Hospital Tips for Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplant Patients

For those who are going through a stem cell transplant or a bone marrow transplant, below is a list of tips for long hospital stays and related to help you through your journey brought to you by those who have undergone both types of procedures.

SCT/Hospital Tips and Suggestions:

  1. Bring a list of drugs you take – for your own records and for the hospital files
  2. Bring a list of medicines you are allergic to (very important)
  3. Keep a list of family and friend’s phone numbers
  4. Consider a Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will (check
  5. If applicable, apply for Social Security Benefits prior to your SCT. If rejected, appeal or contact an attorney
  6. Bring a notepad and pen to write notes and names of doctors, nurses, PCAs, etc.
  7. Buy a calling card (most hospitals only allow you to dial within their area code)
  8. Check with your hospital if cell phones are allowed
  9. Bring a laptop — it’s a great to keep in touch and/or watch movies
  10. Bring light reading material like magazines to help pass the time
  11. Bring movies – subscribe to Netflix (this proved very helpful in helping pass the time)
  12. Bring your iPod or a CD player – music is therapy to the soul
  13. Bring games or cards – to help pass the time
  14. Bring hobby/craft stuff – to help pass the time
  15. Bring reminders of home – to keep you going strong (pictures, bible, etc.)
  16. Bring a fluffy pillow and a soft blanket
  17. Definitely bring your own PJs, robe, socks, slippers & sneakers (you may be asked to walk after your SCT)
  18. Pack cotton low v-neck shirts (for easy port or Hickman access)
  19. Pack warm sweats (it gets cold)
  20. Pack sleeping caps or comfortable knit caps & hats
  21. Bring plastic bags to store your laundry so your caregiver can take it home to wash
  22. Bring anti-bacterial wipes (to clean phones, counters, door knobs, etc.)
  23. Bring sugar free candy to lessen the taste of the heparin shots
  24. Go ahead, have your room decorated (it makes for a supportive environment)
  25. Try to keep visitors to a minimum and only essential visitors. Keep anyone with a cold away from you during your stem cell transplant to prevent infections and such
  26. WALK (exercising is very important to the health of your lungs after your stem cell transplant).
  27. Keep your medical team informed when you need pain relievers or when you have any side effects even if you think it’s minor. Any side effect during an SCT needs to be mentioned to your medical team so that they can help you. Be a teamplayer!
  28. ALWAYS seek the advice of medical experts and have your caregiver take notes
  29. Allow yourself to get some rest. This is a tough journey and sleep helps
  30. Designate a friend or family to be your advocate to help you through your appointments, etc.
  31. When in doubt, GET A SECOND MEDICAL OPINION.