Stem cell harvest on Monday

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Hello, a newbie here.

I have finished my 12 weeks chemo and my stem cell harvest is on Monday. Should I take my husband to sit with me? 
I think all of this has been pushed from mind as ‘in the future’

Now the future is here and I feel scared and unprepared.

Top tips to get through this please. I feel so well right now. My bone pain is so much better and I was lucky enough to have very few side effects from the 4 x 3wks chemo. Is this an indication of what’s to come? I have never been poorly before in my entire life, I’m 57 and don’t even feel unwell right now, other than I get tired.

My myeloma is high risk and if I’m honest I don’t really understand what that means. I guess that’s why everything has happened so quickly…..

  • Hi  and welcome to our little corner of the community. I had 2 Allo (donor) SCTs as I could not be put into remission for any clean Stem Cells to be harvested….. my brother was a 10/10 match so he went through the harvest.

    He said it was basically like when he gave blood as a blood donor but much much longer. He had to go down to Glasgow to get the harvest done as my SCT unit is in Glasgow as I stay in Inverness.

    He had no one with him but he said that he always had company and was well looked after with regards to food etc.

    As long as the harvest centre allows it then your husband could……  but just be mindful that once you go into the actual conditioning and then get your Stem Cells you are going to be in a room/ward for a few weeks so there is a balance as to what is best use of his time and what you need during that time.

    My brother had the harvest over 2 days each time….. and apart from a little fatigue he had no issues.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Hi Dewdropkid,

    Are you having your harvest through your arm? My arms were unsuitable so I had mine through a line in my groin. It was painless, but is long. Mine was done over 2 days. I always had 2 staff with me and my partner was there. Obviously he was free to come and go but it is quite boring for them. I would suggest not drinking too much before the procedure as it is awkward (especially as a female) using the toilet. Hopefully all will be straightforward for you and you can get your SCT asap. 

    Good luck Fingers crossed 


  • Hi. I see quite a few stem cell harvests and they usually take quite a long time. I believe most aspherises units in hospitals allow you to have someone there if you wish, to chat to as the process is quite boring as blood goes out one arm and then back into the other after the stem cells have been removed. When they are first setting up they generally want you there by yourself so they can find a suitable vein in each arm to put a cannula in each arm. You may get a back ache in lower back or a rumbling sensation this is your body pushing stem cells out of your bones into the blood. This happens after you take the injections they ask you to take. Depending on the quality of the cells you produce on the first day you may or may not return for a second day. Good luck. It is nothing to worry about.

  • Thank you for your help 

  • Hello, the process was nothing to worry about.
    I just completed 2 very long days and unfortunately didn’t get enough stem cells for a transplant. So exhausted, emotional and disappointed.

    Now have to wait 3-4 weeks to try again 

  • So sorry to hear you did not get enough stem cells on this occasion, I expect it happens a lot. Hopefully after some rest and recuperation next time will be more successful. Good luck for your next visit.

  • Hi Joy,

    j had it through my arms and like you said it wasn’t too bad. The first day I didn’t even need the loo!! 
    Yesterday was harder and made even harder by being told that enough stem cells weren’t collected. I’d not really considered that as they had planned on collecting enough for 2 transplants!!

    it was a shock to say the least. 
    Maybe associated with the trial that I’m on.

    I will need to wait 3-4 weeks for my bone marrow to recover and will then have the extra injection.

    Fingers crossed for it to happen then.

    Thanks for your reply, I’m very new to this

  • Hello Joy.   I have had my SCT in September 2021.  They had to take my cells over three days and it’s always so they have enough for a 2nd transplant only if needed.  If there is anything that you don’t understand ask your consultant or there will be a specialist Transplant nurse and they are very good and can explain your condition. I always had a list of questions because I would have forgotten half of them without it. I wish you the very best going forward. Happy to answer any questions on my experience