You may be asked to take some pre-medicines such as:
- Allergy medicines (anti-histamines)
- Anti-nausea medicines
Your doctor will talk to you about the best route for the medicine(s). Chemotherapy drugs may be given in several ways:
- By mouth
- By injection into a muscle or vein (IV)
- By catheter tube into the bladder, abdomen, chest cavity, brain, spinal cord, or liver
- By application to the skin
This depends on the route used, the number of medicines, and the amount of each medicine. A session may be as brief as the time it takes to swallow a pill. It could also take several hours or last overnight. Some types of chemotherapy can be given as a continuous infusion through a portable pump.Will It Hurt?
The treatment may cause a number of uncomfortable side effects. The delivery of the chemotherapy usually does not hurt.Average Hospital Stay
Most often, you can leave after the medicine is delivered. Some chemotherapy regimens will require a stay in the hospital. This may be about 2-3 days.
Your doctor may choose to keep you in the hospital if excessive complications arise. For example, if you have severe vomiting, you may need to be admitted to the hospital.Post-procedure Care At the Hospital
You may be given any of the following:
- Medicines to take at home (eg, anti-nausea)
- Injections of an immune-system boosting drug
- Other drugs, including steroids, allergy medicines (anti-histamines), anti-nausea medicines, sedatives, and antibiotics
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Get a lot of sleep.
- Try to do some physical activity each day. Exercise can help to reduce fatigue.
- Try to eat a healthy diet. Appetite changes can be a challenge.
- Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration .
- Use special mouth rinses to avoid or treat mouth sores.
- Administer post-chemotherapy shots if they are prescribed by your doctor. These will help to keep your white blood count stable.
- Try to avoid people with diseases that can be spread easily, including children. Chemotherapy will likely weaken your immune system. Viral illness (eg, cold or flu ) can have serious effects.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .
Your doctor may order any of the following tests to check the progress of your treatment:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- X-ray -a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body, especially bones
- Ultrasound -a test that uses sound waves to find tumors
- MRI scan -a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of the inside of the body
- CT scan -a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body
- Bone scans -a type of x-ray that shows areas of unusual activity
- Bone marrow biopsies -the removal of a sample of bone marrow for examination
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.