I have been trying for years to find out the long term effects of a stem cell rescue.
I was dx with breast cancer in 1997. 20 of 22 lymph nodes positive. Her/2/neu neg. er/pr/ neg. I had mastectomy followed by FAC chemo follwed by stem cell rescue followed by radiation. I have known other women who have had breast cancer and had chemo and radiation but I can not find anyone who has had a stem cell rescue. They dont even do it anymore for solid tumor cancer anymore and was found to be no more effective for solid tumors than the FAC I had. I have developed many problems over the years . My problems started about a year after I finished treatment. It started with ribs breaking rolling over in the bed things have gotten worse and now for the past year and ahalf I have had 5 fractured vertebra doing no more than getting a glass of water. My brain just does not work like it did before. I now have high blood pressure an iregular heart beat and my veins have disappeared. I have to have a central line when I have anything done that requires an IV. I have asked my doctors if these problems are due to the stem cell rescue but they dont know. They all say they have never had a patient live as long as I have.
Can you help me?
Dear sandyn1951: The issue with stem cell rescue has little to do with the stem cells, they simply rescue the bone marrow (white cells, red cells and platelets) which would take too long to recover with the large doses of chemotherapy. The issue is likely with the chemotherapy. Certainly, it is well documented that chemotherapy can have long term effects. Chemobrain is becoming better understood and though most people seem to improve within a year or two, for some the fog seems to last longer. Your veins may be damaged from chemotherapy if it were given in your arms (this would likely be the case whether stem cells were involved or not). This is very common in people who have recieved chemotherapy. Bone issues would be expected if you were on any endocrine therapy but I suspect you have not. Fractures are very common in women with osteoporosis and this is more common in women as they age (breast cancer or not). Women most at risk are thin, caucasian women. Add an aromatase inhibitor (endocrine therapy for ER positive tumor) and the problem can become much worse. There are medications for osteoporosis if this is the issue for you. This would be an uncommon side effect of stem cell rescue as we still do them for other diseases and have not encountered the problem.
When I was dx I had so many test done and I did not have any arthritis or osteoporosis or high blood pressure and my veins were ok. I had a port in my chest and a cath was inserted in my jugular vein in my neck. I would have 5 or 6 drugs going at a time. I have 5 younger sisters and 1 younger brother, all in their 40's or 50's
and none of them have the problems I have. I have never had a blood relative who has had cancer of any kind. My Her/2/neu was negative as were my er/pr recepters.
I was dx 3 months before my 45th birhtday. I had never had a hot flash but with my treatments I was body slamed into menapause with massive hot flashes and mood swings. It was a night mare I had to endure along with everything else, My mother is 76 and she has never had the problems I live with. After my treatments I also looked about 10 years older. I lost so much more than my breast. I have no problem living with one breast but I do have a nightmare of a life with all the problems I have had to live with. I am in constant pain and I can't even make up my bed anymore because the degenaration of my spine and other bones just keep getting worse.
I live alone . I live in fear of what the future will bring. I will be 58 in Dec I am still a young woman . But I feel 98 .
I was so healthy , never had chicken pox or any other childhood problems. I had never even had the flu.
follow question..........I am desperetly searching for other surviors of a Sten Cell Requed let me know of other suervios especcialoly in LOUISIANA. I have posted this request or should I say plea every where I can think of but I have not recieved any responses anywhere.
Please help me.
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