Beyond the first year of a transplant ...


New member
Knowing that immediately post-tx a patient is to stay away from fruit/vegetables and flowers, or things that can carry mold or bacteria. However, what about well beyond the transplant, beyond the first year? If I live on a farm/ranch would I have to move to the city? Or would I just have to be careful? Or stay away from all animals or fresh produce? Or just stay away from manure? What are the limitations (pets, livestock, food, produce) when things have settled down?



New member
I am on the transplant list in Canada and my brother has had his transplant over 4 years and the only fruit we were told to stay away from is Grapefruit because there is something in the juice that can affect your rejection medication. We have a dog and he has never had a problem being around her.



New member
I was told to wear a basic mask (like doctors wear in hospital or a painter's mask) when gardening to help avoid spores and bacteria that might be in the soil. I suspect it is probably the same thing when dealing with spreading or cleaning up manure. As I was never much of a gardener pre-transplant, it's not an urge that I get so it's not a problem.


New member
I am about to hit my 3rd year post transplant. For the first year I was very careful to always wear a mask when around flowers, dirt, poop etc. I was always told the first year can be the hardest. After getting into my second year I slowly got more and more "daring". I do have a few plants that I pot and do not wear a mask. I have a dog and he is pad trained and I pick up poop without a mask. I heard rabbit poop is deadly so I stay away from that. I guess it's just how you choose to live your life. I still am careful but I don't let the "no no's" take over my life. I did however do this to enjoy more life. It's a personal decision. Good luck!


Hey Grendel...

I'm not certain about EVERYTHING you're asking about -- I would review some of your questions with your transplant team...

It's not that you have to stay away from fresh (uncooked) fruits & vegetables -- it's that you have to wash/treat them appropriately... They need to be cleaned (and sometimes soaked) with an acidic or base solution that will kill most of the bacteria that bothers us... A lot of people use a vinegar or lemon juice solution (a few tablespoons in a pint of water - 1/4 cup in a gallon) to spray or soak fruits or veggies you're going to eat raw... Doing that should probably be for the rest of your life -- actually, it would be healthy for ANYONE, but imperative for immune suppressed folks like us...

If you've lived with pets / animals all of your life -- your system (even though it's going to be suppressed) has probably developed some antibodies to deal with problems those particular animals might cause... You probably shouldn't introduce new animals though... And we're generally advised way-against birds or reptiles...

Similarly -- in your living environment -- if you live on a farm and are constantly exposed to a farm environment -- you probably have an immune system that will deal with those problems better than a city-boy like me... I'm certain that, for the first several months to year, you should be much more vigilant and try to avoid the manure situations and soil situations -- possibly wear a mask when you're in the middle of those situations (and not a simple surgical mask -- more like a "duckbill" mask that seals around your face -- I think they might be "N95" masks)

The first 3-6 months post transplant we are generally the most vulnerable -- our immune suppression levels are at their highest... After 3-6 months, our levels are gradually reduced -- and by 1-2 years post, we will usually run at a lower immune suppression level for most of the rest of our lives -- they may lower it further 5-6 years out or if our kidneys start getting more compromised... However -- all bets are off if we have a bumpy road or deal with common bouts of rejection or other problems -- our immune suppression levels may stay ramped up higher if some of those things happen, and we may stay vulnerable longer...

I'm aware of a number of CF post transplant contacts who were born and raised, and currently live in farm environments -- and they're doing just fine... I'm aware of other friends in the same boat who love horses and have been around them all of their lives -- and they're around them again, months after transplant, without consequence and with their transplant team's blessings...

As of last week -- I'm 14 years post transplant... My limitations are few -- I do wash any fresh fruits & veggies -- I don't eat at salad bars or buffets... I'm VERY active -- though I do watch my environment... If I'm in a dusty, dirty area with obvious airborne contaminants, I leave or wear a mask (and still try to leave...) I think I'd be very nervous being exposed to manure consistently -- but I think soil and gardening might even be more dangerous...

Again -- I believe that you need to review this with your transplant team -- and hopefully you're at a large transplant institution who has patients exposed to many different environments, so they have a strong understanding of many and don't just tell you who hole-up for the next 10 years!!!

Love, Steve


I'm a new CF'er to this site but I just wanted you guys to know that I have a blog about my transplant journey. I would appreciate it if you would check it out as I barely made it :)

-Daniela, 18
delta F508