Mucositis (inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the mouth and gastrointestinal tract) and stomatitis (mouth sores) are common complications following stem cell transplants. Symptoms include reddened, discolored, or ulcerated membranes of the mouth, pain, difficulty swallowing, taste alterations, and difficulty speaking. The majority of children undergoing transplant experience this problem.

If mucositis occurs, your child will require frequent mouth care, modifications in diet, and pain medications. It is very important to try to coordinate your childs required mouth care with the administration of appropriate pain medications. Likewise, make sure your child receives pain medication before eating, drinking, or taking oral medication. When white blood cells return, your childs mouth will heal.

High-dose chemo kills your taste buds, and I wanted to only eat sweet or spicy food. Anything else tasted like cardboard. I'd eat ribs with BBQ sauce. KFC mashed potatoes and gravy was great. Drinking was hard. I used to suck on ice cubes. It's gross when the lining of your mouth comes out. It just pulls out, it's white, it doesn't hurt. It comes out during bowel movements, too, but you don't realize it. But, you can't swallow because of the sores, so you have to spit a lot.

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