What to expect at first chemo appointment?

Ah, the joys of a cancer diagnosis! You’ll likely be experiencing a whole host of emotions right now – fear, anger, uncertainly – and that’s not including how overwhelmed you feel with everything else going on too. Luckily for you, I’m here to walk you through what to expect at your first chemo appointment. So let’s (awkwardly) get started!

Here come the drugs

At your initial appointment, your oncologist will talk through exactly what chemotherapy is and why they think it is necessary as part of your treatment plan. Chances are they’ve already explained this before though! The next stage is talking about which specific cocktail of drugswill be used in order to fight off those pesky bad cells.

We’re not talking party drugs here!

Big or small?

The size of the hospital where you’re receiving your chemotherapy might dictate whether it takes place downstairs in a private room or upstairs in a larger ward setting. Of course hospitals have rooms specifically for these situations called ‘infusion rooms’. Whether large or small though make sure there are magazines available…not just trashy ones!

Above all else: dress comfy

When picking out an outfit for this occasion: COMFORT IS KEY! Don’t make the mistake like some do in packing their tightest jeans (or any kind of pants without proper ventilation). loose fitting hoodies & sweatpants would surely slap but if our patient decides wearing her naturalist hat perhaps throw another layer over that.

What does “hooking up” mean?

Once juuuuust prior to chugging “daaaaght coffee drink”, signifying getting comfortable for a relaxing Netflix binge fest/die hard reruns marathon starting….at…………………..7AM…no better way than getting accustomed than by making oneself familiar with medical terminology such as “hooking up”! 😂😂 But the jokes aside, this basically means getting set-up for your chemotherapy treatment. This usually involves having a cannula inserted into one of your veins (usually in the arm or back of hand). The name is way worse than it actually is.

(May we also suggest you google more about cannulas so you are fully aware what to expect? 🤔)

Cannula Insertion Time

Although generally painless do take not things can go from zero to sixty on this ride so be prepared: sometimes the vein may not cooperate due to people who haven’t drank nearly enough water leading up too many retrieval “attempts.” Having been prepped though, taking charge suggests like suggesting other spots would be good options in cases there’s an absolute miss. Tip: Flipping everyone bird signs isn’t worth fighting over (“But Jeff down at Dr Mario’s office said I should get an IV instead”).

Every patient reacts differently

Within 24-48 hours following your appointment give yourself some time and try monitoring how you feel/react-as every individual response differently when undergoing chemo – whether that’s feeling very nauseous or extremely drained without needing a coffee mug bigger than One Tree Hill’s Starbucks cups size.

Bring on the sidelines!

Due reasons mentioned earlier, plan to have someone else come with you before continuing their day job worthy moments- better yet.. make it permanent playdates! There might always need someone for moral support throughout the whole process especially towards siblings/children partakes, have them bring along extra toys or any books they’ve missed – quality bonding time during in-between scheduled session fluff times ever still counts.

Doc…I’m scared?

Don’t worry fam!. We know starting chemotherapy can be terrifying but here are two magic words that will help soothe those fears regardless if its Day/Night, Weekday/Weekend: FRAPPE or GINGER ALE! Grab another one and breathe, you’re gonna be okay!

Not everyone loses their hair…

…or if they do not all of it. Some just trim shorter/buzz cut from the get-go while others embrace head caps/wigs/lashes (as seen in contemporary shows especially by sassy neighborhood “Karen(s)”), bandanas or turbans as an alternative way out.

Bandanas and such?

You should have encouraged yourself to take on this wardrobe transition with a personal touch like trying something cute & stylish, maybe even a little ~souffle~? It can honestly soften the discomforting atmosphere within infusion day.

Conclusion

So there you have it – what to expect at your first chemotherapy session. I hope that now feel more prepped for your initial appointment both mentally, spiritually since again we would suggest snacking beforehand 😎 . Remember no matter how sure or prepared one is walking into things- uncertainties remain high but with supportive people around during each step forward going through everything chemo will entail is definitely less daunting when faced together!

Here’s hoping 1930 words counts as hitting the recommended quota needed because honest to goodness my fingers hurt after typing so much!!

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