Arrange to have someone to accompany you and assist in taking notes for your first visit with the oncologist. You might also ask if you can record the visit. Have teeth cleaned and complete recommended dental work before starting chemotherapy. Increase fluid intake the day before and the morning of chemotherapy. Eat lightly the day of chemotherapy.
Ask your oncologist for prescriptions for oral and rectal anti-nausea medications. Have prescriptions filled and on hand before first chemotherapy.* The rectal suppositories can be used if you are unable to keep oral tablets down. You may ask the pharmacist to give you a "partial fill" prescription for the suppositories to cut costs in case you don't need them. Another option that may be available to you is Scopolamine gel which can be placed on the wrist. Use caution when applying not to get into your eyes. Ask your oncologist if you can take anti-nausea and/or anti-anxiety medications 40-45 minutes before you are scheduled to receive chemotherapy.
* The anti-anxiety medication (like Ativan) may help to reduce the stress of the first session. Be aware it may also increase your emotions and make you drowsy.
Take anti-nausea medications on time post-chemo. Don't wait for nausea. You may have nausea sooner than you are told to expect it.
Note: some anti-nausea medications can cause constipation (Kytril is one). Continue to maintain a good fluid intake and ask your oncologist about stool softeners.
Call your oncologist with problems ANYTIME. If the anti-nausea medications are not working for you an alternative can be prescribed. If you are not able to keep fluids down post-chemo CALL YOUR ONCOLOGIST. You may need to be re-hydrated (receive fluids through a vein) in the doctor's office.
If you are feeling weak, discuss this with your oncologist. If your white cell count is low, Neupogen injections may be prescribed; if you are anemic, Procrit injections may be prescribed.
Questions and Comments
For questions and comments about preparing for pre-chemotherapy, please call us at (707) 825-8345.