During post-treatment recovery, typically, only parents of the baby and one other caretaker, along with hospital staff, are allowed to be in the room with the baby.
Importance of Self-care
The days of caring for the baby alone can take an emotional toll. For the baby’s sake and yours, make efforts to cope with this isolation at the hospital with these hospital tips.
- Follow a daily routine with your baby.
- Take breaks from being in the room and consider exercise as a stress reliever.
- Eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep.
- Reach out to other parents through support groups and resources.
- Take advantage of hospital social workers who can assist you with issues such as financial/insurance and mental health concerns related to your child’ care.
Post-treatment will affect everyone in the family. If you have other children at home, this period will impact them and everyone in your household. Try to maintain your other kids’ normal routines. Check to see if grandparents or family friends can help with drop offs, pickups, and after-school activities.
HSCT recovery is a series of milestones that the baby reaches as the weeks pass. Doctors measure the production of different types of immune cells that help build a healthy immune system. Sometimes, however, there are complications with the transplant. Those complications include:
- Graft versus host disease – Graft versus host disease occurs when the donated cells attack the body of the baby.
- Failure to engraft – Failure to engraft occurs when the baby’s cells attack the donor cells.
- Conditioning side effects – Conditioning side effects occur when the baby becomes ill from the chemotherapy and other conditioning drugs.
Doctors will explain treatment options, should complications develop. They will also discuss next steps should the transplant fail to provide your baby with a healthy immune system.
TJ and Audrey Duggan, parents to son Dean Duggan, discuss adjusting to life after treatment.
Alicia Beardon describes the process of adjusting to life post-treatment for her son, Nicholas.