If someone you know is having treatment

Family and friends play an important role in helping people get through the treatment. Visitors can be a real help to people in hospital, especially if they are in a room on their own.

Most hospitals are flexible about visiting, but there may be some restrictions. When you arrive, speak to the nurse looking after your relative or friend before going into their room. You’ll have to take certain precautions to protect your relative or friend from infection. If you’re unsure about anything, ask the doctors or nurses. Here are some general tips:

  • Don’t visit if you feel unwell, even if it is just a cold or cough.
  • Don’t bring children who are unwell, or who have been near other children with an infection. Don’t bring children who have had recent vaccinations. Most units allow children to visit, but it is best to check with the hospital staff.
  • Always follow hospital instructions – for example, washing your hands and putting on an apron before going into the room.
  • Ask the nursing staff for advice before bringing in food. Some gifts such as flowers may not be allowed because of the risk of infection.

You can still kiss and hug your relative or friend, and hold their hand, but it’s important to follow the precautions.

Be prepared that there will be times when they won’t look or feel well. It’s often enough just to sit with them. Sometimes, they may not feel like seeing anyone because they’re too tired.

It can help if one person coordinates visiting so that it’s spread out. It can be difficult to cope with too many visitors or with long visits. Don’t be upset or take it personally if you’re asked to miss a visit. You could phone or send a card, text or email instead.

Back to Stem cell and bone marrow transplants explained

What are stem cells and bone marrow?

These treatments use the bone marrow and stem cells to treat some types of leukaemia and lymphoma.

What is high-dose treatment with stem cell support?

High-dose treatment involves the use of chemotherapy and stem cells to treat cancer or leukaemia. In some cases radiotherapy may also be used.

What are allogeneic stem cell transplants?

An allogeneic stem cell transplant is a cancer treatment that involves receiving stem cells from a donor.

Preparing for treatment

There are a few things you can do to prepare for a stem cell and bone marrow transplant.

Your feelings

You may experience difficult feelings after your treatment. Talking to those close to you can help.

What happens after treatment?

You’ll be able to go home after treatment but you’ll need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle.