How often you have appointments depends on how long it’s been since your stem cell transplant and how you’re getting on. As you recover, you’ll have appointments less often, and eventually a yearly check-up might be all you need.
If you have any questions or concerns between your appointments, contact your team at the transplant centre.
During the first three months, you’ll have regular appointments once or twice a week. During these appointments, your team will:
You’ll also have regular blood tests that will measure your blood count, liver and kidney function, and check for viruses.
‘The number of appointments you have can be intensive at first – but this is all part of the transplant journey.’
Jean, BMT co-ordinator
During the first three months you might also:
‘I kept a check on all the appointments in an old-fashioned diary. I also recorded my medication and kept a record of my weight, exercise and food. This was all helpful during consultant appointments.’
Sarah had a transplant in 2010
You may still have appointments every two weeks until about a year after your transplant. This varies from hospital to hospital, and will depend on how your recovery is going, but you might have:
You’ll also have chimerism tests done on your blood and bone marrow samples.
This measures how well your donor’s cells have engrafted – how many of your blood or bone marrow cells are being produced by your donor.
100% chimerism means that all of your bone marrow and blood cells come from your donor, while mixed chimerism means that some of your own cells are still there.
If you have mixed chimerism, your team might make changes to your medication or arrange for you to have a donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI). This is when more cells from your original donor are given to ‘strengthen’ the donor cells and push the chimerism levels up to 100%.
Download our guide Life After Transplant: An Essential Guide to Keeping Track of your Recovery for more information.