Do’s & Dont’s & tips please before & after a stem cell treatment

My hubby has myeloma and due to have his stem cell transplant shortly. He is a slim man and doesn’t weigh that much already, I’m worried he may loose lots of weight after the transplant.So need to feed him up!
Do any of you have any tips to put on weight before his transplant and also any other useful tips to help him before and after, with weight issues but also any other issues any of you may have experienced. This forum has already helped us so much, the help and advice is invaluable. Take care everyone.:smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Hi @Olivia a very good question and I hope others will be able to help with their experiences.
Personally I would ask my specialist nurse, consultant or stem cell transplant team what I should be eating and drinking. This is especially after the transplant.
I bet this will not be the first time they will have been asked.
There are a lot of drinks, products and supplements on the market, usually found in pharmacies.
This is the time when you don’t have to count calories at home.
I await others
Let us know what advice you are given

@erica, Thankyou. Hope you are doing ok.x

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After my stem cell transplant i found it hard to swallow because i had bad mucositis. It takes a while for your insides to heal…both ends! A dietician will speak to him in hospital. i found the protein shakes and soups the best after a few weeks. i survived on ice lollies for about a fortnight! He will lose a bit of weight but it goes back on fairly quickly, in saying that if he doesnt get mucositis he’ll be fine and be able to eat, everyone is different. I was nauseous for some time after i got home, stick to comfort foods nothing spicy, bland! The transplant nurse told me to bring plenty of underwear…im glad i listened :face_with_peeking_eye:


@bitsy thanks so much for replying. I realise it’s an individual thing.
I did wonder about a sore mouth, and the other end too. I hope he doesn’t suffer too much, keeping everything crossed….:face_with_peeking_eye:
I hope you are feeling much better now. I find it’s good to ask people who have actually been through it. I just wanted to be a little prepared as it’s the only way I can help hubby at the moment. I will definitely buy him so more y fronts, I mean underwear, :scream:. let us know how you are doing Bitsy , thanks again.x


im a year past it now and on maintenance treatment until it relapses…hopefully far far away! my body ached for months after. muscle atrophy from being in a hospital bed for weeks. I was out of breath going up stairs! he’ll have to take it slow when he comes home. i also found my taste went for several weeks and some foods, even water tasted odd. He will sleep…a lot! I was encouraged to try to push myself a little more everyday. I went to my local hospital twice weekly on return to see if i needed transfusions etc, they will monitor him closely. Plan towards something nice, give yourselves a goal and best of luck x


Unfortunately the sore mouth and diarrhea is par for the course because of the high dose chemo usually melphalan
He will be encouraged to eat ice/ice pops while having the chemo
What happens is the immune system is destroyed via the chemo and that’s the lining of the mouth stomach and bowel mucositis
The cells are put back in to re start the immune system.
He will become neutropenic where he will be careful what he eats
This will all be under control in the hospital
He may well be weak tired sick
He will be at risk of infections
Food won’t taste the same so it doesn’t help with eating
He will be encouraged to get up and shower move around.

I will link myeloma uk download that maybe helpful

When he leaves hospital he should be given a pack for when you get home

I would say don’t get fixated on weight
Just eat healthy drink plenty of water fluids exercise to give him a good start into transplant
Food will not taste the same for a while and there is nothing worse than being given food when you can’t stand to look at it or eat it.
Anything he wants let him have
Make small meals when he comes home
He might only want a spoonful
Appetite will come back in time


Hi @Olivia,
I hope both you & your hubby are doing okay?
Having questions about what to expect when heading into transplant is really normal and i can see how much brilliant support you have already received.
I wanted to share the links to our stem cell booklets in conjunction with Anthony Nolan which may be helpful in understanding what to expect pre transplant and after transplant. It covers topics like nutrition, recovery and some practical guidance which may be useful.

You may also find this page helpful- Order or download publications | Anthony Nolan

If you or your husband needs to talk things through at any point, we are very much here for you- 0808 2080 888.

Take good care of each other, Lauran


Dear @Olivia,

Its a strange time waiting for a stem cell transplant, for both of you, but good to get prepared :slight_smile:

I would encourage your hubby to take the ice-lollies seriously during the melphalan infusion (as in just suck them continuously and for a while afterwards, if he can bear it). I found during my second transplant that this really reduced the severity of the mucositis, which then made eating and recovering so much easier than when I had the first one (because back in the day, I didn’t know about the ice-lolly strategy).

There are various kinds of protein drinks. I found Scandi-shakes the nicest, especially if you whizz them up with ice-cream on the top.

My transplant nurse advised trying to eat extra protein after the transplant as it helps everything to rebuild, but this isn’t necessarily easy while suffering from sickness etc so the Scandi-shakes were important for me.

Some hospitals allow you to take in food, although with various cautions during times of neutropaenia. Sometimes this is more appetising than hospital meals. I couldn’t do this during my second transplant as it was during the pandemic and I was not allowed any visitors. It could be worth asking your hospital about this if they haven’t already given you that information.

I’ve never thought about food to build oneself up before a transplant but I’m thinking maybe prepare some of your hubby’s favourite meals - things he will especially enjoy eating while his pre-transplant tastebuds are still normal.

The unknown is terribly hard and response to transplants is a very individual thing. What I can say by way of encouragement is that I went back for a second one with the full knowledge of what the first one was like! In fact I found the second one easier - mostly because I hardly had any mucositis whereas the first time it was horrendous.

It sounds as if you’re facing this as a team and I hope all will go really well.


@bitsy, take good care of yourself. Thankyou for the advice. Xx


@2DB how are you doing?
Many thanks for all the good advice and download… I appreciate everyone that takes time to spend time sharing experiences… Thankyou…x


@LauranBloodCancerUK , @Coastgirl
Thankyou guys so kind. I appreciate all the kind responses & invaluable help. I hope that in the future I can give back and help someone the way you are helping me & hubby. Take care.x