I’ve only been through two chemo treatments so far, so I’m not exactly a veteran, but I’ve learned a couple of things. I know I’m likely to learn a lot more. But I want to share the few tips I’ve picked up.
- It’s cold in the chemo room. They need to really crank up the AC to protect the electronic stuff in there, so bring a coat and socks. You might even want to consider a blanket from home. They have an oven-like contraption in there that holds loads of nice, toasty blankets, but they cool off eventually and your own blanket can really help you stay comfy and feel a little like you’re at home.
- When she’s about to start your drip, the nurse will flush your line out first with some saline and heparin. Strangely, you can taste them in your mouth as you’re being flushed. You can combat this with some gum or hard candy. Bring some with you.
- It’s really worth investing in a small whiteboard to put on your fridge or an app for your smartphone to help you keep up with your drugs and appointments. Ryan has an app called Remember the Milk to help him with my medications. Also, make a checklist of things you want to bring with you to chemo. Coats, candy, snacks, your book or Kindle, puzzle books.
- I mentioned snacks. Having something healthy and small in your stomach might help you fight queasiness and keep your energy level up. Don’t go to your appointment on an empty stomach but do also consider bringing something to munch on.
I have unlimited support, here at home. Ryan or my mother-in-law do everything for me. They drive the kids wherever they need to go; they cook all the meals; they clean. And it’s wonderful.
I miss the little things. I miss taking my kids to appointments. My kids have to see the dentist this month. After every dentist appointment, I take them to the mall to get snacks if they’ve had good checkups. I won’t be able to do that this month, and I regret that. I miss cooking a lot. I am incredibly grateful for the support, but I miss the things that made me a mom.
I’m going to cook like a fiend when chemo is over. My family are going to be the best-fed family on the block. I’m going to raid all of my cookbooks for new recipes. I can’t wait. Only 16 weeks.