Preparing for infusion
Following apheresis, it takes several weeks for your CAR T-cells to be made in the laboratory. (You can find more information about how CAR T-cells are made here).
Your healthcare team will keep in touch with you about the progress of your CAR T-cells. They may ask you to come back to the treatment centre for additional appointments.
There is a small possibility that your cells cannot be manufactured into your CAR T treatment. If this happens your healthcare team will advise you what the next steps are.
Waiting for treatment can be a challenging time for both you and those closest to you and you may be feeling all sorts of emotions in the weeks leading up to treatment.
Talk to your healthcare team about what support may be available either at the treatment centre or in the local area. They may be able to refer you to a professional who can offer counselling and psychological help.
Doing some gentle exercise or physical activity is beneficial in helping to improve your overall physical health and may help manage stress.
Eating a well-balanced diet can also help with both physical and mental wellbeing. It’s important to get the nutrients your body needs from a range of foods, including carbohydrates, protein, fibre, fruit and vegetables, dairy or dairy alternatives, vitamins, minerals and fat.
- If you’ve lost your appetite and are struggling to eat and drink, talk to your healthcare team.
- You may be referred to a dietitian who can give you one-on-one guidance and advice specific to your needs.
What to prepare
Around this time, you will be given a date for when you need to return to the hospital for treatment.
You may also need to start making arrangements for your time in hospital. These arrangements could include:
- Telling your workplace or place of study about the time you need to take off
- Organising childcare or assistance with pets
- Making sure you’ve cancelled or postponed any upcoming appointments
- If required, handing over a spare set of keys to a neighbour or friend in case of any problems during your stay
- If required, ensuring any temporary accommodation has been arranged for during the treatment process
- You may also want to start thinking about packing a hospital bag. There’s some more advice about preparing for your hospital stay here.