Thank you for your support and for sharing this stage of Anu’s journey as she heals and rebuilds her immune system using her brother, Peder’s, blood stem cells. Some time ago she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called essential thrombocythemia, a condition in which DNA damage to developing stem cells in the bone marrow lead to increased production of platelets. A year and a half ago this condition developed into a new disorder called myelofibrosis where the improperly functioning blood stem cells release chemicals causing scar tissue formation in the bone marrow and reduced blood cell production. Concurrently, Anu’s spleen is also enlarged in an effort to compensate and maintain blood cell production. The only cure for this type of blood disorder is a stem cell transplant which is expected to halt the continuation of this disease, considerably repair the damaged/scarred bone marrow, and lay the groundwork for a well-functioning immune system.
July 19th – August 3rd – Pre-transplant evaluation including testing, lab work and clinic appointments and central venous line placement. Final preparations for upcoming procedure and after care. Harvesting of peripheral blood stem cells from Peter.
August 4th - August 9th Hospitalization at University of Washington Medical Center where Anu will receive high doses of chemotherapy to destroy the diseased blood cells and bone marrow essentially her remaining immune system to allow for growth of new bone marrow.
August 11th – Transplant Day or Day 0 in clinic terms - she will receive the gift of Peder’s blood stem cells. These infused stem cells will allow healthy blood cells to grow (called engraftment).
Anu is expected to be in the hospital for approximately a month following the transplant. She will then spend the next 3 months living in Seattle close to the clinic where she can be routinely monitored to make sure the new cells accommodate her system. In order to help this process she will be treated with immunosuppressive therapy till it is ascertained that the new stem cells accept their new accommodations in her system and don’t attack her (called graft vs. host disease – GVHD). She will be extremely susceptible to even minor infections at this time and the year ahead. Even a cold would be a challenge to her system. Please keep this in mind even when visiting with anyone who will be in contact with her.
If you would like to make a contribution to assist with the extensive costs incurred please use the following link at GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/vibrantanu
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