Chemotherapy treatment can be a stressful time, and we would like to relieve any anxiety by helping you feel prepared for your treatments. Here are some tips from our nurses to help make your experience at the Capital Health Infusion Center more comfortable.
Find a distraction
- Bring a book, magazine, computer or tablet. Free wireless internet access is available. Don’t forget to bring a charger for your electronic devices.
- Bring a device & headphones to listen to music (create a special playlist).
- Bring gum, mints, hard candy and snacks. If you are here for a long day, bring something to eat in a lunch box or cooler. We can offer beverages and crackers, but we do not provide lunch.
Get as comfortable as you’d like – and relax
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. If you have an Infusaport, wear clothing that allows for easy access to that area (i.e. shirt with buttons).
- Breathe deeply – before, during and after!
- Bring (or request) a blanket and/or pillow. Capital Health provides pillows and blankets (even heated ones) to patients.
- Clear your mind, meditate, or try to sleep.
Bring (or make) a friend
- Ask a friend or family member to accompany you and drive you to and from appointments. The visitor guidelines may change from time to time, but the Infusion staff will let you know at the time of your reminder phone call if there are any changes.
- Don’t be afraid to open up and talk to those around you – they know what you’re going through.
- Make friends with your nurses and keep the lines of communication open – let them know if something doesn’t feel right.
- Talk to your Nurse Navigator for more information on support services and resources.
Focus on the positive
- Know that each treatment is bringing you closer to the “finish.”
- Trust your medical team, but ask questions and be your own advocate.
- Bring a small album with photos of loved ones and favorite places to look at.
- Keep a journal to track your chemo treatments and feelings during and after treatment. Capital Health provides you with Your Passport to Cancer Care. Please bring it to each visit for the nurses to update and log your treatments.
Be well-informed and know what to expect
- Ask friends and family who have gone through chemo what to expect.
- Speak to your medical team to find out what side effects are common with the chemotherapy drugs you’ll be receiving.
- Ask your doctors and nurses for recommendations for handling the side effects and when you should call your doctor.
- Take your regular medications prior to coming to your appointment. If you take pain medications regularly, bring them with you to take as needed.
Nourish your body
- Sometimes chemotherapy results in nausea and/or loss of appetite. Small, more frequent meals will be better tolerated than three large meals.
- Stay hydrated before, during and after treatments. Try lemon or fruit-infused water or low sugar sports drinks if plain water is distasteful.
- Chemotherapy increases your protein needs. Aim to include a dietary source of protein with each meal and snack. This may include poultry, fish, meat, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils, soups, tofu, and protein supplements like Ensure, Boost or protein powders.
- Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol. These can dry out the mouth. Your mouth may become more sensitive during treatment, so you may also benefit from using toothpastes designed for oral sensitivity such as ACT, Biotene or Sensodyne.
- Keep a food diary to track which foods and drinks might be causing additional side effects following chemotherapy.
- A dietitian will meet with you during treatment to provide additional recommendations as needed.