If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer and are preparing for chemotherapy, you probably have a lot of questions. Each new stage of the treatment process often brings up more and more questions because it can be a lot to take in all at once. But, one of the most important things you can do is inform yourself, plan ahead and prepare for each new stage before it happens so that you can make the cancer treatment process as smooth as possible. Chemotherapy is tough on most patients, it is no secret. Preparing for something as foreign as chemotherapy when you have never had it before is hard to do. You do not know how your body will feel during chemotherapy, the emotions it will bring up and how you will feel after treatment has been completed. Many chemotherapy patients that have come before you have experienced what treatment is like and have found that there are certain things that make the process a little easier, or at the least, more manageable.
Planning ahead and preparing for chemotherapy may sound like it is not very important but sometimes what you bring to chemotherapy can make all the difference. What you should bring depends heavily on your and what makes you feel the most comfortable but comfort should definitely be the focus. One thing that many people like to bring to chemotherapy is a warm blanket. Sure, you could get a blanket from the staff at the clinic but your own personal blanket that you enjoy will make you feel much more comfortable. Some people like it to be something sentimental or luxurious so that they can add some element of pampering themselves to something that may otherwise be difficult and upsetting. Also, some people find that chemotherapy gives them the chills so having a blanket may be extra helpful. Next, think about what you will wear ahead of time to make the day easy an dpack an extra set of clothes because it never hurts to be prepared. When choosing clothing for chemotherapy think about comfort. Comfortable clothes are incredibly important because chemotherapy may make you feel uncomfortable. Just because you are opting for comfort does not mean you cannot have style. You do not have to wear an old t shirt and sweat pants to be comfortable- unless that is what you prefer! – you can purchase, or have someone purchase you stylish comfortable clothing that expresses your unique personality. In addition to comfortable clothes wear or bring comfortable socks or slippers. You will be sitting for a bit and there is no need for your feet to be uncomfortable or cold. Next, bring reading materials such as magazines or books or a tablet of some sort so that you can entertain and distract yourself. If you want to write emails or do work you can bring a laptop also. If you do not feel like reading but have a lot of things on your mind you may want to bring a journal to write about everything happening in your life. Cancer and chemotherapy often bring up a lot of emotions and thoughts and it is a good idea to have somewhere to freely express them. Snacks or candy are also a good idea for chemotherapy. Since you are sitting there for a while you may fee l hungry and during chemotherapy it is important to feed yourself whenever you feel up to it to sustain your energy and strength. If you do not feel hungry or feel up to eating you can bring hard candy which helps combat dry mouth (a side effect some experience). And, do not forget to hydrate, drink plenty of water before, during and after treatment. Lastly, bring friends or family and maybe even some games! Depending on the situation and mood you may feel like having some fun in spite of being at chemotherapy and there is no reason not to. Bring a close friend or loved one to spend some time together talking or playing games to pass the time. It is also helpful to have a loved on there because if you do not feel well after your chemotherapy appointment they can drive you home. This is just a sampling of things to bring to chemotherapy but it is important to focus on you – bring what makes you feel comfortable, happy and peaceful.