Re: Newly Diagnosed

From: Becca- rwalker@geo.arizona.edu

Date: 8/15/2004

Time: 3:12:42 PM

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I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s recent diagnosis. Every person’s experience with ATG is different, but across the board, having people around for support during treatment helps a lot. I had ATG in January, and these are some things that helped me:

(1) Having some kind of central venous access (PICC line, port, Hickman, etc.) She will have lots of infusions and blood draws, so a central line will save a lot of needle sticks.

(2) Staying well-hydrated and getting up and walking around a few times a day.

(3) Knowing that the first day of treatment is the worst and that it gets a lot easier!

(4) Eating whatever sounds good, regardless of nutritional value. (I ate ice cream and brownies for 2 days.) The ATG, cyclosporine, and steroids will probably affect her appetite, but it’s crucial to get calories. The cyclosporine goes down a lot better with juice and/or food.

One more thing on the food note: pretty much everyone vomits after the first infusion, so she may want to plan her pre-treatment meal accordingly.

I hope that her side effects are mild and that the treatment goes well! There are a lot of posts about ATG in the archives on this site, and I’m happy to talk to you more about it if you want. Good luck!