Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplant Consortium

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions during the First Month Following Discharge From the Hospital

Why do my child’s legs hurt?

When the muscles in your child’s legs get tired, they hurt.  It takes a while to rebuild muscles and strength after not exercising/walking as usual and being in bed.  If this problem does not go away, please call.

When will my child feel hungry?

Taste buds have changed from the chemotherapy and/or radiation.  Some foods you like “don’t taste the same.”  Your child’s stomach is not used to having food, so it takes time to build back his/her appetite.  It may take several months for your child’s appetite to return to normal.

When will my child start gaining weight?

It takes a while.  As your child’s appetite returns, so will the pounds.

When can my child stop taking these medications?

Most of the medications decrease the risk of infections (Bactrim, Nystatin, Acyclovir)  Once your child has gained sufficient T-cell function (usually six months to 1 year post bone marrow stem cell transplant) you will be able to stop these medications.  Your transplant team will notify you when to stop the medications.

When can my child’s friends visit?

It is preferred that only a couple of friends, whom you have screened, visit at one time.  Healthy visitors are welcome once you return home.

Can my child take a walk or go to the park?

Yes.  Plan it at a time during the day when few children will be at the park.  Avoid other children.

Can my child go to the movies?

Unfortunately no, because you cannot screen people in a movie theatre for colds.  Try renting a video/DVD and invite a couple of screened friends over for a movie night.  

How clean should my house really be?

Think of the initial cleaning as a “spring” cleaning.  Dust has probably built up during the long hospitalization.

Can we go to others’ houses?

This should be limited to close family homes where a certain amount of cleaning has occurred to reduce the amount of dust.  Please discuss further with transplant team.

Can my child be in the same room/house with someone who smokes?

NO, avoid secondary smoke since it is not healthy for you or your child.  This means that no one can smoke in your house, even if your child is not present at the time.

When can my child go back to school/work?

When they are taken off “isolation”, which usually occurs when the T-cells recover. Once again, your transplant team will notify you when it is ok to return to school.

Should family members get flu vaccines?

Yes, all family members should get the flu vaccine (injectable vaccine only) except for the patient.  (Patients will need the flu vaccine when they are ready to be immunized.) No one in the household should get the nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) because it is a live virus.