A guide to prepare for Chemo

Treating cancer is a long process that may or may not take a huge part of your daily schedule depending on the type of cancer and the type of treatment that you are prescribed by your Oncologist. Chemotherapy being one of the most popular treatment methods amongst a few.

 Before anybody goes to get their chemotherapy done one should consider tackling things that are an important part of your daily lives. Such things might seem very nominal but are necessary to deal with.

1. Discussing it with your boss

It is best to inform your employer about your diagnosis rather than hiding it. This will not only gain you sympathy but also help you work around your professional schedule in an organized manner. 

You will come across two options to get your chemotherapy done which is mostly during work hours or during an official leave. You have a right to take time some off for chemotherapy by law.

2. Visiting the Dentist 

Getting a dental check-up beforehand will prevent you from getting any further infections during the chemotherapy. It may reveal if you have any germs or bacteria in your mouth or not. 

Your dentist will provide you with ways to maintain your oral health, like using a soft toothbrush, rinsing your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash. In fact a very common side effect of chemotherapy is developing sores in the mouth. 

Hence your prescribed oral care will ease your day.  

3. Clearing your schedule

Chemotherapy can be an exhausting process that will leave you worn out. It is a good idea to let your body rest as soon as a day’s session is dealt with. It is suggested that you do not go out for at least two to three hours after your chemo session. 

Resting your body will give it the chance to rejuvenate and let the chemo drugs run its course and be in effect. The recovery cycle of your body to fight any type of cancer is of utmost importance.

4. Buy a wig 

Buying a wig for yourself before you begin with your chemo should be a guilt-free indulgence. Chemotherapy might make you lose your hair in the process and losing hair on your head will be the most noticeable thing about your appearance. 

Hence if you go buy yourself a wig ahead of the sessions while you are more energetic you will be able to take your time and choose a wig of your liking. You can look at wigs that match the texture, color and length of your hair. 

You may even consider wearing a scarf or a hat on your head.

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5. Managing waste efficiently

Managing your bodily waste during your chemo sessions is an important thing to do so that it does not directly or indirectly affect anyone in your family or pets. 

The chemicals that are pumped in your body are released in small amounts out of it through vomit, urine, sweat and all other ways of bodily fluid release. This process takes place after 48 hours of a chemo session. 

Your doctor should tell you how to manage your waste if not, then ask him beforehand about handling your daily laundry that might get dirty during the process. Getting a fair idea of how you can take care of yourself while using the toilet and if you get sick will keep you ahead in the game.

6. Asking someone to take you to and fro for therapy

Even though your family will be there to help and take care of you during your cancer treatment it is best if you make sure you have someone who can take you for your chemo regularly. 

You can even prescribe certain duties to your family members that will help you manage your daily life in a sufficient manner. If you do not live with your family and are far away from home then it is best to ask a friend or colleague to help take you for your therapy.

You will feel weak and sluggish after your chemo session and it is highly recommended that you refrain from driving yourself or get back home on your own. If you cannot find anyone to help you out, booking a cab is the best and safest option.

7. Stocking up on healthy foods

Since it will be your first time getting a Chemotherapy you should stock up on fresh green vegetables. Having fruits along with your meal everyday us also recommended. You should make sure that you stay hydrated and eat light dishes at least three hours before your treatment begins. 

Choosing to eat high fiber snacks is also a good option as they help retain water in the bowel. Since drugs used for chemo are inclined to slow down your digestion and bowel movements, the food that you eat beforehand will stay in you for a longer period of time hence causing severe constipation. 

It is recommended by doctors that you also stay well hydrated during the whole treatment process. Drinking water and sports drinks or any drink that supply the necessary amount of electrolytes is a good idea. You can even subscribe to a meal delivery service if you live alone and do not know how to cook. 

8. Planning for a safer sex

Having sexual intercourse of any manner is best not to indulge in if either you or your partner are going through chemotherapy. If you still want to then using contraceptives like a condom and birth control pill is a must. 

The drugs that are used for chemotherapy are potent enough to kill not just your cancer cells but any other form of cell that is in your body, hence damage to the sperm can cause an end number of birth defects. 

Saying this you or your partner should not get pregnant either, as the chemo drugs can alter the cells of your baby and again cause birth defects. Talk to your Oncologist about the duration of all the precautions you should take while having sex.   

9. Ask someone to take care of your pet

Chemo drugs in addition to killing the cancer cells also kill cells that are a part of your immune system. This will definitely make your body weaker against any other unwanted disease and the chances of getting one are high. 

So if you have pets, do not clean up after them like picking up dog and cat waste, cleaning fish tanks and bird cages. Personal hygiene should be maintained more around your pets and animals. 

Washing your hands after touching any animal and use of hand sanitizer is highly recommended. Ask someone from your family or the neighborhood to come and take care of your pet’s daily needs. 

10. Getting help at home

If you are living alone at a place away from your family arrange for domestic help at home who will manage your home for you when you are undergoing the process of Chemotherapy. 

You will feel weaker and will be exhausted after the session which will disable you from doing any household chores. You can either get a full-time or a part-time domestic help depending on the time of day as well. 


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