My father starts his first Chemo treatment this week. What are things I can expect and what can I bring to the clinic and to have at home, as I will be moving in with him during treatments. My father has colon, liver and lung cancer.
@Chris3 how great that your father will have your support through his treatment.
Every clinic is different, and COVID has changed things like volunteers coming round with drinks and snacks.
I took a bag of tricks that got me through each chemo session - slippers since I was there for hours and it was great to take my outdoor shoes off (I had chemo through winter), my favourite tea and I got some hot water in clinic, my phone a charger and headphones and it was loaded with podcasts to listen to. I also took a few snacks (cheese, dried fruit) a book and a puzzle book and pen. The nursing staff provided warmed blankets which were really nice.
Hydration is the most important thing - I found it helpful to finish the saline drip before I went home Because I would fall asleep once home and wake worrying I wasn’t drinking and peeing the chemo out. Plenty of drinking and peeing is in order - and icecream counts as a fluid according to my chemo nurse!
Sleep in the first 3 days will be a struggle because of the steroids - rest during the day is essential to catch up.
I found my taste changed - I couldn’t tolerate dairy in my coffee and things had a metallic taste. Eating with bamboo or plastic cutlery helped (camping store type stuff). Food wise, I found it helpful to eat with others or in front of the Tv - any distraction to help get over the taste. Eating healthily is important and plenty of fibre - his colon will be messed up from treatment and cancer so laxatives and Imodium will be needed. I enjoyed soups at lunchtime - we stocked up in Costco. And there were times when I didn’t want anything fancy and KD Mac n cheese hit the spot.
A daily walk helped with the joint pain and helped me to feel reasonably normal. Getting the blood flowing is important too.
I found having visitors really lovely - broke up the day and helped Me not think about cancer all the time. I also met friends for coffee at the end of each cycle. We physically distanced (preCOVID) and didn’t hug, and I made my hubby have the flu shot. In these times it might be reasonable to say visitors must be COVID vaccinated 🤷♀️
Im sure others will chime in, and I wish you both well over the next few weeks. Essjay
I think I posted this link on your profile page the other day, but it could have been someone else. There’s been a discussion here with several good responses about what to expect at a first chemo treatment.
You can find it at https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/48/71747?utm_source=cancerconnection.ca&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=website