This resource is for people who are about to undergo a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) or Chimeric Antigen Receptor Cell Therapy (CAR-T) and have been asked by their clinician to access it.
BMT and CAR-T treatments are complex and typically physically and emotionally demanding. It can be a very stressful time and how patients (and their loved ones) cope psychologically will vary from person to person and depend on many factors. We all have different life histories, unique individual circumstances, our own network of family and friends, and people differ in their response physically to the treatment and its side effects. Therefore, it is unsurprising that patients also have varied emotional and psychological reactions.
There is currently a growing interest in incorporating various interventions prior to certain types of treatment (cancer and non-cancer related) to improve psychological wellbeing and enhance coping skills. Whilst there are individual differences, there tend to be some more common emotional / psychological struggles that those undergoing these treatments experience.
This resource will not give an exhaustive list of the difficulties people might face, but the most typical. The emotional responses experienced can be present before, during and after treatment, although the influencing factors may differ. It is important to remember that not everyone will experience all of the struggles we describe. It is hoped that these resources will help to normalise some of your emotional experiences and also help you to identify if you are struggling and might require some additional psychological support, as well as giving you information about how you can access it.
Here, we have also produced resources more specifically for those undergoing BMT and CAR-T treatments to help you to make sense of some of your experiences and perhaps leave you feeling less alone. There is a presentation, videos and various tools and resources for you to try. You can go through this in your own time, take breaks as and when needed and repeat it as often as you like. You should have been given a resource pack with the materials included so you have a hard copy and there will also be the option for you to print these out separately.
You may find this video by Dr Russ Harris of interest, as it helps to explain how the human mind works.