For some individuals diagnosed with cancer, your doctor may prescribe chemotherapy drugs as part of your treatment. These drugs are designed to cure, control, or erase cancer symptoms. Chemotherapy can be given in many ways. At CMC, we administer chemotherapy through an IV or in pill form. IV chemotherapy requires a patient to remain seated for several hours while you are monitored by your cancer care team.
During this time, many people find having certain items from home will help to make them feel more comfortable during treatments. Allyson Floyd, CMC Media Relations Strategist and breast cancer survivor, shares her insight and tips to help make your chemotherapy appointments as comfortable as possible.
What's in my chemotherapy bag
The CMC Cancer Center has semi-private and private areas available for our chemotherapy patients, all with access to a television. That said, Allyson says it’s a good idea to bring your phone, laptop, and airpods/earphones to keep yourself entertained. She recommends downloading a few favorite movies or shows ahead of time. The CMC Cancer Center does have WiFi for your convenience.
*Don’t forget to pack chargers for each of your devices.
Create a comfort zone and keep must have items in close reach
A book is always a good way to pass the time. Allyson recommends bringing a Kindle or E-reader. While each chair has its own table for your convenience, Allyson recommends a “Pillow Pad” to allow you to be hands free when reading or enjoying your favorite movie. Don’t forget to pack your favorite lip balm (or two!).
Allyson shares “The CMC Cancer Center has warm blankets available, but sometimes I would take a cozy one from home for added comfort.” Wearing comfortable clothing is also a great idea. Allyson notes “I would wear comfy clothes to my appointments. Yoga pants with a soft V-neck shirt because I had a port on the right side of my chest that the team needed to access.”
Extra items to help pass the time
Many patients find that enjoying their favorite hobby can help pass the time. Knitting, crocheting, and solitaire are a great option. Allyson recommends bringing a pen and paper – maybe a journal. Visits can be overwhelming, and sometimes you may feel tired from your treatment. Having a journal to write down notes can help you and your family remember any questions you may have later on.
Ice ice baby
The American Cancer Society suggests packing some of the following items for snacking during your treatments:
- A container of cold cereal
- Cheese or peanut butter with crackers
- Fresh fruit or dried fruit
- Gummies or other gelatin snacks
- Granola or trail mix
- You may also want to include hard candies—ginger candy, peppermint or other mints—to suck on as a way of relieving dry mouth or throat irritations, and to help prevent nausea and the metallic taste some patients experience.
You are not alone
Above all, Allyson reminds you that you are not alone. A cancer diagnosis is life changing but with the right information and support, you are armed to face it head on. Ask your provider about available support groups both online and in person. If you are a cancer patient experiencing signs of depression, talk with your doctor about treatment options.
The CMC Cancer Center is here for you
Choosing where you and your family will receive cancer care is a critical decision. Fighting cancer takes strength, and CMC believes you should focus your strength on your care and recovery, rather than travel time for treatment.
The CMC Cancer Center is conveniently located in the heart of Horry County and easily accessible from all surrounding areas, so the only journey you have to think about is your journey from cancer patient to cancer survivor.