Waiting for your first chemotherapy treatment after your breast cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly an anxious time. You have a long journey ahead of you, and it’s OK to feel scared.
Taking action is a great way to quell anxiety, and preparing yourself for the days before and after your infusions can help with the symptoms. There are some ways for breast cancer patients to prepare for chemo to lessen the side effects.
Find a Companion
Ask your spouse, family member, or friend to go with you to your first infusion since the emotional support of a loved one can be helpful. Also, you might feel tired, so it’s good to have someone to drive you home.
Learn the Side Effects
Talk to your doctor or oncologist about the side effects you might experience. Nausea, fatigue, and hair loss are common, but not every patient undergoing chemo experiences these symptoms since the drugs differ. Your doctor will know more about the side effects you’ll have, like if you’ll experience hair loss or not. If you lose your hair, you can reach out to friends and family for support and learn what to look for when buying a wig.
Before you have your first treatment, you should stock up on food and supplies you’ll need when you get home. Have meals prepared for a few days afterward and have plenty of fruits and veggies on hand to help keep you hydrated. Pick up any prescriptions and over-the-counter medication that will help with any side effects.
Of course, this is a stressful time, and it’s essential to care for your mental health as well. Yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can help with anxiety and stress. Massages, therapy, and aromatherapy are also effective at helping to manage stress.
During the Infusion
Be sure to dress comfortably and have water to drink. Water will help with nausea and flush the toxins out of your system faster, which will help you recover more quickly later. Bring something to entertain yourself, like music, a crossword, or anything that will keep your mind occupied. Bringing someone with you to play games with can help pass the time, too.
These are only a few ways for breast cancer patients to prepare for chemo; it’s essential to reach out for emotional support during this time. Remember, you’re a strong person, and you can get through this!