If you are having your first chemotherapy infusion this week, then it is natural for you to feel apprehensive. However, you can greatly reduce your anxiety by being prepared for your long day at the infusion center. To this end, past chemo infusion patients have reported that the following tips helped them feel more comfortable during their treatments:
Tip: Wear Clothing that is Comfortable and Provides Easy Access for Your IV
Since your chemotherapy infusion appointment will likely last the better part of a day, you should prepare by wearing comfortable clothing. Many patients choose to wear a t-shirt and sweatpants or yoga pants because they are comfortable even after hours of sitting in the infusion center. Additionally, since the infusion center's staff will need access to your upper arm for your IV, you should wear short sleeves.
Tip: Bring Along Your Tablet or Laptop
Since most chemo infusion centers today offer their patients access to WiFi while they are waiting for their treatments to conclude, you should bring along your laptop or tablet. If you want to listen to music on your computer while you are at the center, then you should bring along a pair of earphones. Many chemotherapy patients report that listening to music during their infusions helps them to relax and can even reduce nausea.
Tip: Bring Along a Book or Some Magazines
While infusion centers try to offer recent magazines and other reading material for their patients, you are taking your chances if you don't take your own magazines along. Since you don't want to get stuck reading such page-turners as Reader's Digest or Sunset magazines because they are the only available options, instead, you should take along some of your own magazines. In addition, if you like to read books, then you should take along a paperback or your electronic reading device.
Tip: Bring Along Something to Eat and Drink
Though you do not yet know how your chemotherapy infusion will make you feel, you should know that you may very well get thirsty or hungry while at the infusion center. Rather than having to take your chances with the vending machines, instead, take along some crackers or another simple-to-eat snack food.
Finally, you should bring along some juice or bottled water. Since chemo treatments can give you a metallic taste in your mouth, the juice or water will work well to help wash it away.