1. Ask the right questions
To prepare yourself mentally, be sure to ask your oncologist these questions:
- What is the goal of this chemotherapy?
- What are the benefits of chemotherapy?
- What are the risks of chemotherapy?
- Are there any other ways to treat my type of cancer?
- What is the standard care for my type of cancer?
- How many cycles of chemotherapy will I get?
- How will these drugs be given?
- What side effects can I expect straight away?
- What side effects can I expect later on?
- How serious are the side effects?
2. At work
Talk to your employer about arranging time off work for treatments and recovery. You may have to work part-time for a while.
3. Dental health check-up
Because chemo can cause mouth sores, it is important to have a complete dental check-up – and get any necessary work done – before you begin chemo.
4. Existing medications
Chemo drugs can interact with other medications – including over-the-counter drugs and vitamin supplements – so it is important to give your doctor a complete record of everything you are taking.
5. On the day
Going for your first treatment can be frightening – a close friend or family member can provide much-needed support. Depending on the type of treatment you are receiving, you might also want to pack in an MP3-player, a tablet, or a book or magazine.
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