The body feels the effects of the chemotherapy or radiation about a week after transplantation. 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 over 1,000, 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 or a family member will learn how to care for your catheter.
To be discharged, you will need to be:
The 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 transplantation. You will have blood work done and, if necessary, will receive intravenous medications or fluids.
Your risk of infection will remain higher than normal for at least three months after autologous BMT, even though your body is again producing white blood cells. The highest risk is within the first month of leaving the hospital; during this period you should spend most of your time at home and away from people, which is called house arrest. You will be instructed on how to help prevent infection, including washing your hands, avoiding large crowds and refraining from smoking.
Find more information about the procedure and transplant experience in the Autologous Transplant Guide.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.