At my last visit to the hospital I found out a little bit more about the Bone Marrow Transplant I will be having.
I will be having an autologous transplant. Which basically means they will be using my own bone marrow and transplanting it back into me.
An overview though is that they:
Extract bone marrow from me, probably from the hip using the same procedure they used to test if I had Myeloma (hopefully not as painful this time around as the Myeloma is reduced). During the process they take out some of the bone marrow.
They may put the bone marrow through a cleansing process (purging).
I will have High Dose Treatment – which means they kill all of the myeloma and the bone marrow in my body.
Then they re-insert the cleansed bone marrow back into me via a drip.
Risks of high-dose treatment
Extract from Macmillan site
The main problems occur during the time when your bone marrow is recovering. This is when you could have possible life-threatening infections and bleeding. Your doctor will take into account your age and your general health when considering high-dose treatment for you. The upper age limit is usually 65–70. This is because the intensity of treatment increases the risks of severe side effects or of dying from the treatment after that age. High-dose treatment can sometimes be given to people over 65–70, depending on their general health and the risk of the cancer coming back.
This treatment is both physically and emotionally demanding. You may need to stay in hospital for up to four weeks or longer, and there will be times when you feel very unwell.
You need to weigh up the benefits and risks of this treatment, including the possible side effects (especially serious infection or bleeding). It is important to discuss this in detail with your doctor and your family and/or the transplant counsellor at the hospital.