I was reading on Facebook recently about a person that was considering the same procedure (HSCT) I did. However, where as I was fully supported in this decision by my close family and friends, this person in question was not supported.
Now it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which side of the fence I sit on. Family support with something like this is critical. If you do not have it, it simply adds another stress to what is already a remarkably stressful time. I believe that a negative reaction is own from ignorance.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe that family members do want the best for their loved ones, but they hear words like "stem cell transplant", "experimental" or "medical trial" and they instantly think the worst. Now there is a risk with the procedure. But, normally there is a risk with anything. Driving a car, catching a plane, people have even died going to the toilet. But that is really irrelevant and not the point I am trying to make.
Or is it? You can't not go to the toilet, it is something that has to be done. Now this choice, the one I made has one more variable and it is only a little bit more complicated than to have or not to have it. The choice is to risk a dangerous procedure in an attempt to reverse the devastating effects of a crippling disease or attempt to live with the disease and the risks of all the conventional treatments that go with it.
Wow, when you look at it like that the scales look a lot more balanced. I think that some people look at it like a game of chicken where the worst that can happen is you end up dead and the best result is to carry on as normal. In this case there is risk associated with both choices, but one at the very least carries the benefit of potentially reversing the progress of your disease.
So next time you know someone that you believe is making a needless and risky decision. Take a second to think about it and do a little research. Your opinion cannot be ignored if it is educated and informed. And maybe, you might just think a little differently about it. Until next time, stay well:)