Being diagnosed with cancer is a scary event. The day you are told "you have cancer" is bound to be one of the most stressful of your life—and the day of your first chemo treatment may come in a close second. But unlike being told you have cancer, going through chemo is something you can prepare for. Here are a few ways you can prepare for your first cancer treatment to ensure the experience is as stress-free as possible.
Get some rest.
Chemotherapy, as you probably know, is very draining. However, if you go into the treatment well-rested, you won't feel quite as drained in the days that follow. Get a good night's sleep the night before your treatment, even if this means taking some natural sleep aids (like melatonin) to help you relax. Check with your doctor to make sure the sleep aids you're thinking of taking are safe. If possible, take the day before your first chemo treatment off from work so you can spend time relaxing, watching some TV, and just generally resting your body.
Drink lots of water
Chemo is dehydrating. Your body will try to clear the chemo drugs from your body by producing more urine. You may not be very thirsty after your chemo treatment since it will cause some nausea, so prepare ahead of time by making sure you are fully hydrated. Minimize your intake of caffeine and avoid alcohol since these two "drugs" are dehydrating.
Set up a recovery space
Take the time to stash some bottles of water or Gatorade, plenty of pillows, simple snacks, and some good books near your sofa. You'll be happy to have this cozy area to retreat to when you get home from chemo.
Call your doctor
Do you have some lingering questions about chemotherapy or your treatment program? Rather than continue to let them tumble over and over in your head, keeping you awake and on-edge, call your doctor and ask the questions now. Getting the answers will leave you less anxious when the time for treatment comes.
Make plans with a friend for support
You'll need someone to drive you home from treatment, but you might also want to arrange to have a friend come stay with you and care for you for a day after your treatment. It will be nice not to have to prepare your own meals and do your own chores while you recover.
Follow the tips above, and your chemotherapy treatment should go more smoothly.Share