Dear Immune System: I am Sorry but it’s Time to Let You Go.

By Jimmy Huston — 09/11/2014

We have had some good times together over the past 41 years, but now what you are doing to me is not acceptable.  We did fight off the chicken pox, some sore throats along the way and even hepatitis in college.  However from the best guess we can make around 8 years ago something went terribly wrong and you started attacking me.  I knew something was not right, and went to the doctor only to be misdiagnosed for a number of years.

Now we know the problem, and are going to put an end to it for good.  I know as I go through this there will be terrible times and I will feel miserable.  Each time I reach that point however, I will be smiling inside, knowing it’s directed at you and your time with me is extremely limited.  Enjoy your last couple of days as these doctors drop a nuclear bomb on you. You took precious time away from my family and even knocked me off the golf course! I will be extremely happy once you’re gone.

Blogmaster’s note:

Jimmy has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is undergoing stem cell replacement/transplantation at Northwestern Hospital in a procedure known as hemotopoietic stem cell transplant — or HSCT. Per a National Multiple Sclerosis Society web article, “Stem Cells in MS,” this procedure will hopefully result in “rebooting” the immune system.

The article explains: “In HSCT, these stem cells (derived from a person’s own bone marrow or blood) are stored, and the rest of the individual’s immune cells are depleted by chemotherapy or radiation or both. Then the stored stem cells are reintroduced usually by infusion into the vein. The new stem cells migrate to the bone marrow and over time produce new cells. Eventually they repopulate the body with immune cells. The goal of this currently experimental procedure is that the new immune cells will no longer attack myelin or other brain tissue, providing the person, what is hoped to be, a completely new immune system.”

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