• I'm scheduled for a stem cell transplant in March. I'd like to talk to anyone who has had this procedure done.

    Asked by buckeyeboy470 on Sunday, January 22, 2012

    I'm scheduled for a stem cell transplant in March. I'd like to talk to anyone who has had this procedure done.

    What are some of the side effects, how long does it take, did it work for you?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I just got this message yesterday from one of my Facebook friends who had it done: "I would like to thank all of you who have said many a prayer the last two years for me while I dealt with multiple myeloma! God answered those prayers and gave me my life back on December 20, 2011, when I received my stem cell transplant. The doctor literally handed me the bag of stem cells and said, "Happy Birthday, today you have a new birthday and a new life." I got my miracle. I am now finally home and still taking one step at a time to return to a normal life. It is great to be back home with my girls, family, and friends. I am allowed out and allowed visitors as long as they are not sick."

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lovie's Avatar

      What a loaded question! I am a nurse who lived with my brother while he went thru the procedure 10 years ago. So first, yes it works! He's doing great. Everyone handles the transplant differently. A lot depends on your physical strength and overall health besides the myeloma. And every health care facility has different views on how to manage the transplant case. So it would be best for you to have a long talk with a health care provider who will be a part of your transplant team. Insist on getting all your questions answered now so that you don't have a couple of months of anxiety. I would strongly advise you to find someone, a family member or a friend, to go with you to your appointments. A second set of ears can hear things that slide past you. Good luck.

      almost 5 years ago
    • buckeyeboy470's Avatar

      Thanks for your responses. A good friend from church is getting me to talk to a friend of his who has already had this procedure done so I can hear it from a patient's perspective. He also had it done at the same hospital I will be at. The James Cancer Institute at OSU in ohio.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Jackie's Avatar

      I had a bone marrow transplant to treat relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia way back in 1988. My brother was my donor. Very difficult for me but I made it! Best of luck!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Karen4's Avatar

      I had a stem cell transplant in June 2011 for multiple myeloma. I was diagnosed in July 2010, underwent 2 failed chemos, then found a clinical trial that worked and pushed my 'numbers' down enough to have the transplant. I guess they've explained the procedure to you. You know you'll take multiple injections to boost your cell count, and they will collect a set number of cells which will be determined by your care team. Once that is done, they'll do the intense chemo which will make you lose your hair. Some people get really sick on it, too. I was fortunate. I felt kind of crummy, but never threw up but once or twice. My care team was careful to try to help prevent as much of the side effects as possible. They gave me Zofran to help prevent the nausea and mild pain medications for any bone, muscle or joint pain it might cause. After the 2 rounds of intense chemo, I got a day of rest and began taking a series of antibiotics to prevent any infection. The chemo is going to kill everything in your bone marrow, which is the point, because the stem cells are basically to 'reboot' your bone marrow to make healthy cells again. Any way, after a day of rest, they infuse the stem cells back into you. After that, they'll check your labs every day/every other day to watch your lab values. They should bottom out (as I call it) over about 7-10 days, then they should start to come back up. You are highly susceptible to infection during this time since it's wiped out your white cells, red cells and neutrophils. If you run any fever, you should call your care team or go to the ER!!! OK, after about 10-12 days, I began to lose my hair, but my lab values started to come back. After about 2 weeks I felt much better and continued to improve over the course of the recovery period. After about a month, I was able to go out in public a little more without so much concern for infection. The only problem is that the chemo wipes out your antibodies as well, so you'll have to have your immunizations all over, but that starts about 6 months post-transplant. You just have to be careful of the populations of people you expose yourself to (little kids are off limits!) Wear a mask in public places, especially during cold and flu season. If you try to eat healthy and walk as often as you can, you'll recover much better than if you just sit around. FLUIDS FLUIDS FLUIDS to keep your kidneys flushed out and to help with your energy levels.

      I hope this has helped. Maybe too much information. Feel free to ask me anything else you might want to know since I've been through it. I reached a stable partial remission, not full remission. However, I feel better than I've felt in probably 2 years. I'm on maintenance therapy with Revlimid to help keep my disease suppressed as long as possible..

      I wish you all the best and pray your transplant puts you in full remission for a very long time! It truly is the best way to beat this beast, and I think you'll be glad you did it. Just hang in there and remember the crappy stuff only lasts a while, where the crappy stuff will hopefully give you many years of 'not crappy'! :)

      Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • Warren's Avatar

      Karen, thanks for all in depth info. Was wondering what your age bracket is. My husband is 74 and was just diagnosed in Dec of this year, unfortunately he evidently has had it at least for a year prior. Transplant has been mentioned as a 'probable', of course depending on his condition (not so much his age). He lost 25 lbs while being hospitalized for 3 weeks. So presume there wd be much building up, we are trying to put his weight back on, but it has been slow going. he is taking the usual Revlimid and steroids, bone building injections, etc. He was in very good condition for his age prior to diagnosis. Thought it was a month of isolation in hospital. Then several weeks of recovery at home. Sure each hsp/dr has their own procedures.

      over 4 years ago
    • Charlieb's Avatar

      Hope everyone reads this. I am going in today for a stem cell transplant. I knew this day was coming last Dec. Along with other information, this post really helped me with doing this procedure. Thanks What Next and all who share their experiences.

      over 4 years ago
    • markfeller's Avatar

      I had a dual transplant in 2004-05 over a 4-month period. Since I was carefully treated and had no immunity issues, there were no side effects from the transplant. It was very effective. I've been in remission for over 7 years.

      about 4 years ago
    • Debio's Avatar

      I also had a stem cell transplant Sept. of 2011. There was some discomfort when they harvested the cells, (my own) and the chemo that they gave me to prepare for the infusion made me quite ill. After the proceedure it took me about 10 days to get back to normal. It was well worth the pain and discomfort. My numbers are great and I am back living a pretty normal life. Good luck to you!

      about 4 years ago

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