Tag Archives: ms warrior

100% Progression Free


That’s right! Last week, I had a triple MRI. All scans are and have been 100% stable since my HSCT in 2013. The last brain MRI I had was 2.5 years ago and the last MRI of my spine was over 7 years ago, just after transplant. I’m not gonna lie. I was nervous about the spine. Any symptoms of mine that have ebbed and flowed over the years have typically been rooted in my cervical or thoracic spinal lesions. Since my cranial surgery in January for trigeminal neuralgia, a bout of shingles and the flu that followed soon after, then COVID lockdown, I’ve been physically weaker than I’ve ever been. My core, my legs, my feet…all shot to hell! Who knew all the walking while shopping I do (DID pre-COVID) helped to maintain a much stronger me. Yes, I could be exercising more at home. Yes, I could be walking more…in my yard, but I haven’t. Now that I know my weakness isn’t from MS progression, I’ve got to get off my lazy ass and get to work! And binge-watching Netflix doesn’t count (bummer).ūüôĄ

I realize HSCT is not for everyone. But, it’s currently the most durable treatment to HALT (not just slow) the progression of MS (and other AID).

If you’re interested in more info, I’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction. If not, I wish you all the best in your MS journey. I’ll still be here cheering you on.

Much love and a happy dance,


PHOTO CREDIT: Amy Hedges Photography

I Want You to Know…

I Want You to Know…

It was an honor and a privilege to have been selected to co-host a live webinar with Dr. Denis Fedorenko, of the A.A. Maximov Department of Hematology and Cellular Therapy at Pirogov Medical Surgical Center in Moscow. At midnight, Moscow time (yes, that’s how he rolls), on Friday, June 22, 2018, Dr. Fedorenko answered many of the most-commonly-asked questions about HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation), how it works and why the non-myeloablative protocol he utilizes is considered the most effective treatment available to halt various autoimmune diseases. Below is a sampling of topics that were discussed, which included valuable information and advice for those considering HSCT as well as for veterans recovering from HSCT.

  • What is HSCT and how does it function to eradicate disease progression?
  • Who is the best candidate for HSCT?
  • What is the inclusion and exclusion criteria for acceptance to Pirogov?
  • What are the pros and cons of non-myeloablative vs. myeloablative protocol?
  • Relapse Rates
  • Pregnancy after transplantation
  • Rituximab vs. ATG in protocol
  • How to know if you may be a non-responder following transplant
  • The recovery rollercoaster
  • Safety precautions after transplant
  • How a positive attitude contributes to a more cohesive experience during and after transplant

If you ever wanted to know more about HSCT, and to hear the information from the voice of a highly-regarded HSCT legend, click on the image below and choose “Events” from the menu. I hope you enjoy this rare one-on-one opportunity.

All my best.



Click this Image to View Webinar

Send the Call Out…Send the Call Out…

Send the Call Out…Send the Call Out…

That’s exactly what’s going on here in the U.S. and abroad! ¬†We are sending the call out to everyone who will listen about HSCT (Hematapoietic Stem Cell Transplant) for autoimmune diseases and the hope that it can bring to so many who think that they are out of options. Several Moscow veterans, including myself, and a woman from my area who will be going to Moscow in a few weeks, have had to opportunity to give a shout out to the public, via the media, singing the praises of HSCT. ¬†We’re making as much noise as possible on television, radio, and, of course, social media.

vicki video

Vicki Wilson’s interview with Good Morning Arkansas

kristy 60 minutes

Kristy Cruise’s interview with 60 Minutes Australia.







wtaj interview

My WTAJ-TV-10 Interview with Diana Rees

Carol’s Radio Interview







In the meantime, I had my 3rd of 4 followup infusions of chemo (see post from April 27, 2013 for an explanation of the reason for my followup chemo) ¬†in February and I’m happy to say that I tolerated it very well. ¬†I didn’t even have my usual couple of “crash and burn” days. ¬†I just kept chugging along. ¬†I have one more to go in mid-May and then I’m home free. ¬†My true recovery clock will not begin to tick until that day.

I continue to walk without a trekking pole and have completed my physical therapy about five months earlier than expected because I met or exceeded all of my goals.  As Dr. Fedorenko suggested, it did play a huge part in my physical recovery due to years of lack of use and/or misuse of my muscles.

I did have one bout of bronchitis a couple of months ago which I jumped on right away with antibiotics.  Surprisingly, I recovered from it much more quickly than I have pre-transplant.

Most of my days are filled with¬†normal, everyday tasks without the dread that used to accompany them. ¬†Who would have thought doing laundry could be so fun…not! ha ha ¬† I was fortunate enough and physically able to make a 15-hour road trip to Atlanta last week. That is something I never would have been able to do a year ago. ¬†Heck, I would have been lucky to be able to get in and out of the car or sit for that long a year go. ¬†By the way, I did all the driving. ¬†I was able to meet with Brandon Eurek and his family who have been some of my biggest fans since the moment I announced I was having HSCT (see pic below).


brandon and me

Keeping Calm with Brandon!

I also spend a portion of every day trying to spread the word about HSCT in one way or another. ¬†As much as I would like to be banging on the doors of political figures to make this treatment more quickly available to the public at large, I know that could take years. ¬†I want to concentrate on the people I can reach who need help NOW! ¬†If I had $5 for every person who has said they wish they hadn’t waited to have it done, I could afford to pay someone to type this for me! ¬†If you want to have this treatment and you think you could never afford it, you may be surprised what you can accomplish. ¬†If you do have the funds and you’re simply waiting until you’re “bad enough” to have it done, I beg of you to reconsider and move forward as quickly as possible. ¬†Time is not your friend.

As long as HSCT events occur and my post-transplant life evolves, I will continue to keep blogging. ¬†I will, for sure, be posting about my very last dose of Mitoxantrone. ¬†That will be a day of celebration! ¬†It was just a year ago that I was packing my bags for Moscow. ¬†I’m so excited for the next group of HSCTrs who will be filing into the halls of Pirogov during the month of April. ¬†We are all so blessed by this opportunity. ¬†I’m wishing the same for all of you.

Peace and love from the Pennsylvania countryside.