In this section of our site, we provide you with information about what to expect during your transplant.
The process begins with the preparative regimen, also known as the conditioning regimenThe combination of chemotherapy and/or radiation given to a patient prior to a stem cell transplantation. Also called the preparative regimen.. This treatment will destroy the diseased cells in your body and make room in your bone marrow for the new, healthy stem cells.
Following the preparative regimen, you may rest a day or two before the day of transplant or proceed directly to transplant. On the day of transplant, healthy blood stem cells will be infused into your body much like a blood transfusion.
Once in your body, the blood stem cells will migrate to the cavities of your bones where, over the next few weeks, they will begin producing new blood cells. This is called engraftment.
During the first weeks following your transplant, your medical team will monitor you closely for complications such as infection, excessive bleeding and organ problems. If you received stem cells from a donor, you will be monitored for graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD).
The section on physical challenges describes some of the potential side effects of your treatment. In the section on emotional challenges we discuss the potential for anxiety, stress and frustration, for both you and your family, following the transplant.
Pediatric patients face some unique challenges during this period, which we discuss in a special pediatric section.
The most important thing you should know about your transplant is that each patient recovers at his or her own pace. There is a wide range of normal responses, physically and emotionally, to a transplant so it’s best not to judge your progress by how quickly someone else recovers.
Recovery is a slow, sometimes frustrating process. It can be challenging, but it is also a time of hope. Your life after a transplant is beginning.