Browser does not support script.
Skip to main content
Find out how we produce our information|
Having high-dose treatment with stem cell support| is very physically demanding. It’s important to make sure that you're fit enough to have the treatment.
If you smoke you’ll be advised to stop smoking|, as it increases your risk of complications and long-term side effects. Your GP can also give you advice.
The doctors will also want to know if you have any medical conditions that could cause complications afterwards, so they will ask you some questions before treatment begins.
You’ll have a number of tests before the treatment. Your doctor or specialist nurse will explain what they are and why they’re needed. They may include:
Some of the tests you have may depend on the type of cancer or leukaemia you have and the stage of your disease. Our information about your type of cancer or leukaemia| have more information on some of the tests mentioned here.
Once you understand what the treatment involves, you can take time to think things over and start to make practical arrangements. Before you go into hospital, it’s important to talk to the doctors and nurses who’ll be looking after you.
You may be able to visit the unit or ward before your treatment. They’ll tell you what to expect and give you advice on how to prepare. It’s a good idea to take a relative or friend with you.
Some people find it helps to discuss things with someone who’s already had this treatment. Your specialist or a support organisation| might be able to put you in contact with someone suitable.
Arrangements vary between units. In some units, it may be possible to stay in nearby accommodation, have treatment as an outpatient and be admitted when you need more care. You’ll usually be looked after in a room of your own for a while, possibly for a few weeks.
Although you may think that you’ll have a lot of time on your hands, you may be more occupied than you think. Much of your day will be taken up with a daily routine of care and regular checks by the doctors and nurses looking after you. This will include things like having:
The nurses will give you ideas of what you can take with you to help pass the time and make you more comfortable. This can vary between units. It’s a good idea to take some books, magazines, pens and paper. You can also take a radio, MP3 player, audio books or relaxation CDs. You may be able to take in movies, computer games, games or supplies for a hobby, such as knitting. Many hospitals supply radios, TVs and DVD players. The nurses will explain what’s provided.
Since you could be confined to your room for a long period of time, you may find it helpful to bring special items from home to make you feel more comfortable. This can include personal things such as photos, pictures and possibly a special blanket or pillow that has been cleaned.
You will also need to take comfortable, loose-fitting clothes with you. Soft, cotton materials are best, and tops with buttons will make it easier when you’re being examined. Ask the nurses for advice on the kind of toiletries you should bring with you.
Visitors, especially close family and friends, are important. They give you support and keep you in touch with life outside hospital.
Most hospitals are flexible about visiting, but different hospitals have different rules about visitors. You may be restricted to a certain number of visitors each day to help protect you from infection|. The nurses will explain more about this to you.
Content last reviewed: 1 December 2011
Next planned review: 2013
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
You can also follow us| on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
what are these?|