SCT 101

SCT stands for Stem Cell Transplant, which is what I will be getting in a few days. Stem cell transplants are done to treat blood diseases affecting the marrow such as lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma. When the cells come from the patient it’s called an autologous transplant; when they come from a donor it’s called an allogeneic transplant.

My staging and testing begins on Tuesday at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. The whole process involves a dozen steps:

  1. Initial evaluation
  2. Induction chemotherapy
  3. Pre-mobilization evaluation
  4. Central venous catheter placement (done)
  5. Mobilization
  6. Stem cell collection
  7. Pre-transplant evaluation
  8. Preparative regimen
  9. Stem cell transplant
  10. Post-chemotherapy
  11. Engraftment
  12. Recovery

The hardest part will be the high dose chemotherapy involved in what is euphemistically called the “preparative regimen.”

The chemotherapy is called “high-dose” because the doses received are from 5 to 10 times higher than the doses given during traditional chemotherapy. Such high doses of chemotherapy destroy cancer cells but also destroy other healthy cells in the body, which divide and reproduce rapidly, such as the cells that line the mouth, stomach, intestine and the bone marrow… High-dose chemotherapy is the treatment used to destroy cancerous cells, while peripheral stem cell transplantation is necessary to “rescue” damaged bone marrow.

I can hardly wait!


6 thoughts on “SCT 101

  1. Hi Mike,

    I hope your transplant goes well.

    I’m a physician and former faculty member at Harvard and Stanford Medical Schools. I discovered your blog while looking for the best health writers on the web. I reviewed your posts, and think your writing would be a great addition to the Cancer Community on Wellsphere, a top 5 health website that has nearly 5 million visitors monthly. If you would like to learn more about how you can join our Health Blogger Network, republish your blog posts and be featured on the Wellsphere platform, just drop me an email at


  2. Hang in there Mike. It’s so awesome your keeping up the blog. I have you in my thoughts and prayers. Sounds like Aaron’s got the go with LifeLoan from what I hear. Totally awesome. Talk to you soon. peace – Ben

  3. Hi Mike, I guess your the guy Jeff left in Colorado before he came to meet me here in Texas. I had a related donor stem cell transplant here in 2004 for Leukemia. Although the dose was suppose to be ten times higher I suffered fewer side effects than previous rounds of just chemo. The thing that seemed to make it better was the amount of fluid they gave me during the chemo. It was almost too much and had me bloated, but it served its purpose by flushing the chemo out. And the staff at this hospital kept things (and their hands) very clean. The previous hospital did not take these precautions seriously and techs came in the room after smoke breaks smelling like soap and what not and gave me several infections. So make sure everyone washes their hands and I will pray for you.

    Is you get a chance check out my testimony on my website. I am not a writer like you but I get by. Its about my experience but its more of an example of how Gods grace can take a man with no faith after leaving the Catholic church in high school, and turn him into a man faith.

    anyway gotta go, btw I too have agreed to join the case. Let me know if you want to talk of have any questions about anything.


  4. Hi Mike,
    We have another good friend in his 2nd week of the SCT procedure for Multiple Myeloma up at OHSU. Its been amazing to watch the process and see the courage it takes to face it head on. Praying for you and Susan every step of the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s