Discovering that you have cancer can be frightening, but many types of cancers can be treated effectively through infusion therapy. Infusion therapy allows medical professionals to administer a cocktail of medications directly into your bloodstream via an intravenous connection. These infusions can create some discomfort, but there are some simple things that you can do to alleviate discomfort.
Here are three tips to keep in mind when trying to make your chemo infusions more comfortable in the future.
1. Drink a lot of water.
For many patients, the actual insertion of the IV needle can be the most uncomfortable part of an infusion treatment. Finding a viable vein on a cancer patient can be challenging, but you can help ensure there is minimal discomfort associated with starting your IV by drinking as much water as possible prior to your appointment.
When your body is well hydrated your veins are easier to locate, increasing the odds that your nurse will be able to insert the IV on the first try. Continue drinking water throughout the infusion treatment to stave off headaches and further discomfort.
2. Wear loose clothing.
If you have to engage in several rounds of infusion therapy in order to manage your cancer properly, your medical attendants could get creative when it comes to finding veins that will be used for your infusion.
To avoid causing repeated trauma to the same vein, several different veins will be used throughout the course of your infusion therapy. In order to ensure that your nurse can easily access the vein needed for your IV, you should wear loose clothing to your infusion appointment. Loose clothing will be less likely to bunch or pull, helping to eliminate the discomfort of tight clothing or the discomfort of having to wear a hospital gown during treatment.
3. Ask for a port.
If you find that the repeated insertion of an IV is causing you significant discomfort, you can ask your doctor about inserting a port. A port is a type of catheter that connects directly to your vein.
You can leave the port in for a long period of time, and a nurse can use the port repeatedly to administer infusion treatment. Ports can reduce your discomfort by making it easier to connect you to an IV and reducing the number of times your veins are subjected to trauma during infusion treatment.
Making your chemo infusions more comfortable by staying hydrated, wearing loose clothing, and asking for a port when necessary can help you battle your cancer with minimal discomfort.
For more information about infusions, visit a center like Idaho Arthritis Center.