Deciding about a blood and marrow transplant

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Deciding about a blood and marrow transplant (BMT) is a difficult decision to make. Parents can learn some tips that may help.

Key points

  • When considering a BMT for your child, it is important to ask lots of questions until you understand and can make an informed decision.
  • Talk to parents of children who have been through the same procedure, and involve your child in the process if you can.

Deciding whether your child should go through a transplant is a challenging decision for many families. A blood and marrow transplant (BMT) is a long and intense process that will be both physically and emotionally demanding. You will need to consider many life-altering circumstances such as leaving home, caring for other children, and taking time off work. At the same time, you will look at the various challenges involved with choosing BMT. You may feel frustrated about having to balance several difficult options.

Ask questions

Do not hesitate to ask the BMT health care team any questions. Continue to ask until you understand, even if you feel you have asked the same questions many times. Write down all of your questions and thoughts in a note book. The BMT health care team is there to ensure that your questions are clearly answered.

You may consider bringing a close friend or family member you can trust with you to your meetings with the treatment team. Always keep a journal of notes.

Talk to other parents

You may find it helpful to talk to parents of children who have been through the same procedure. Your child’s physician or nurse can help put you in contact with such a parent.

Involve your child

Many BMT centres, and parents of children who have had a BMT, strongly suggest that involving your child in the decision-making is a good idea. This way you can secure your child’s support and trust, which is important during the transplant procedure.

Last updated: February 12th 2010