Depending on your treatment plan, you may spend some time in the infusion chair. Many chemotherapies, immunotherapies, and targeted therapies are delivered by infusion and those sessions can be trying on the body and spirit. Many people find a bit of preparation can make the experience more comfortable and we’ve collected a few best practices from those who have been-there-done-that.
Dress the Part
Comfort is key especially if your infusions require hours in the chair. Depending on your treatment plan and the length of your treatment regimen, you may have a port for easy infusion access. Wearing a top that allows for easy port access like a zip up sweatshirt or stretchy t-shirt can make infusions a little less complicated.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Hydration is important. Dehydration can exacerbate fatigue and nausea so remaining hydrated is key throughout your cancer treatment. Bring your own water bottle and fill repeatedly. If tap water doesn’t sound interesting, consider adding a bit of lemon or bringing a small cooler of flavored sparkling soda. Try and avoid beverages with caffeine since they may add to the dehydrating effects of chemotherapy.
Bring a Friend
Some infusions can last hours. Consider asking a friend or family member to attend to pass the time with conversation or a card game.
Getting To and From Appointments
Regional offices of the American Cancer Society offer volunteer drivers through their Road to Recovery program to get patients to and from treatments, if needed.
What to Bring
- Crossword puzzles & puzzle books to exercise your mind
- Tablet to catch up on personal or work email
- A good book to escape reality or embrace a new topic
- Laptop to create a family photo book
- Yarn and needles to knit a cap or crochet a blanket
- Playing cards to challenge a friend to a game