You've made the necessary doctor's appointments and arranged for medical transportation; now it's time to prepare your body and mind for your first chemo session. It's normal to have some anxiety before the treatment, but proper preparation will minimize any concerns so you can recover comfortably. While your doctor will provide more information, here are a few general steps to take before your first session.
What to Do Before Chemotherapy
1. Ask a Friend to Be There
Having a loved one accompany you to treatments can provide some much-needed emotional support. Choose a friend or family member who you’re comfortable sharing your thoughts with.
In addition to keeping you company, the person can also help take notes and ask questions when meeting with doctors and nurses. This way, you will have a backup source of information and feel less pressure about getting every detail down, which can make you more relaxed during the session.
2. Eat Lightly & Stay Hydrated
Many chemotherapy drugs slow the digestive process, so avoid heavy meals that may sit in your stomach for longer and make you uncomfortable. Eat lightly a few hours before the appointment. Choose foods rich in fiber, such as whole-grain toast and a poached egg, applesauce, or bean soup, as these are easier on the digestive system.
Chemo also dries out the body's tissues, so plan to drink at least eight ounces of water per hour until bedtime after the treatment.
3. Know What Side Effects to Expect
Side effects can vary, but it's best to prepare for any potential symptoms. At your doctor's appointment, ask about what side effects to expect.
Nausea is typically the most prevalent, so you may need to pick up prescriptions for anti-nausea or anti-vomiting medications. To calm the stomach after the session, drink ginger or peppermint tea, and snack on light foods like soups and dry crackers.
When you need transportation to and from a chemo treatment, trust Agape Transportation. Since 2012, they have taken residents of New York City and Westchester County to doctor's appointments in the area. This non-emergency medical transportation service works with Medicare and Medicaid to help people secure affordable rides. Call (718) 585-2222 to book a trip, or learn more about their services on their website.