The whole treatment is the result of international studies and is carefully registered in protocols. Nothing in the treatment is 'spontaneous' or falling out of the blue sky. That seems to be quite irresponsible with a treatment like this.
The treatment consists out of several phases. It looks as if the stem cell transplantation is what it's all about, but actually that is only part of phase two. A rather important part, but also a part that doesn't take that much time. The road towards the transplantation and the recovery and maintenance afterwards are playing a more bigger role in this.
The three phases:
Phase 1 (Jan 15th till Apr 11th 2019)
A 12 week induction chemotherapy with Velcade injections and medication with powders and pills;
Phase 2 (Apr 12th till May 16th 2019)
The mobilisation and harvest of stem cells followed by high dose chemotherapy for killing the majority of the bone marrow, and eventually the stem cell transplantation;
Phase 3 (as of May 16th 2019)
Phase 4 (as of March 21st 2022)
Started because previous treatment was no longer succesfull.
In phase 1 the goal is to kill as much cancercells as possible. The method is one over a somewhat longer period but not too agressive. Every body responds in a different way to these induction cycles.
In phase 2 chemotherapy will be given through an IV (Cyclophosphamide) as a preparation for the mobilisation of stem cells. Cyclophosphamide is not a pretty drug and it does have quite some side effects. After this, I have to give myself Neupogen via syringes twice a day for five days straight. This is to mobilize the stem cells in order to get them into my blood. As soon as this is done, stem cells will be harvested in one or two days. A few weeks later, I will be hospitalized. I will first receive a high dose chemotherapy (Melfalan) for two days, immediately followed by the return of my own stem cells.
Phase 3 starts immediately after the returning of the stem cells. First I will have to start recovering from the treatment and after that I will start with the maintenance treatment. The first recovery will take place in the UMCU which requires me to be hospitalized for a few weeks. The main objective of the maintenance treatment is to keep the diseases under control for as long as possible. Fact remains that the diseases will return. The question is only when....
Phase 4 will describe how things are going during the second treatment. The first treatment was all about Lenalidomide, which no longer works for me. This treatment is called DVD, due to the medication Daratumumab, Velcade and Dexamethasone. With all kinds of pills to counter the expected side-effects of course.