I would have a spouse, family member or friend drive you. I was always tired when I was done and it was quite a drive plus a ferry ride into the city. Wear comfortable clothes. I had a port so always wore a shirt that buttoned up the front as it was easier to access. Bring something great to read. My chemo mix contained something that made me sleepy so I always took a nap. I always asked what was in my "recipe". I would also take a list of questions to ask like what are the usual side effects I might experience. I always had to come in the next day for a neulasta shot so had a chance to ask questions. Ask if you have questions after the office closes, who can you contact. My oncologists office and infusion room always had a "party" atmosphere with plenty of goodies to eat. I spent a lot of the time talking and laughing with the other patients receiving their treatments.
Everybody's reaction to chemo is unique. We all get through our treatments in a variety of ways. I never had one minute of nausea but food tasted odd. The first week after my treatments I felt like I had the flu. I just listened to my body and rested. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. I was determined to stay positive, cooperative, and to see the humor in just about everything, but always stayed my own best advocate. Never be afraid to ask questions and trust your gut. You will do ok.... I wish you didn't have to do this but you WILL be ok. Hang in there.... please keep in touch with us. Big hugs and take care, Sharon
I like what Sharon wrote. I went in totally open to the experience and joked around a lot. Chemo changes your life but for the better when all is said and done. You really learn patience, to respect your body, how to nap. The nurses are amazing and hopefully you have access to a 24 hr help line to manage any issues that come up. I was lucky to have that option. Usually a dr would call me back within minutes with a plan. Lotsa good vibes and healing coming your way!!!2
I was nervous too:-). But everything Sharon is true and wonderful advice. We were assigned a treatment nurse at the center I went to. She gives each infusion. The moment I met her I felt so relaxed. She answered all my questions and explained everything she was doing. The best thing was I could feel her care for me. I'll never forget her and how she changed a scarey situation into a relaxed and informative one. I actually looked forward to seeing her. I brought things to do with me but usually ended up taking a nap or feeling drowsy. Getting the chemo isn't a bad experience. It's the following days when you feel its effect. I know you'll do great. It's one more experiemce to add to our lives. Take care and may God be with us all.1
Nervous and anxious are very universal feelings. Everyone has given you great advise. I didn't wear make up and took my sunglasses because I couldn't help crying at first. Fear and anger took over for a little while. Please know it is doable not wonderful but very doable. On the days you feel like you don't want to go on hang on to your faith and the strenghth of your sisters that are here with you.1
Thank u sisters!!0
Thank you Sharon!! You are always there for us0
Sylvia, if you have a port, try to get a prescription for a lidocaine cream. About one hour before your infusion, put a glob of the cream over your port site to deaden the skin. Put some plastic wrap over the area and tape it down. This will keep the cream in place and off your clothing. When it's time for the infusion nurse to set you up for your treatment, the cream will dull the needle used for the infusion. Good luck.0
So how did it go, Sylvia? Sorry I didn't chime in earlier. I hope you got through it with little trouble.
Now you know how long you'll be there. It was usually around 5 hours for me. I took a laptop (e-mail, internet, games, movies) and knitting/needlepoint/crocheting. Also my iPhone so I could listen to music. I took snacks (almonds and baby carrots, mostly) and a sandwich for lunch. I would get very sleepy toward the end so I made sure to eat around hour # 2 or 2 and 1/2. I found ginger ale to be very helpful both during and after chemo, so I usually took a can or two of my favorite brand. Also a small container of hand sanitizer.
Some people bring a blanket and/or pillow, or one of those neck rolls you use on airplanes. (I always found the room to be really cold.) Sunglasses or eyeshades if the room is too bright.
I always had a hot coco as they were starting. That relaxed me. I also took my mp3 player listened to music and slept thru most of it. Hope it went well. I always would see someone else having so much more trouble than me and would be thankful for what "I wasn't going thru" like them.0
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