Getting Chemo Ready, Getting Comfortable

Most chemo suites are kept slightly cool, so bring a shawl or sweater. You may also want to bring a pillow and a cozy blanket. These little things will make you feel cared for and comfortable.

TVs, headphone sets, and plenty of magazines and the latest best-sellers are usually on hand in chemo suites. Feel free to bring your own forms of entertainment as well, such as a portable CD/DVD player, an iPod or a knitting project—and snacks, too.

Don’t be concerned if there seems to be a long period from when you get to the chemo room and when you start getting the infusion. The doctor’s “go-ahead” for treatment may require that your blood counts be checked, plus a pharmacist must mix up your medication cocktail, which also adds to the overall time.

Also, be sure to bring someone along with you if you’re a first-time chemo patient. After a few sessions, it will be clear how the drugs affect you. If there are no problems with allergic reactions, you’ll be given the green light to come to treatments by yourself, if you wish.

Record your emotions and physical symptoms on your chemo calendar or in a journal each day throughout your treatment. This will help when it’s time to talk to your practitioner about your progress.

Stick with it!
While chemo is a powerful lifesaving treatment, you’ll get its full benefits only if you stick to your schedule.

  Getting Ready for Chemo

Starting Chemo: Preparing for Today's Visit
Preparing for Your First Chemotherapy Treatment
Your Chemo Checklist
Key Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Your Personal Chemo 'Cocktail'
6 Ways to Relax in the Chemotherapy Room

More Chemo Basics

Get Comfortable
4 Ways to Stop Treatment Anxiety
Take Some Advice from 3 Chemo Mentors
4 Things No One Tells You About a Cancer Diagnosis
What to Know About Ports