What to do during chemotherapy appointments

What to do during chemotherapy appointments

Packing for and planning some activities to do during chemotherapy infusions can help ease your anxiety.

“It can be stressful getting chemotherapy, and these activities can help you pass the time,” says Sandy Pyle, RN, oncology nurse navigator at the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support at Piedmont Athens Regional.

Activities to do during chemotherapy

What to pack for chemotherapy appointments

  • Items needed for activities (headphones, knitting supplies, journal, book, laptop, etc.)

  • Layers to keep you warm, such as a sweater, socks and a hat

  • A blanket and pillow

  • A water bottle

  • Light and healthy snacks

  • Hard candy to help with mouth dryness

  • Index cards with favorite inspirational quotes or verses

  • Lip balm to soothe dry lips

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Fragrance-free lotion

What not to bring to chemotherapy appointments

  • Clothing that is uncomfortable or makes it hard to access your port or IV, like a turtleneck  

  • Strong-smelling foods, like tuna, as this may affect your neighbors

  • Fragranced perfume or lotion, as this may also affect others at your appointment

  • Any activities that cause stress or require intense concentration, such as your taxes or legal documents

Pyle also notes you should check with the medical staff beforehand to see if you’ll need someone to drive you home – some medications can cause grogginess or make it difficult to drive.

Connecting with others during chemo appointments

She also recommends connecting with other people during your appointments.

“Connecting with the people around you can really help at this time,” Pyle explains. “You may have a great support system in your family and friends, but unless they’ve been down this road before, there may be some things they don’t get or that you don’t want to share with them. There could be people in the room who are going through the same things you are, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them. You may find a very valuable bond in doing so.”

Learn more about cancer prevention, wellness and treatment.

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