Having the stem cells
The donated stem cells will be given through your central line or implantable port either the day you finish your treatment or 1-2 days later.
This is similar to having a blood transfusion. Donor cells are usually given within 3 days of collection, but they can be frozen if necessary.
Some people have mild side effects, such as feeling sick (nausea) and breathlessness, when the stem cells are given. You’ll be closely monitored by the staff caring for you during the infusion.
The stem cells travel to your bone marrow, where they’ll start to grow and develop into mature blood cells. It’ll be at least 10 days and up to three weeks before some of the ‘new’ blood cells are released into the blood. It may then be up to six weeks before you can leave the hospital. This is because you’ll be at increased risk of infection until your body is producing enough white blood cells.
You may be given growth factors by injection. This helps blood cells grow and stimulates your bone marrow to start producing new white blood cells more quickly. Using growth factors can reduce the length of time you’re at risk from some of the side effects.
You’ll usually stay in a single room to help protect you from the risk of infection. This is especially important when your blood count is at its lowest, which is about 2-4 weeks after the transplant.