How You Can Prepare for Your First Chemotherapy Session
As your first chemotherapy appointment draws nearer, it can feel daunting and overwhelming. It’s normal to get anxious, worried and nervous – will everything go smoothly? How will you feel after the session?
That’s why setting aside some time to prepare for your first appointment can help in making the journey smoother for you. Below, we have prepared a checklist that you can start with to get yourself ready for your chemo treatment.
1. Pack the essentials
Besides your identification card, you would also need: referral letters, medical reports, and if applicable, your health insurance card. In Singapore, it’s standard for cancer diagnosis and treatment centers to request these items to register for your attendance, ensure the session is ready for you and handle administrative matters.
Besides some light snacks and water, you may also wish to bring your inhaler or any other medication to help relieve the side effects that you may experience after the session.
2. Get dressed in something more comfortable
As a side effect, chemotherapy can cause your body temperatures to switch between hot to cold and back again in a single visit. It is recommended to dress in layers, so bring a sweater or cardigan that you can easily put on and take off when needed.
Sweatpants or yoga pants are great options to help you dress more comfortably. If you sweat easily, choose light materials so you won’t feel sticky – and bring an extra shirt just in case. You may also wish to have something to cover your head, like a beanie hat, to keep your head warm and especially if your hair is starting to fall out.
3. Bring along some comfort items
The things you are packing for your chemo session are not only reserved to only give you physical relief, they can also bring you some sentimental comfort. For example, a light blanket can help you stay warm and relaxed as you snuggle in. Since your chemotherapy can take anywhere from half an hour to a few hours, you can also bring a pillow to make yourself more comfortable. It can also be helpful to bring along an inspirational photo, a religious text or other spiritual items that can offer a bit of peace to help you get through your cancer battle.
4. Something to pass the time
Since the duration of your chemotherapy may take a few hours to be completed, it is a good idea to bring something that can occupy your time like a book or a magazine. At ICS, we provide Free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected through your smartphone, E-reader, or tablet – allowing you to surf the Internet, watch videos or listen to podcasts. We also have widescreen Smart TVs with various channels to keep you entertained throughout the session.
With this list, we hope you can use it as a starting point to help you pack your bag and get ready for your chemotherapy to be as comfortable as possible. Don’t be afraid to seek help from our nurses if you need any assistance during your session – they will be there to ensure everything goes smoothly.
At International Cancer Specialists (ICS), our facilities offer a safe, comfortable and private setting with reclining chairs and televisions for our cancer patients. Our oncology nurses are also available on-site to render assistance when needed. As a one-stop service, we also provide comprehensive cancer screening tests for many cancers, including breast, lung and colon to help you have better peace of mind.