Waiting for chemotherapy
When you have chemotherapy, you may spend a lot of time waiting for health professionals, for blood tests, for test results, for your drugs to be prepared and for the drugs to be given. There may also be delays because of necessary safety checks, emergencies or the workload of the treatment centre.
Many treatment centres will provide biscuits and water, tea and coffee, but it’s a good idea to bring your own water bottle and snacks in case of long delays.
Learn more about:
Things to do while you wait
While you are waiting, you may want to:
- read a book or magazine, or listen to music or a podcast
- complete a crossword or other puzzle, knit, crochet or embroider
- chat with a companion
- write or draw in a journal
- meditate or practise relaxation techniques or just have a rest
- use a laptop, smartphone, tablet or ereader – check with the nurses whether this is okay and if power points are available.
Getting support from others who are receiving chemotherapy
At first, you may feel uncomfortable being around people who are sick because of cancer or their treatment. You may not identify with them. However, many people gain support from others who are receiving chemotherapy at the same time. You may find it helpful to join a support group to meet other people going through a similar experience.
I became good friends with a lady who began chemotherapy on the same day as me. We ended up going walking several times a week for 18 months. The companionship was a great support.Tania
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Clinical A/Prof Rosemary Harrup, Director, Cancer and Blood Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Katie Benton, Advanced Dietitian, Cancer Care, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Queensland Health, QLD; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Stacey Burton, Consumer; Dr Fiona Day, Staff Specialist, Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Andrew Greig, Consumer; Steve Higgs, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Prof Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology, The Canberra Hospital, ACT.
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