Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT)

There is no doubt about it. This is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do. It's hard to stay positive when the treatment causes such life-threatening illness. The conditioning therapy aims to remove all the patients cells from his bone marrow so that the transplanted donor cells have the best chance of grafting. Of course by doing this you destroy the ability of the patient to grow their own blood cells. The donor marrow is given as a "rescue". That is, the donor bone marrow becomes the way that the patient is able to grow new blood cells - hopefully without the leukaemia cells.

BMT Isolation room

Tiny room, long stay. Isolation rooms are used to control the environment around the patient and to limit the amount of bacteria that they come in contact with and therefore reduce the liklihood of infection. Parents get a list of daily cleaning activities. Filtered air and water, all food has to be either straight from the stove or the fridge, nothing gets left out, even for a little while. What does an isolation room look like? [more]

Conditioning therapy

Conditioning therapy occurs in the period immediately prior to the transplant. For AML patients conditioning therapy often includes heavy doses of chemotherapy and total body irratiation. [more]

The transplant

Everything leads to this moment and when it arrives it is both incredible and somewhat anti-climactic. [more]
 
 

 

 

We used a calendar to help us track Aidan's progress. A big yellow smiley face announced the beginning of the "big better"