“Of all the medical treatments that cause extreme pain and deadly risk in pursuit of a cure, few are more daunting than a bone-marrow or stem-cell transplant to treat leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases. Patients get high doses of chemotherapy and radiation to kill cancer cells; then healthy cells are administered intravenously in hopes of building a strong new immune system. Even when it works, patients can suffer terrible side effects, dangerous infections and long-term physical limitations.”
From The Wall Street Journal article:
Bigger roles For Chaplains on Patient Medical Teams
I knew a stem cell transplant would be daunting, but the strong language in this article would have really frightened me if I had read it before beginning my journey. Reading it after my transplant, I realize I got through it quite well with the only terribly miserable part being my bout with mucusitis. There were some other difficult times, but the 17 days in the hospital with mucusitis was truly awful. I am thankful I got through most of it without the worst side-effects. I strongly believe that the expert care I received from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington Medical Center doctors and the staff of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance made this happen. They are leaders in the field of stem cell transplants and on the cutting edge of medical research. I can't sing their praises loudly enough!