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What To Keep In Mind While Recovering From A Bone Marrow Transplant?

Bone marrow transplants are performed to help a patient recovery from serious illness like cancer, leukemia and other diseases. In many diseases chemotherapy and radiation are given to the patient which damage the bone marrow while destroying the cancer cells. The marrow transplant takes place after the patient has undergone conditioning. This involves making the patient go through a rigorous regimen involving radiation, chemotherapy, and antibody treatments. Sometimes even a combination of the three is followed depending on the patient’s condition.

What follows the procedure?

The patient is awake when the painless procedure takes place. After the stem cells are transplanted in the cells they infuse through the central line of the body. The new blood cells or marrow are not formed immediately. It is a few weeks before any noticeable change happens. If you have received marrows that had been preserved they contained chemicals to protect and preserve the cells. Before transplant additional medications are given to reduce the side-effects of the preservatives. The cost of bone marrow transplant involves all these procedures and should be discussed beforehand with the medical team. Some of the commonest side effects of the preservatives include nausea, headache, shortness of breath and tastelessness in the mouth. However, every patient does not experience the same effects after the operation.

Getting back to normal

Bone marrow transplant is no magic and people take days and even months to get back to their regular life. The growth of healthy new blood cells is a slow process and the duration varies from patient to patient. For some it may be longer while for others it is not so. The new stem cells which have been incorporated in the body travel throughout the marrows and start multiplying through a process called engraftment. Various kinds of blood tests are conducted following the transplantation to monitor the health condition of the patient. During this time many patients also suffer from diarrhea and nausea. The body is at a fragile state during this time and needs to be protected from any kind of infection. The physical situation can get complicated at any point of time so patients have to remain under critical care from weeks to even months. While discussing about the bone marrow transplant cost and its effects the doctors offer full information about the same. It is common to receive blood transfusions till the body independently starts producing the platelets and red blood cells.

During discharge the doctors will provide you with a list of do’s and don’ts.

  • Eating healthy and taking all the prescribed medicines is mandatory if you want to recover.
  • The doctors will offer guidance on how to handle food and eat safely to avoid any kind of infections.
  • Many patients develop complications and have to revisit the doctors for treatment.
  • You should get adequate rest during this time because your system has been through an intense treatment and will require time to get well.
  • Light exercise like walking on a flat surface helps many patients to feel better. You can walk short distance so that you do not become very tired.
  • Do not get impatient with your slow recovering health and lose your temper.