HSCT – Day 4 – Pre-examination results

Today I had a meeting with Doctor Denis Fedorenko, who is the HSCT Hematologist at the A.A. Maximov Department of Hematology and Cellular Therapy, at Pirogov National Medical Surgical Center. This man is a god damn hero! He is sincerely the best, most loving Doctor I’ve ever encountered. And to have him as your doctor is a true pleasure.

The one and only Denis Fedorenko, picture stolen from kickinms.com

Now for the results. My health was, in general, good. I did have a slight increase in cholesterol (probably because of my previous keto diet), and they had also found a polyp in my gallbladder that they want me to keep an eye on. They encouraged me to do a yearly ultrasound checkup in my local Hospital, but I’m honestly thinking I want to come back to Moscow for everything health related. Norwegian public healthcare is actually quite bad, but I won’t get started on that in this post.

Regarding my MR images, they did, as expected, find many more lesions on the Russian MRI, compared to the Norwegian one. Dr. Fedorenko found 17 lesions in my brain, the same lesion in my neck (which is 22 mm in diameter btw), and several lesions in my spinal cord. If I remember correctly the Norwegian doctors found about 3-4 minor lesions in the brain, the same lesion in the neck, and none of the lesions in my spinal cord. Needless to say, I’m very disappointed with the Norwegian healthcare system. I will create a blog post comparing the images when I get them digitally from Dr. Fedorenko.

Because my health, in general, is good, I am now officially approved for HSCT treatment. To be precise it’s actually called aHSCT – which stands for Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. I will cover everything about aHSCT in another blog post, but I just want to clear up a common misconception. Most people just read the title and assume that stem cells are some kind of wonder “drug” that fixes the MS disease. This is not true.

The actual wonder drug is chemotherapy. It’s the chemo that kills all the immunecells with “bad programming”, which prevents them from replicating. And this is how you get rid of the disease. The stemcells are only used to speed up recovery after the chemo, so that the new immunecells can be created from healthy stemcells with no “DNA damage”. Oh and by the way, the “autologous” part in aHSCT means they are transplanting your own stem cells that they have harvested from your blood before chemo. So there is no risk with the stem cells being rejected by the body or anything like that.

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