On My Way

It must sound like something out of science fiction book or movie:  an autologous stem cell treatment to heal my kidneys enough to enjoy life without being attached to a dialysis machine.  I imagine that people also thought that Galileo’s ideas about our solar system seemed hard to fathom at one time.

Finally today is here, and I’m on the first plane.  Or, maybe I should say we are on the plane.  Staying last night in Los Angeles was a good idea.  Even with two alarms set, I woke up every hour because I was afraid I’d miss my plane.  As if to make sure I would not, about 15 minutes after I got up at five o’clock a.m. the smoke detector started beeping every few minutes.  What are the odds that in such a huge hotel, I’d end up in the room where the battery on the smoke detector runs out?  There was no way I could’ve slept through it.  A smile crept across my face, as I thought of the serendipity of it.

When I originally brought up the idea of traveling out of the country for a stem cell treatment, he was utterly opposed.  As I continued my research and verification of the legitimacy of the clinic, I tried to ease his mind about my choice.  Statistics, studies, research papers, and even the personal contact I established with a recovered patient (who’d had the same treatment) did nothing to sway him.  We disagreed about it every time I mentioned it.  He wasn’t the only one expressing doubts and concerns a few months ago.  Some family and friends were finding it hard to believe that stem cells exist within a person’s own body, and that they can miraculously heal damaged tissue.

Chronic illness exacts a heavy toll on relationships, especially on the close relationships.  There were many reasons, but they all added up to taking a break.  We went our separate ways, and I planned to travel internationally alone.  None of my friends or family could go with me.  I understood.  It would be expensive, and take about a week or more.  Going on a medical trip with a person suffering from kidney failure could turn out to be a complete nightmare.  I told everyone that I was willing to travel by myself, because it’s my life and my choice to do what I must to keep it.  My intuition continued to tell me that everything would work out.

A month had passed and he’d reconsidered.  Worry had taken over, and he didn’t want me going alone.  He knew it wouldn’t be a relaxing vacation-type of trip.  Anything could happen, and he agreed to be there to support me.  He’d been to the ER with me a couple of times in the last five months, and had met several of my doctors at appointments.  I wouldn’t have to use any of the money from fundraising for his travel expenses, and he could take the time to go.  My family and friends exhaled with relief.

My initial evaluation was on Monday, the morning after my plane landed, and the warmth and humidity of being in a tropical place thrilled me as I left the coolness of the airport.  While there are other stem cell medicine clinics throughout the world, most offer different and more invasive or less successful types of treatments (bone marrow and adipose tissue) for my difficult problem of kidney failure.  The clinic I selected is one, which has been doing these specific treatments for a few years now.  They have experience:  quiet a valuable asset, and one that’s lacking in the United States.  One of the co-owners, and the doctor who set up my appointments and treatment, partners with local business people to establish the clinics and carefully select the medical staff for each one.

The taxi drove us toward the clinic, through the capitol, roundabouts, and past the large park.  It was simple, nothing fancy, and set back from the road on a small street.  Passing through the white iron gate, we walked to the entrance and were buzzed in by a staff member.   I’d made it.  I was now at the clinic for my evaluation appointment.  I couldn’t wait to see the machine, and the scientist in me was jumping up and down in anticipation.  I thought, “WOW!  I’ve come such a long way to be strong and healthy enough to travel.  It’s really going to happen!  I’m really going to get a stem cell treatment and help move the research forward.”

Thank you God, thank you Angels, thank you guides for getting me this far.


22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danna Tartaglia
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 18:07:58

    Yay, Jenny! Great to hear that you made it and are getting underway to your new health! Keep being strong, I’m behind you and sending my healing positive thoughts. – Danna


  2. Rick Greene
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 18:16:07

    I know much awaits you. However, your spirit is strong and you have done the work to put yourself in this place. Prayers are with you and God is in your corner.


  3. pete sandzen
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 20:22:47

    jenny, tried to spread the word a little– good luck ! God bless and much love to y’all–pete


  4. T.C.S.
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 21:57:55

    Yay – thank God you made it! Our prayers and thoughts are with you, and we all hope that everything goes well. I actually bought stock in one of the stem cell companies because I am excited about their future, and it’s crazy how much red tape they have to go through to get these treatments approved in the U.S. It costs millions of dollars. One day stem cells are going to be widely used in a variety of treatments. I am looking forward to reading about your progress! Thank you for blogging about your experience and sharing it with us.


  5. Jacob Tijsma
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 05:32:03

    I am praying for you great recovery,may God be with you all the way….God bless


  6. Scott E Coleman
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 05:53:22

    At some point I would hope you could share some more specific details on the doctors and clinic for those of us that also need this treatment! Good luck and I am HAPPY your escaping the mind numbing routine of dialysis.


  7. Karen Smith
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 08:36:55

    I am so happy you are giving yourself this opportunity! I am doing everything possible to give my son this opportunity as well. He also suffers kidney failure. I have never been able to ask him what dialysis was really like. Now I know, thank you. All clinics are different so I look forward to hearing about your choice. I hope to stay very connected with you on your journey. You will be in my thoughts daily!


  8. Norma McCabe
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 08:37:18

    Dear Jennifer,
    I just read your story on Yahoo and had to go to your blog to read more. I am a firm believer that you get back what you put out. The love and joy that you have undoubtedly spread to other people is now winging its way back to you. I have a Beanie Baby collection that I once thought to be worthless. My husband has chided me over the years for spending so much on them. Each one is now worth more than gold to me, knowing what a good person Ty Warner really is. My favorite ones are the angel bears and each time I see them. I will think of you and the good that is going to come of your experience. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your doctors. May you continue to walk in the Divine Light. ♥


  9. Scope
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 17:18:53

    Read the story of you meeting Warner from Yahoo.com.sg.

    Gosh! You should have just told him you needed $20b! Then ALL his money will be used for patients through you. LOL! But it’s really nice to know that Warner chose to do something meaningful, despite it’s only $20,000.

    If every chap who has a decent income allocates part of the money to constructive projects, aids and such… this world will be full of surprises, meaningful progress and dreams can come true.

    Now you have more time in this mortal world, what do you do with your extra time?


    • jennysvie
      Aug 30, 2012 @ 10:47:17

      I plan to continue to live my life with as much happiness and laughter as possible. I will remain a firm advocate of stem cell medicine, and continue my efforts to make information about it more accessible to the people, who want and need it. My loves of yoga, meditation, Reiki, herbal medicine and helping ease the suffering of others will be my focus as long as I am able.


      • Scope
        Aug 30, 2012 @ 21:45:25

        Actually, from your own experience, you should realise that with your story being made news, you can help more people by setting up a group to professionally pester those super rich for money…

        There are alot of doctors and researches going on, but the main problem is patients can’t reach them due to lack of fundings. Don’t waste this chance.

      • Laurena
        Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:07:28

        Scope, all the blessings being received by Jennie are helped by her own karma and proactiveness…as a reiki healer one the the main ethics is to always use that positive energy for the greatest good. Your idea of pestering the rich is not neccesarily for the greatest good… and I doubt she would waste her chance when the bigger picture is her helping sick in altruistic ways.
        I believe you will ease others suffering and hope yours shall cease. I applaud you Jennie- your strength and courage are an inspiration to all and you will be in my thoughts at meditation group I attend tonight.
        * Love and Light*

  10. joan
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 07:42:36

    Good luck to you. I am a dialysis nurse in Canada and read with great interest your story. We share our patients joys and pains and in following your journey I hope to be able to offer something positive to them. Love to hear more on the actual treatment. Peace 🙂


  11. Sandra Waserman
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:05:43

    Hi Jenny,
    You are definately on the right track…wishing you unbelievable success. I have known of people using stem cells for arthritis using their own stem cells and I definately agree that this is open up all over the world. I am writing you from Vancouver, BC. I will look forward to more information on your website. God bless…


  12. Virginia
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 22:18:40

    My Dear Jennifer…I am so proud of you and the progress, hope and determination you have had to move forward on this journey of yours! I know you will recover and with that recovery will come much help to others to end their suffering with different illnesses and disabilities. You have yet so much more to share and bring forward to the medical world…keep it up my dear daughter!
    With many hugs,


    • jennysvie
      Aug 30, 2012 @ 10:38:22

      I love you Mom!! There certainly have been numerous ups and downs on this journey. I am so happy that I am seeing my dreams come true: recovery, and getting the information out about the possibilities of stem cell treatments. Remember when I first went into the hospital and I told you it would be okay? It’s all happening even better than I dreamed and wished. XOXO Daughter


  13. Beatriz
    Aug 29, 2012 @ 13:16:58

    Hope everything is going well.


  14. Marie Jones
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 12:24:33

    Jenny, I agree with Scott, that as you continue your journey that you will be able to share with the caregivers and renal patients worldwide the details of obtaining the help that our own bodies can provide. My God continue to richly bless you.


  15. B Gorman
    Sep 01, 2012 @ 19:47:09

    My prayers go out to you. I look forward to heaus us ring more about your treatment. I am also on dialisis and I have kidney failure. I recently recieved news that my living donor was not healthy enough to donate. I read about your treatment and it gives me hope. I dream of a day without dialisis and living a long life with my family. God bless and best wishes.


  16. Dee
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 04:48:36

    Hi Jennifer
    I thank God for your story. I am suffering from kidney disease (stage four) and I hope someday, stem cell therapy will be reachable and affordable to all of us.


  17. Dee
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 02:35:12

    I hope you’re doing well Jenny. I pray for hope in this new therapy.


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