When you’re going through treatment, it can feel like a long series of office visits, tests and scans, and waiting. Plus, coping with the unknown can become a constant challenge. Being prepared may help you feel more in control of your infusion therapy experience. So, along with the information your health care team provides, here are some helpful tips:
Cancer > Working With Your Doctor: Cancer
8 Tips for Your Next Cancer Infusion Treatment
Take an active role in your treatment and work closely with your health care team. Before your treatment begins, learn as much as you can from reliable websites that offer educational material and support. Review this information with your health care team and contact them with any questions or concerns you may have. A little preparation can help you get the information you need.
You may be familiar with the infusion treatment process, but it might be a good idea to call your infusion location beforehand to speak with the medical staff. If this location is new to you, they can give you more details about the treatment location and what to expect—for example, whether infusions take place in private rooms and how early you should arrive.
Bring a list of your medications
Ask your health care team whether you need to bring a list of your past—and current—medications with you to the infusion center, so the staff can add that information to your chart.
It’s always important to eat a healthy diet before, during, and after cancer treatment. This can help you feel better, stay stronger, lower your risk of infection, and heal and recover faster.
It may help you relax if you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing on the day of your infusion. Also, there will likely be some waiting, before and during your treatment, so bring along books, magazines, or music to pass the time.
Take a deep breath
Getting treatment for cancer can be stressful. Anxiety and stress can make you take short, shallow breaths and cause your heart rate to speed up. Try to take deep breaths to relax yourself.
Undergoing treatment may cause you to feel stressed and lose sleep. Allow yourself to rest as much as possible. If you can, ask your friends or loved ones to help out with daily tasks so you can save up your energy.
Plan for what's next
Talk with the medical staff about what happens following your treatment. For example: whether you’ll be able to drive yourself home or if you will need to limit your activities in any way.
It might be a good idea to keep a copy of these tips handy, so that you can refer to it from time to time. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, share them with your health care team.