Monday, July 24, 2017

Starting to notice some improvements already from the second treatment! I can now move my right knee side to side while laying down against gravity, without it falling over to one side or using my hands to help :)



I am looking forward to seeing what improves next :)

Friday, June 2, 2017

No more headaches! I have been feeling great since the last injection, not even any back pain! Yesterday I got together with everyone and continued filming a lot more footage for the stem cell documentary. My pals AJ and Kyle who I met here are also going through the treatment and are a part of the documentary as well. We all went to the gym to workout together and then after the filming we had dinner. I can't believe there's a Buffalo Wild Wings right next to the hotel!! One of my all time favorite places to eat, and they happened to have one here and within walking distance!!



Today I had my final visit to the Stem Cell Institute. Got my last spinal injection and IV infusion, as well as my final medical evaluation and discharge recommendations. It's very exciting to see that I received even more stem cells this time in 2 weeks, than last time I was here for a month!



I am so relieved all the injections are over with and I get to go home tomorrow! The hard part is just beginning though, the next 6 months will be a lot of work everyday but improvements could happen at any time! I will continue to post on here each time I notice a new change. I am very thankful I had the opportunity to return for a second treatment, and have a lot of hope for the future :)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On Monday evening I ended up getting a headache again, so I took the pills they sent home with me just in case. They worked great!! It took the headache away and it never came back. The next day I met with my friend AJ who is also a patient here, his mom is working on a documentary about the stem cell institute. She asked if I would like to be a part of it! She told me Texas is very close to approving the use of stem cells and that this documentary could be the extra push to finally make this happen! It would be so incredible to have a stem cell institute in Texas, since a lot of people are cautious of going out of the country for medical treatments. I can't imagine how many more people would feel more comfortable and finally decide to get the treatment they need since they won't have to worry about travelling to another country!



After our camera interviews and everything we all decided to have dinner at a nice place in the hotel, where we could sit outside near the pool and the weather was so nice.



I also had my first injections of bone marrow stem cells today, which the dr told me the headaches and pain should be less since its my own body's cells. I still have one more pill just in case though! Only one more injection and one more IV to go on Friday then I am all finished! I will be sad to leave all the great people I am getting to know but I am really looking forward to going home!

Monday, May 29, 2017

This weekend was pretty rough! Terrible headaches and back pain from Friday's injection. By Sunday evening I was finally feeling a better so we decided to wander around the hotel again. We went to the casino since all guests receive a $10 credit to play with. I chose a random machine, and won $63!! We took the winnings and decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal :) I ordered the seafood pizza which was VERY yummy! Still have some of the winnings left over so I think I may go back to get that pizza again before I leave haha!





I informed the docs about my severe headaches and pain from the last injection, so before the one today they gave me fluids with pain medication through IV. It was a big bag, took a long time for it all to go in! I just got back to my room, it has been almost 3 hours since the stem cell injection and no sign of a headache yet! I am really hoping it stays that way haha! I also received oral pain meds to take later on if needed so I should be okay. I cant believe this trip is already half over, it has gone by fast this time! Looking forward to seeing everyone back home and watching the improvements happen!

Friday, May 26, 2017

I had a very bad headache and back pain after my first injection, have been laying in bed and trying to sleep the last 2 days. The dr suggested to drink a cold milkshake right after the injections and that may help, he also gave me a prescription for some medication to help with the headache and pain if it happens again after my second injection today.

I also had a physical therapy session today but I was hurting too much so we just did lots of stretching and then he hooked my legs up to the electric stimulator to work the muscles that way instead. I just got back to my room from the second injection so let's hope I don't feel as bad after this one!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Such a GREAT day today!! Had my first stem cell injections, the same wonderful doctor and assistant from 2 years ago were still here! They were really happy to see me walking in this time and hear about my improvements from the first treatment. I was really happy to hear that they increased the amount of cells administered since the last time, from 9 million to 20 million!!! So even though I am only staying here for half the time, I will be receiving even more cells than the first time I was here a whole month!! I was kind of sad thinking that I would only be getting half the amount this time, so that really made me so excited! The numbing shot they gave me first must be new too, because this time I did not even feel the big needle go into my back! That was a really big relief. The IV stem cell injection I had after was more painful though, the needle was a bit thicker I think and again they gave me twice the amount of cells that I received last time :)

I also had my first visit to the BioFit center today, was happy to see my favorite personal trainer from last time was still there! They changed the location to a different building so I was worried I would have someone else. He even had Gaga songs playing during the session haha. He showed me 2 exercises I can do on my own to really help get my right knee to lift up. I am looking forward to seeing the results from doing these every day on top of the cells doing their work! I've been drinking a LOT of water today so hopefully that will help me not get a headache this time from the back injection.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Had my bone marrow extraction this morning. Some of my own stem cells were harvested and I will be receiving them next week. They gave me anesthesia so it was like I slept right through it!



Afterwards I went back to the room to sleep for a few hours. We then wandered around the hotel a bit more. The gym looks really nice, I will for sure use it on the days I don't have physical therapy!



There are some really nice outdoor pool areas and restaurants here too! One place even has a seafood pizza! SO yummy :)



I will have my first injection tomorrow, I am nervous because I have more feeling in my back now since the first treatment, so I am sure the needles will hurt more! :( I am very happy that the same doctor I had giving me the injections last time is still here, she was amazing and makes the process so much less frightening!

Monday, May 22, 2017

First visit to the Stem Cell Institute was this morning! Love the new location they have moved it to, the views are amazing!!



Filled out all the forms and had my blood work done. I have my bone marrow extraction tomorrow morning, and then my first stem cell injection on Wednesday.



We were lucky to find a small shop nearby so we stocked up on snacks and water. It was just a few minute walk away from the hotel so we will be making many trips here!



The hotel also has complementary breakfast each morning and it was pretty good! Lots to choose from also. Only complaint is that the sausages taste just like hotdogs which I hate haha!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Made it to Panama!! After a very long day of plane rides, my dad and I have finally arrived to our room at the Hilton Hotel. This is the new place for patients to stay while they are getting treatment. It is very nice!! Only thing is the prices for room service and such, I guess we are gonna starve for 2 weeks haha! We can't go pick up groceries and make our own meals like last time because there is no fridge or kitchen :'( Other than that, everything else here is amazing so far, it will be a very comfortable stay! Looking forward to a nice rest tonight after a long day today.

Monday, May 15, 2017

I begin my second stem cell treatment 1 week from today! SO excited to see the results of this one after the first one helped so much! I am not looking forward to a whole day of flying again but it will be worth it!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Approved for my second treatment!! Its been a very long wait with so many delays, but I am thankful for the opportunity to be going back for a second round! The first treatment helped so much, I just need a little more to get to where I want to be! Just waiting for an opening, then I will be going asap! Looking forward to sharing the second part of my journey with everyone!