Can someone please be so kind as to advise on what happens with regards to the sct from harvesting to putting back in – I have no idea what the process is or whats involved or how it works.
We have one more cycle to go through then the harvest (no idea how this is done or how long it takes) have a little break before they flip a coin and he either has the SCT or if he goes back onto another 4 cycles, based on the clinical trial that he is on its all randomized but it would be good to know what we are facing, I hear about the side affects but not sure on the actual processes involved e.g. what happens in the 3 weeks + that you stay in the hospital??
Thanks in advance to anyone that can help.
If it’s a auto transplant this is were your own cells are collected (good ones) you will go in for a day (may have to go a second day depends how many cells are collected on day 1) they will be sent off to be frozen. You will then go into hospital (isolation) not on the same day you will sort a date with your consultant you will then receive high dose chemo then your cells will be given back to you, you will stay in hospital until your bloods start coming back as normal. You will be sent home with plenty of trips back to hospital for general blood tests and most of all look after your self when you are out of hospital.
It depends on the regime and the type of transplant but normally you’ll get a few days of conditioning treatment before the day the cells go in (Day 0), then it is a waiting game. Treatment itself is short and anti-climatic – not what I expected from a “transplant” – a lot of the time boredom is the toughest part – but the chemo does leave you weak so sleep is also very common during those few weeks.
All the very best,
Thanks – but I’m still a little confused as to how its physically done, How do they harvest the cells and how do they put them back in ? I’ve tried but not that hard to look it up online but i cant see how its physically done
is it painful ? The biopsy is a horrible thing to have done and i was the one in tears just watching it while my other half remained silent and motionless while the dr was literally drilling into him way way to heavy handed.
even at the UCLH nice as he is one of the coordinators isn’t that helpful when it comes to explaining things (in all fairness we never asked the clinical doctor because we were just starting chemo but now we are getting close to what may / may not happen).
re: the harvesting, I suppose it depends how squeamish you are. Basically one needle goes in one arm, extracts the blood, takes it to this machine where it is spun really quickly then it goes back to a needle in your other arm. So you are sat there all day with a needle in both arms. I wouldn’t say it was painful, but I hated it more than the biopsy because I hate the sight of blood (ironic to get a blood cancer!) so I was sat there trying not to look at it all day. I didn’t mind the biopsies so much as from a patient’s perspective you can’t see what they are doing to you!
I felt a bit woozy straight after the harvesting but I was fine by the next morning.
All the best,
Re putting them back in, it is just the same as a blood transfusion – very straightforward and not painful at all – that’s why I thought it was anticlimactic- but very significant nonetheless
Watch this link.
Thank you, I think I may have seen one of these processes done to someone else (if they don’t keep you in a separate room) was thinking someone was having a blood transfusion and wondering what was going on – the person in question was hooked up for hours and ended up falling a sleep half way through it.
But thanks again i was thinking it was some thing god awful like a biopsy but for longer and them drilling into your bone marrow and trying to extract it from there and lines coming in and out of the chest when its going back it (actually i have no idea what i was thinking) – I just want to be prepared for if and when it happens – I find that I retain more information than my other half when it comes to processes and procedures and being the one who keeps a level head in front of him (while flaking out in the back ground where he cant see)
Yes that’s the best way to try and keep a level head (I know it’s not easy). If you have a good myeloma specialist that you deal with you will be fine as they will prepare you for the transplant. Hope all goes well with treatment.
Sabs have a read of this it might help. Open link.
Thanks for that – ill have a read over the weekend
I hope that it doesn’t cause much sickness / nausea which seems to be our biggest problem with pretty much everything – week off from cycle 3 and yesterday the steroids had messed him up again (not realizing if it was the chemo drugs or iv) every week is different but ultimately each week there is some really bad sickness symptom to contend with 🙁
I hope we can see the light soon
My hubby has just finished round 3 of VDT. His FLC were down to 6 after round 2. Our local hospital has a backlog for the PP level results but the consultant is confident that with the FLC coming down so much the PP level should be somewhere near. I know the reduction can slow down with each round. Can anyone tell me what there round 3 and 4 reductions were like. We are aiming for SCT this side of Christmas.
Also how bad is the chemo they give you after the harvest during the SCT process. Our consultant has described it as “being on a thimble full of chemo now and going into a bucket load during SCT”. How did people come with this? Thanks
sorry I can’t remember my counts between cycles but I can confirm the chemo is harsher in prep for SCT, the logic being you really want to blast those myeloma cells before you put the baby cells back in. Melphalan was the worst for me, it made me badly sick but only for 1-2 days. It also makes your hair fall out. It is tough for a while but it is short-lived. Within a couple of months, the body starts to recover and it all becomes a distant memory.
Wishing you the very best,
Just sitting at home now trying to focus on work and I have my other half in bed – he just had the priming session on Monday for the ST Harvest and today he is physically sick, just gave him his tablets again (after the first lot didn’t stay down), I honestly thought he would have been better today but the nausea and vomiting is getting worse – he is keeping a good temperature but with little / no fluids i’m not sure how long that will last.
But as an FYI – His pp levels were as follows – Start 38 / after cycle 1 – 10 / after cycle 2 – 6 / after cycle 3 – 4 / after cycle 4 – 3. I would have liked it to have gone down to 0 but i guess that is wishful thinking, his light chains were at 290 at the start then after cycle 1 it was down to 11 and then they said they stopped counting as they were back to normal. I did ask the nurse about his pp level she said it was a very good level to be on but i have no gauge as to what the perimeters are for harvests or transplants.
i’m hoping that we can get through the next 2 weeks with no A&E visits but this is looking very unlikely – I just hope he picks up later today and can keep some food and liquids down. If he does go down the STC route (still to be decided as he is on a trial) then i’m glad he will be in hospital and monitored 24/7 he is very stubborn an wont listen especially when he is sick and wants to be left alone.
The only annoying thing is everyone is different and reacts different – my boy is 39 and albeit the myeloma was very fit and healthy, but now suffers terribly from nausea and sickness on the chemo, so when you see people walking in and out with no issues from the chemo and people are more older and fragile looking on the whole I get upset that this is happening to him. but he’s never been one for taking drugs of any kind and i guess its hitting him 10 fold which i suppose is a good thing cause its working and he does turn a corner instantly from sick to okay, i just don’t know how long that will be as every treatment is different and side effects are all very random. He does change as a person when he is having treatment but goes back to his usual self when he has the rest-bites so I know its not forever.
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