Saturday, February 20, 2010

Post 21 - Twenty-two weeks after treatment

Time really does fly! I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last entry and 22 weeks since my stem cell treatment at the XCell Center. I guess the rapid passing of time is a good thing because it means I’m staying active and involved instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

The little improvements keep coming. The orthostatic hypotension (lightheadedness upon standing) has really lessened, as has the former big drop in blood pressure after standing. My pressure used to regularly drop 30 or more points where now it’s a 20 point average drop or less. Afternoon fatigue is also a bit less frequent - don’t need to take a nap every day. If I could only sleep a little longer at night, I think the energy level would really improve (I’m averaging 5-6 hours each night). Happily, my voice remains strong – got thru another 4- hour teaching session this week with no problem. Gait is no worse – still need a cane to guard against falls.

I’m pleased with what can best be described a “modest” improvement in my overall condition since the treatment. No spectacular change – just a general feeling that perhaps the stem cells are finally taking hold. Four more weeks until I reach the six month mark.

Hopefully, more progress to report in two weeks.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Post 20 - Twenty weeks after treatment

It’s February 6, 2010 – almost five-months since my stem cell therapy at the XCell Center.

Back when I started this blog in August of 2009, I hoped by now I’d be reporting a marked improvement in my overall condition. To be honest, I can’t make that definite of a claim. I can, however, report that my current MSA status has not worsened over these past months and, in fact, some small, positive steps have been observed. First, the urgency/frequency situation has improved – not as many visits to the restroom. And second, as I reported in a previous entry, my once weak and strained voice has returned to almost normal. Otherwise, everything is about the same.

Is it time yet to pronounce whether the stem cell therapy has been a success or a waste of time and money? No – not yet. I plan to wait the full six months (mid-March) before trying to sum it all up.

On another note, I was sorry to read Vic’s entry on the Shy-Drager Support Group website noting that his wife Wanda’s condition has deteriorated in the six months since her XCell treatment. I agree with Vic’s concern that XCell has not followed up or made any contact since the treatment. Aside from an electronic Christmas card – I haven’t heard from them either. By their silence, one is forced to conclude the overall, cumulative findings may not be favorable. Since they make a point of stating that any results may take up to six months to appear – there should definitely be a six-month status check with each patient.

More in a couple of weeks.