The body feels the effects of the chemotherapy or radiation about a week after a BMT. When the blood counts are low, you feel like you have the flu and may not want to do much. This will last for about two weeks and will decrease as your blood counts improve. You may notice a number of other symptoms as well, including:
When your neutrophil count is rising, your team will start talking to you about discharge. You will need to be sure that arrangements have been made for someone to stay with you after you are discharged, to assist you with daily needs and to be available for clinic visit transportation. You and a family member will learn how to care for your catheter and all about your medications.
To be discharged, you will need to be:
A case manager will assist with arrangements for home care. The nurse practitioner will go over your discharge and outpatient instructions and the pharmacist will review your medications with you.
Your BMT doctor and nurse practitioner will follow you closely after your transplant. You will have blood work done and, if necessary, will be given intravenous medications or fluids. Expect to be in the Hematology/BMT Clinic twice a week for at least two to three months.
Your risk of infection will remain higher than normal for at least six to 12 months after allogeneic BMT even though your body is again producing white blood cells. You will be instructed on how to help prevent infection, including washing your hands, avoiding large crowds and refraining from smoking cigarettes or marijuana.
All patients undergoing an allogeneic bone marrow or stem cell transplant are required to have an identified person who can assist them after they are discharged from the hospital. We call this person the "caregiver." In order to be approved for an allogeneic BMT each patient must identify a person or persons who can fulfill the responsibilities of the caregiver, which include:
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.