A cancer diagnosis can stop you in your tracks. If you're about to start chemo, you're probably trying to deal with hundreds of different thoughts and emotions. You might be worried about how the sessions will go. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you might have. In most cases, the health clinic where you'll be having your chemo infusions will have a patient advocate who can help you through the process. In addition to those resources, here are four tips that will help you prepare for your first chemo session.
Plan for Temperature Fluctuations
When you go for your chemo sessions, you should plan for temperature fluctuations. First, the rooms are often kept on the cool side to keep everyone comfortable. Second, you may experience hot and cold spells during treatment. Once you're connected to your IVs, you won't be able to adjust your clothing. That's why it's a good idea to dress lightly and bring a blanket along. Dressing lightly, with short-sleeved shirts and comfortable pants, will allow you to cover up when you get cold and remove the covers when you get too hot.
Bring a Journal
During your treatment, you may have questions and concerns that you want to bring up with your doctor. It's a good idea to bring a journal so that you can write those things down. When it's time to visit the doctor, you'll be able to refer to your journal. Journals also allow you to keep track of your thoughts and emotions during your treatment.
Have Someone with You
While you're going through chemo, it's a good idea to designate someone to be your treatment buddy. This person will go with you to your appointments. Not only will your treatment buddy be able to keep you company during your treatment, they'll also be able to take you home after your session. If possible, try to designate several people to be treatment buddies. This will ensure that you have an alternate should your primary designee not be able to attend a session.
Pack Something Light to Eat
Chemo treatments usually take all day, which means you might get hungry. While you might not feel well enough to eat a full meal, you should still keep your strength up. Be sure to pack several light snacks for your treatment session. Some snacks that work well include:
- Fruit snacks
- Hard cheese
If you're about to start chemo, be sure to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you might have. The tips provided here will help keep you comfortable during your treatment.