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Discussion about multiple myeloma treatments, stem cell transplants, clinical trials, alternative medicines, supplements, and their benefits and side effects.

Chemo withdrawal?

by nilda on Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:01 pm

Hello all, my husband was diagnosed in Feb 2013, has had 4 rounds of induction therapy and is getting ready to have stem cell harvest at the end of month. He is now on his second week without chemo therapy and not that he is in pain but he says he feels a bit off - he questioned can i be having Chemo Withdrawal? Have any of you had this? Also while i have your attention any tips/pointers as he prepares to harvest his stem cell. Doctor said he had near complete response as a trace was detected in his bone marrow. Praying for a cure, Nilda

nilda

Re: Chemo withdrawal?

by Louise on Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:42 am

I never thought of the way my husband felt following chemo as withdrawal, but in a way perhaps it was. He was often "zapped" and struggled with daily routines during the whole process. By the time each cycle was finished, he seemed to be on even ground and slowly started going uphill again, so to speak. He never felt really good but felt "okay." It does take awhile after the chemo for the body to once again feel normal. It does get better as the body adjusts. I suspect that is what your husband is feeling. In preparation for the stem cell harvest, my husband was given growth hormones; I don't recall any special instructions given to him. Incidentally, we found the process of the stem cell harvest to be totally amazing! Trust me, it all gets better! good luck!

Louise

Re: Chemo withdrawal?

by NSTEWART on Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:44 pm

I didn't notice anything that I would call chemo withdrawal. I felt the same as when I had my 7 days off between cycles of Rev. You don't mention what induction therapy your husband had.

One of the major things about ASCT is not to panic. It is a relatively easy process, but of course everyone's journey is different. Between the infusion of Cytoxan and when I had the filtering for my stem cells I was on a neutropenic diet - no raw foods of any kind, no fresh cut deli products, no black pepper, no uncooked herbs or spices, no yogurt with live cultures, no cheese with mold like blue cheeses, and I don't remember what else. This is because your white cell level drops and you are at risk for infection from many foods.

If he has a transplant in the hospital and stays inpatient, make sure he takes lots of things to occupy his time and to make him comfortable. I had my laptop, ebook, iPod, cell phone, dvd's, comfy clothes, lots of underwear, favorite pillow and a throw. I felt like I was packing for a long vacation. I would suggest limiting the number of visitors during his hospital stay so that they aren't likely to bring in bugs that you don't want. He won't need you to stay there with him all of the time. I really enjoyed the peace and quiet of the days. Encourage him to do light exercise, walk the halls and not stay in bed unless he really feels miserable. I only spent one day in bed, the day of my re-infusion because I was sedated for it. Even when I felt my worst, the 2-3 days when blood levels bottom out, I was up out of bed just more quiet.

Ask lots of questions of your transplant team and see if you can get a peer referral of someone who has had a transplant and perferably one done at the same transplant center. They will know the protocol that your center follows.

Best to you and your husband,
Nancy in Phila

NSTEWART
Name: Nancy Stewart
Who do you know with myeloma?: self
When were you/they diagnosed?: 3/08
Age at diagnosis: 60


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