Let's face it: chemo is no one's favorite way to spend the day. That said, you'll be there for a pretty decent chunk of time, over the course of days, weeks, or months: so you may as well make the most of it.
Most blogs you will find will tell you about the practical pieces of chemo: when to expect what; types of side effects; maybe what people take in their "chemo bag"....but a lot of them skip over some of the things that I found to be the most important. With that in mind, I created my own list of tips for going through chemo. I hope they serve you.
Here are my top tips for making the most of your chemo sessions:
- See if they offer private rooms for infusion
- See if there is a non-denominational chaplain you can speak with
- Take water and snacks with you. Chemo can make your stomach a bit uncertain...so for me, it was bread or crackers with hummus.
- Find head scarves that make you feel pretty (I got all of mine on Amazon)
- Take something to do: read, work, knit, watch videos you've been meaning to get caught up with, watch a movie on Netflix...anything that you'll enjoy, that will pass the time. If you're not up to that, plan to rest during your infusion. If the nurses don't offer a warm blanket and/or pillow (mine always did), ask if they have any available.
- Take earbuds to listen to music
- If you’re feeling up to it, walk before or after (ask your doc if you have ANY concerns about walking)
- Tell your chemo nurses how you’re doing - and if you have ANY new side effects, symptoms, or concerns
- Drink lots of water
- Eat healthy food, as you are able to. I know your appetite and food preferences may change; but try to incorporate whole, cooked foods as much as possible.
- Create a YouTube playlist that includes tracks for relaxation, clearing, peace, heart frequencies...
- Rest when you need to
- Find support (🙋🏻♀️ I’m here if you need me)
- Ask for help. We’re not meant to do it in our own. It doesn’t make us weaker when we ask for help. It doesn’t mean we can’t do it. Shift your focus around asking for support and ALLOWING people tp support you. You *don’t* have to do all the things, all by yourself. You *do* need to create time and space for rest and healing.
- People will have no idea what to say. Give them (and yourself) grace. T ty hey must likely mean well - but we’re not taught how to respond to this kind of information. Hearing the intention behind it and then *releasing* it helps you keep your peace (and don’t be afraid to tell them what you DO need and how they CAN support you, if it’s different from what they are offering 😉)