Weill Cornell Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Your Long-Term Recovery

The return of your immune system is a slow process. It may take up to a year (or longer) before your bone marrow is completely functioning and your immunity is fully restored. During this time, you will have to continue to protect yourself from infection.  While it may be difficult to adhere with certain restrictions, it may help to remember that these limitations are temporary and in the interest of your recovery and best health. There are important differences in risks for infections after each of the different types of transplant. Please also discuss with your physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

  • Maintain good hand hygiene by frequently washing hands and/or using an alcohol gel or foam
  • Advise those close to you to maintain good hand hygiene
  • Maintain good personal hygiene
  • Maintain good dental hygiene
  • Maintain good household hygiene
  • Check your temperature when you feel ill
  • Exercise lightly
  • Begin with small meals
  • Returning to work immediately
  • Contact with ill individuals
  • Contact with crowds
  • Public transportation
  • Cleaning after your pets
  • Having pets sleep in your bed
  • Gardening, potting plants, and lawn mowing
  • Sun exposure without sunscreen or protective clothing
  • Driving
  • Swimming in pools, oceans, and lakes
  • Well water (unless tested)
  • Raw/undercooked meats, fish, shellfish, and eggs
  • Fresh raspberries/blackberries and unpeeled fruits
  • Salads unless self-prepared
  • Deli meat unless pre-packaged
  • Unpasteurized products (such as dairy and beverages)
  • Aged cheeses
  • Outdated/expired foods and beverages
  • Marijuana/herbal preparations
  • Construction areas (due to fungal spores in the air)
  • Travel for at least 3 months (always obtain your physician’s approval on destination/length of travel during the recovery period)
  • Non-electric razor if platelets are below 50,000
  • Sexual activity if platelets are below 50,000
  • Sexual intercourse without a condom
  • Activities that are likely to cause injury (such as contact sports, bicycling, skiing, or moving furniture)
  • Infants/children/any persons who have been recently vaccinated with the oral polio, MMR, and chicken pox vaccines