Waiting for chemotherapy
When you have chemotherapy, you may spend a lot of time waiting for health professionals, blood tests, test results, and for the necessary safety checks to be undertaken. It also takes time for your drugs to be prepared, and for the drugs to be given.
Things to do while you wait
While you are waiting, you may want to:
- read a book or magazine, or complete a crossword puzzle
- listen to music or a podcast, or write in a journal
- chat with a companion (if health guidelines allow a support person to stay with you during treatment)
- meditate, practise relaxation techniques or just have a rest
- use a laptop, smartphone, tablet or ereader – check whether it is okay to use devices and if power points are available
- knit, crochet or embroider.
You will be able to sit in a comfortable chair and wear your own clothes while receiving treatment. 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.
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. The companionship was a great support.Tania
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Prof Timothy Price, Medical Oncologist, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, SA; Graham Borgas, Consumer: Dr Joanna Dewar, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Professor, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and The University of Western Australia, WA; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Angela Kritikos, Senior Oncology Dietitian, Dietetic Department, Liverpool Hospital, NSW; Dr Kate Mahon, Director of Medical Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Georgie Pearson, Consumer; Chris Rivett, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Marissa Ryan, Acting Consultant Pharmacist (Cancer Services), Pharmacy Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
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