• Depression after stem cell transplant

    Asked by SherriD on Saturday, December 7, 2013

    Depression after stem cell transplant

    my 25 year old son had a stem cell transplant on October 4, 2013. He has been very fatigued, is is normal to be depressed and isolate yourself?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Toto's Avatar

      My husband had a stem cell transplant on September 4, 2013 and still remains very fatigued which is normal. Think of his recovery as that of a newborn baby who needs to restore their immune system that had been compromised by the disease in the first place. As a caregiver I can tell you that encouraged patience and less expectations helps in their recovery process. Isolation is a key factor imperative to their successful recovery which often means limiting my own activities outside the home that would avoid contact with germs. There are times when either one of us wants to jump out of our skins which is OK. Those are momentary lapses and remind us both how important it is to remain focused on the long haul. It will continue to be a very very long and slow process, but he will begin to feel better as time progresses. Just yesterday my husband got his normal taste buds back. That was an upsetting process for him and a frustrating one for this cook. You never knew what was going to trigger an episode that turned them off to eating or drinking because of the bad taste in their mouth. If you or the patient continue to be depressed or anxious about what to expect, speak with your doctors. They can often offer new windows of hope that you couldn't see because you were "inside the box" so to speak. Good luck and be well.

      about 7 years ago
    • LKClark's Avatar

      Hi SherriD, My daughter, age 24 had a stem cell transplant 18 months ago (Diagnosed with AML in early 2012). I think it is very normal to be fatigued, depressed and isolate. I've spoken to other parents and their kids (in 20's) have experienced the same thing. It's a tough year, to be immune-compromised in your 20's, watching all of your friends do all the normal things twenty-somethings do. Hang in there; I know it is difficult!

      about 7 years ago
    • mkjetset's Avatar

      Everyone faces cancer differently. If he has lived with this diagnosis for awhile, he may be feeling treatment fatigue. It can be exhausting and disheartening to face round after round of treatment. If this is his experience, then he has never really lived an adult life without the specter of cancer. If he is newly diagnosed, he may still be sorting out living with this diagnosis. Either way, clinical depression (lasting longer that 2 weeks - no enjoyment, poor sleep or too much sleep, isolation, etc.) is not good for anyone and should be addressed. Having the blues, from time to time, I believe, is to be expected when faced with what he has experienced. If you are concerned, then speak with him and encourage him to seek help. And be sure to take care of yourself as well. His cancer has taken a toll on you as well.

      about 7 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar

      Fatigue (an extended amount of time even) is quite common after a transplant. I had one myself (actually 2 because the first put me in remission for only 6 weeks) in 2009. I was extremely depressed...but I was in a terrible state! I had just moved to a different state and left my support system behind, my kids went to school all day, my daughter left for college, my husband went back to work, and my family was 1500 miles away. I had always had a positive attitude but something after that transplant just put me in a tailspin. Many things I guess you could say. Try to encourage your son...after all a BMT or SCT, is the best possibility of a CURE! Yes, there will be many side effects (different for every person of course) but try to encourage him to stay positive. What really helped me get back on track was the LiveStrong program at our local YMCA. It is FREE to all cancer survivors/patients and personal trainers take you step by step to the road to physical recovery...and the group is all cancer survivors so there is a lot in common between participants. Check to see if your local Y is a participant....it really changed my life. And in the meantime, encourage your son to get up and take walks, do small tasks like a hobby he may have had or now has the time to do, etc. Good luck to you...the road for patient and caregiver is long and difficult but just take it one day at a time...and visualize what the "new normal" will look like. Blessings....

      about 7 years ago
    • clemsoncash1's Avatar

      I went through my transplant at 25 (2 and a half years ago). Being 25 I had been living on my own since I went off to college, and the need to have a caregiver and inablily to do anything on my own with out being worn out was frustrating. It was also a little bit of an ego blow. Visits were exhausting, because i felt the need to talk and spend time with people that came by, but it was draining and not alot of fun. It became easier to just be a recluse until my energy picked back up. The farther we got away from transplant, the more i felt like my old self. It just takes time, and that is frustrating, especially as a 25 year old

      about 7 years ago

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