there are a few types..
There is information here that Macmillan provide for stem cell transplants which may be a good place to start..
With regards to what to expect that will depend on the timeframe that they are looking to do the SCT and also the time it takes to find a match on the donor register if they are looking at an allogenic transplant (cells from someone else) or an auto SCT (using your own cells).
Have they said which sort of SCT your mother will need?
In short there is a period of conditioning to remove the bodies own bone marrow cells and immune system followed by giving the stem cells which then provide healthy cells to form new marrow and production of healthy blood cells.
Following that it is hoping the new marrow and cells do what they should and also keeping a close eye in the way the cells interact with your body if it is an allogenic transplant, as you then have a new immune system from someone else..
it takes time but assuming it all goes well the results are very good.
A second welcome to our corner of the Online Community.
I am so sorry to hear about your mother in law, this is such a hard time for all the family.
Like Paul, I have been through Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) - in fact I had two using Stem Cells from my Brother.
Has her team given any indication as to what type of SCT she would aim for? There are two basic types, an Auto SCT where they get your MIL in remission and harvest her own cell, use more chemo to kill her Bone Marrow and give her clean cells back to regrow a new Bone Marrow, or an Allo SCT where the Stem Cells come from a marched Donor? There occasions that Bone Marrow is used instead of Stem Cells.
As Paul has said, the SCT journey can be rather rough on the person as the chemo used can often be very strong..... but do-able.
The one thing to get clear information on is the risk against quality of life as the post SCT journey can be long and hard work.
You may want to post a question to Jane, our Nurse who has experience in Stem Cell Transplant and post SCT aftercare.
Keep posting as we will do our best to help you out.
Mike - Thehighlander
It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela
I'm really sorry, my husband got it wrong, my MIL is actually going to be given Hormone replacement instead. How he got it so wrong is beyond me!! But how does this help with the cancer and the terminal illness? I'm so confused as to what's going on and what can happen on it. Is it prolonging or maintaining or making her more comfortable?
All the best to her as her treatment moves on and I do wish her and the family all the best.
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