Your First Chemotherapy Session

November 8, 2010
Providence Regional Cancer System Centralia ChemotherapyChemotherapy, especially your first time, brings a whole host of questions. Here are answers to the most common questions my patients ask me.

Should I try and sleep in or get up early on chemotherapy days?
Sleep and rest when you are tired. Listen to your body. Respect yourself by getting adequate rest to recover.

Should I change my normal morning routine?
We do recommend you increase your non-caffeine fluid intake if you are having an IV placed. We have coffee and other liquids here at the cancer center.

Can I eat on chemotherapy day?
Yes, please. We encourage you to eat small, light meals frequently. We have food in the clinic but it's always good to bring something you know you will be comfortable eating.

Can I drive myself to chemotherapy treatment?
We request that on your first treatment you bring a support person. Since these are medications you are receiving for the first time, we are unsure of how your body may respond. Some medications can make you drowsy, so someone to drive you home is recommended.

What should I expect when I arrive for chemotherapy?
You will be greeted by our friendly, front office staff who will explain what will happen during that days appointment. If you have specific questions, please feel free to call before you arrive.

What can I do while I am getting my chemotherapy treatment?
At Providence Regional Cancer System in Southwest Washington we have wireless connection available to your laptop. We also have movies and a player to watch to make your time with us more enjoyable. We even have a chair for a guest to visit or even play cribbage.

How will I feel after chemotherapy?
Each treatment plan is tailored to your needs for your diagnosis. Some individuals feel a little drowsy from the medications and will rest, and others may feel no different.

Should I plan or cancel activities for the afternoon/night of chemotherapy?
We recommend that you plan no events on your first treatment to see how you feel. This is specific to the patient themselves.

Should I plan on going to be early or late the night of chemotherapy?
Again, listen to your body.

The way your body reacts to chemotherapy is unique to you, but if you have more questions leave me a note ... I'll do my best to answer them! 

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