How To Prepare for Chemotherapy

Undergoing chemotherapy is hardly pleasant for any patient. If you have already been scheduled for the procedure, your doctor will have already informed you of the risks associated with the treatment, and how the radiation is supposed to affect or target the cause of your affliction. In a nutshell, the treatment involves inserting chemicals into your body in order to destroy the cancer cells inside. Side effects include hair loss, changes in the skin and nails, and weight gain, among others.

Chemotherapy is often used as a clean-all treatment - if you have undergone other cancer treatments and they have worked for you, there is still a possibility that some stray cancer cells still exist in your body. The chemotherapy is designed to eliminate these stray cells, thus reducing the risk of a resurgence of the cancer cells. Many patients find the treatment to be quite a life-altering experience. In this regard, there are a few ways to prepare you for your chemotherapy sessions.

First, speak frequently to your doctor. If you have any questions about the procedure or the health risks involved, ask him outright as soon as you can. It is important to establish a clear line of communication with your doctor, as he will know what the possible side effects will be. Ask him what the normal side effects are, so that if you experience anything out of the ordinary, you can let your doctor know immediately.

Keep your family members updated on your condition and what the chemotherapy's effects will be on your body. Many family members often do not know what to expect after someone goes through chemotherapy. They may not know how to deal with the physical and emotional changes that you will be going through, and may either retreat from the problem and alienate themselves from you since they do not know how to deal with it. Keep them in the loop at all times, and make sure that they are well informed of the consequences and benefits of the chemotherapy. Remember, if you are scared about the process, understand that they too are scared, since the entire experience is uncharted territory.

Going through chemotherapy sessions will have a significant impact on your family life. Make sure that everything at home is organized and scheduled so that you do not miss out on your regular appointments. Ask certain family members to help you and go with you for the treatment sessions. Schedule house activities around the chemotherapy schedule as well. Doing this will help your family achieve a sense of normalcy and routine while you are going through the sessions. Normal household tasks such as taking out the trash, cooking meals and cleaning the house should be delegated to other family members during the course of your treatment. Help your family understand that you do not want to be a burden to them, but at this time you need their support both physically and emotionally to get through the procedure and the cancer itself.


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