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What to expect

My husband today has been told his brother is a match and he will be going into hospital on the 29th August for conditioning treatment ( he is in hospital at the moment after a second lot of chemo, but doing well and just waiting for neutrophils to rise before he can come home for a few days). Our day 0 will be on the 5th September ( our 14th wedding anniversary). I want to do every right for him, but he is very independent, I know little about the conditioning treatment, and what to expect when he comes home and wondered if someone could help me with this
Thanks lindsay Lou


  • Lindsaylou

    Wonderful news that your husband has a donor and he is doing well.

    Conditioning treatment does vary depending on the regime they have chosen. Some patients (younger ones) often have Total Body Radiation.

    Most patients already have Hickman Line, if he doesn't it is likely they will want to put a Hickman Line in. Generally, there is a few days of treatment to prepare the body ready to accept the Stem Cells. The chemo will be given via the line, as with the chemo he will have received to date the blood counts go down and he may have the same / similar side effects as with the chemo he has received to date. They start administering the immuno-suppressant at this stage and that is often cyclosporine. Your consultant will advise on this, that can make patient feel unwell when combined with the chemo. Day 0 he will receive his stem cells.

    Personally, i found the conditioning treatment period tolerable and did not suffer too many side effects. I was starting to feel tired, generally unwell by Day 0. My stomach suffered as a result of the chemo and shortly after Day 0 i had lots of mouth related issues. That said, i had at most two rough weeks and once the neutrophils started to appear on my blood counts i quickly started to recover.

    My advice would be to discuss the treatment with your consultant and or Clinical Nurse Specialist. Often the CNS has a countdown spreadsheet. During treatment speak up if he feels unwell in any way, as they are normally chemo drugs he might not have received to date.

    As for the Transplant. It's rather an anti-climax, as it takes on average about an hour. A bag of cells turn up and they give them in a very similar way to a blood transfusion. Even so it's exciting and a great moment of hope.

    Best of luck and do not hesitate to use the forum if you have more queries.

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