Sunday, April 06, 2008

My Immune System Confronts a Virus

After a stem cell transplant, it's a little scary to run into a familiar old enemy
by Jason Carpenter

As I reached Day 21 of my stem cell transplant, my recovery hit a very scary wall. I woke up with a fever of 102 and could barely lift my head off my pillow. I felt that little tingle in the back of my throat and knew right away what it was: the common cold.

For a stem-cell-transplant patient, though, a cold is anything but common. Quoth the International Myeloma Foundation: “Even a minor infection...can lead to serious problems because the body’s immune system is so weakened by the effects of the high-dose chemotherapy and the loss of blood cells.”

Translation: I could die. Continue reading »

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