For those of you that don't know, I have had two main medical issues throughout my life. CIDP, the problem for which I was successfully treated with HSCT back in 2012 and cystinuria. A disease that means you get lots and lots of kidney stones.
Anyway, a few times I have been asked the question "Did HSCT also work for cystinuria too?" A reasonable question ask but what is the answer?
The short answer is no.
The long answer in no.
Ok, ok that is a little facetious of me so I will elaborate. When I was looking for new treatments for my ailments there were always two voices in my head. First, the cold and logical part of my brain that asks for facts and questions the scientific theory. The second is the voice driven by emotion. A voice that clings to hope and is fuelled by desperation.
The question is, which one to listen to? The answer is both. When I first heard of HSCT I got very excited. I was like a kid in a candy store that had just found the best chocolate bar in the world ever. I then shared this news with my doctors who were much more sceptical. Logic dictated that I should give up now as my doctors knew an awful lot more than I did. But I was right to listen to my emotional side which told me to carry on.
However, I then had to listen to my logical side. Ask myself questions like "What is the medical rationale behind this?" "What have the studies to date proven?" "What has come of the patients before me?" In all three counts the answer was positive so I decided to go ahead and made what was absolutely the right decision.
But what has this to do with cystinuria? The brain was ticking over at the time and I did ask myself "Could this help my cystinuria?" My emotional brain wanted it to but my logical brain new the answer. There was no medical or scientific rationale saying it would work. There was absolutely no reason to think it so no studies had been done and nobody had been before me. But still emotional Andy kept saying "but maybe..." I was going to have the treatment anyway
Unfortunately, logical Andy was right. Since HSCT my CIDP has all but gone but I still have kidney stones. In the last four years I have had six surgeries for stones and I'm sure there will be more to come. So to my fellow cystinurics, unfortunately this is not the answer no matter how much we wish it was but I'd also say don't give up looking. Keep listening to that emotional side that wants to find the answer. There is a better treatment out there, dare I even say cure? And it will take both the logical and emotional voices in our heads to find it.