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Daily life during treatment

Daily life during cancer treatment will probably have a different pattern from what you are used to. Depending on your treatment plan, having treatment may take up a lot of your time. You’ll have scheduled appointments for treatment and tests. If you have to travel for your appointments, you may be away from home. You may no longer be going to work, or you may be working less or changing your work time around your treatment appointments. And you’ll be dealing with the side effects of treatment.

Getting to your treatment

You may be wondering if it’s safe for you to drive to your treatment and home again. Talk to your healthcare team about this, because it will depend on the type of treatment and how you feel after it.

If you can, arrange for someone to drive you home after your first couple of appointments. This will allow you to see if you have any side effects that might affect your driving. Side effects like fatigue, nausea and vomiting can make it hard for you to concentrate or be alert, and they can affect your desire to drive as well.

Ask family members or friends to give you a ride to and from your appointments. If enough people are willing to help, you can set up a driving schedule so that the driving is shared.

While at treatment

Chemotherapy and other drug therapy treatments may take several hours, depending on the drugs used. It can help to take along something to do while you are in the chemotherapy ward.

Many drugs used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy can make you sleepy, so you may nap for a time during your treatment. You may want to bring a favourite blanket and pillow for comfort or warmth. Fuzzy socks or slippers can help keep your feet warm.

With radiation treatment, you are often in and out of the treatment room in about 10 minutes.

After your treatment appointment

You may want to go home right after your chemotherapy treatment is finished to rest and relax. You may still be very tired from the drugs given for nausea and vomiting, or you may not feel very good.

Some people want to continue with their usual daily routine – you may find that this is possible if you have radiation therapy, at least at the start. But radiation therapy can cause fatigue, which usually starts about 2 weeks after the start of treatment. So you may want to have a nap or rest for a while after radiation therapy.

The main thing is to listen to your body, and give it the rest that it needs.

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