Many of you may have heard of a somewhat controversial surgical procedure for MS that is available in some countries. It is basically a process of performing an angioplasty procedure on a blocked vein in the neck and it is becoming a more wide spread treatment. Although for me it is going to take more research and convincing to consider going under the knife in such a potentially risky procedure, and it doesn't help everyone either, I'm very excited to have read today that the Canadian government announced they are opening up to option within Canada. Initially it is to be a research trial, but in a few years if the risks vs benefits ratio seems worth it, and the results show enough are helped by the procedure, it will be available to all who are considered candidates. I have no intention of getting my neck checked for blockage unless I make a decision to have the procedure done, and I figure its going to take quite a few years of watching results myself to decide to do it or not to do it if I am a candidate. However I have to say that I'm thrilled that my government is going to begin to allow citizens to have this done here at home. I know of many families who travel internationally at great expense to have it done, and one man had a complication that resulted in his death as it developed after his return to Canada and there was no time to fly him back to the surgeon out of country to treat the complication. It also shouldn't be costing people tens of thousands of dollars to travel for this if it is a viable treatment, especially in a country where our tax dollars pay for our universal health care. On a related (sort of) note, there are currently very promising trials for a stem cell transplant treatment that are underway right here in my province a few hours away. They have been ongoing for some time so I would think in the next year or so the outcome of the long term study should be known and perhaps this treatment too will open up to us all here in this country. I did a lot of reading and nearly submitted my name to be considered for the study but decided against it and prefered to wait for more information and results of the study. So far though from what I hear, a majority of patients see not only a complete remission of their disease process but a side effect that none of the scientists and doctors had any idea would occur is a large number of patients actually having their lesions/plaques heal and the myelin sheath in the brain restore itself to a healthy undamaged state. Very promising although it is a intense treatment requiring creating your own stem cells for transplant, then intense chemo to strip your immune system before transplanting your newly grown stem cells into your body. This is one of the most fascinating periods in medicine, our lifetimes. So many advancements in so many diseases! There is even medication and treatment right now that is changing HIV positive patients into HIV negative patients! I never would have thought we'd see that in our lifetime. It is all enough to give me a hope that since I'm fairly young, I might have a chance yet to have a quality of life back, have a career again and pursue those dreams, ride a bike again, walk more than a few blocks again, exercise, sleep without pain, and put this all behind me. Hope is a beautiful thing!