Out of Ammunition

There is a reason I am enthusiastic about stem cell procedures.  American medicine is the best in the world.   Just ask an American doctor.  I want to know how much ammunition these docs have in their holsters.   How often are physicians able to hit the broad side of the barn with whatever they are firing?    Near as I can tell, too often they are shooting blanks.  Many cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and a host of other conditions run their course with little to stop them.

I embarked on a six-month regimen of chemotherapy.  The drug was Cytoxan, commonly used to treat cancers.  A neurologist prescribed this toxic drug for me based on scant evidence that it would accomplish anything with MS.  It didn’t.  In fairness, I had asked him to think outside the box and try anything that might work.  Beware of what you ask for.  The doctor was only following patient’s orders. 

The Cytoxan weakened me, turned my hair white, what was left of it, and turned me into a fragile fellow who might take a tumble in a strong wind. 

Chronic conditions by definition are incurable.  Often they can be managed, sometimes survived, often invisible in the rear view mirror.  Expectations can be out of whack and highly unrealistic with these conditions.  Happy endings are elusive.   So we live with uncertainty.  Long ago I learned never to stop pushing.

I still hear doctors dismiss stem cell therapy.    I have benefited from ears full of negative nonsense regarding the inevitability of failure of stem cell therapy and MS.  Neurologists seem to be long on opinions, short on action.  There exists an unholy alliance between many neurologists and big pharmaceuticals.  Many of these docs take big money from big pharma, consulting and taking the company lineTrust me.  They will not be leading the charge away from conventional therapies.

Let me share a secret.  We have to get involved.  We need to stay on top of developments.  We are our best advocates.   We have to be prepared to lead the horse to water.  Stem cell therapy is real and approaching fast.  Think it through, or just stick to the existing drugs, the interferons that may or may not be effective, Tysabri, pulled off the market once and never fixed.  The manufacturers all have well oiled PR machines that keep expectations high.

My prediction for 2014 is that the large pharmaceuticals are going to invest heavily in cell therapy.  They see the handwriting on the wall and actually can read it.  Stay ahead of them.  Pursue and learn about these alternative therapies.  They may be your futures.



8 Responses to Out of Ammunition

  1. HOLLY December 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    You are right on. all that is developed are band-aides, not cures. and the band-aides become more and more dangerous. stem cells or maybe dna cures are the future for curing ms and many other diseases. lets hope they find help for us soon and not later. my mom was diagnosed in 1965 and without all the ABC drugs lived well for 40 years and passed away at 88 years old. I was diagnosed 24 years ago and am in worse shape with the ABC drugs. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR ADVENTURE, I CONSIDER YOU BRAVE TO TRY THIS. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. hOLLY

  2. Richard M. Cohen December 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I am with you. Keep preaching the stem cell gospel.


  3. Mimi December 29, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Richard, before I read this I sent my doctor a note about getting into the stem cell study. I’m very excited a national figure is exploring this option. I know I can go to several countries and pay a lot of money, but we deserve it here! Just like Affordable Care!!! I could move to a country with free medical care, but I don’t want to live anywhere else. I’m a patriot not wanting to be an ex-patriot.

    • Richard December 30, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      I hope the floodgates open, and this becomes available to everyone. Fingers crossed.


  4. Melissa December 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I couldn’t agree with you more that WE are our best advocate and WE have to take control. I am a newly diagnosed, young adult living with RRMS. Outsiders do not know what I deal with day in and day out but hey, a smile goes a long way. I am fascinated by your blog and following your stem cell journey. I firmly believe a cure is in our near future for all. Thanks for all you do! Melissa

    • Richard December 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm #


      Keep the faith. We are at the starting line of our national stem cell journey. I hope good things are in your future.


  5. D January 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    We indeed have to keep pushing for more choices as patients, because the drugs that are so commonly prescribed to us MS’ers, can often feel worse than the actual disease. I am a young MS’er who is having to face the fact that interferon & such have only made me feel worse. I know there has to be more out there & I will keep asking and annoying the crap out of every neurologist I encounter.I am not there to make friends, but to be my own best advocate.

    I hope the stem cell trial goes well for you, Richard. I have heard so many good results coming out of other countries & such reports give me hope that we must keep pushing for more answers and approaches. The need to think outside the box, question the who/what/where/when/why is incredibly important & a large part of how this movement will go forward.

    Love & light to you & your family!

  6. Sue S. January 11, 2014 at 9:47 am #


    Finally someone had the *** to put it in writing, the neurologists will not jump on any train other than the big pharma train! This portion of the blog truly hits home with me. I have pushed and pushed and luckily I now have a Dr. who supports and listens to me – the patient! I respect their eduction and guidance but in the end I’m the one who lives in my body 24/7/365

    So looking forward to following your journey – stay strong – push on – and thank you!