Before starting chemotherapy, here are some general aspects you can expect:
Medical evaluations: You will likely undergo various medical tests, such as blood work, imaging scans, and possibly a biopsy, to determine the extent of the cancer and to assess your overall health.
Treatment plan discussion: Your oncologist will discuss the treatment plan with you, including the specific chemotherapy drugs, dosage, frequency, and duration of treatment. They will explain the potential benefits and risks associated with chemotherapy.
Pre-treatment preparations: Depending on your specific situation, you may need to undergo certain procedures or take medications to prepare for chemotherapy. This could involve placement of a central venous catheter or port for administering the chemotherapy drugs.
Side effect education: Your healthcare team will inform you about the potential side effects of chemotherapy, which can vary depending on the drugs used. Common side effects may include fatigue, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite, changes in taste, and a weakened immune system.
Supportive care planning: Your healthcare team may recommend supportive therapies or medications to manage and minimize the side effects of chemotherapy. They may also provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, and emotional support throughout your treatment.
Emotional preparation: Starting chemotherapy can be emotionally challenging. It is normal to experience a range of emotions, such as fear, anxiety, or sadness. Seek support from loved ones, support groups, or counseling services to help cope with these feelings.
Treatment schedule: Your healthcare team will provide you with a specific treatment schedule, outlining the dates and times of your chemotherapy sessions. They will explain how long each session is expected to last.
Remember that the specifics of your chemotherapy experience will depend on your individual diagnosis and treatment plan. It is important to have open and honest communication with your healthcare team, who will guide you through the process and address any concerns or questions you may have. For more information on how we can help you during your cancer journey, click here.