Chemotherapy is a type of treatment used to treat cancer. The thought of having chemotherapy may cause some anxiety, but knowing what chemotherapy is, how it works, and what to expect can often help relieve your fears. The information below is specific to your chemotherapy experience at West. Should you have any questions, please contact your physician, infusion nurse, or our care support coordinators at anytime.
*Please know that infusion or chemotherapy treatments are not part of every patient’s care plan.
To reduce your wait time, our care team will encourage labs be drawn 1-3 days before your infusion treatment if possible. This will allow your lab results to be processed and analyzed by your provider and can save you an hour or more time that normally occurs when waiting on lab results the same day as infusion. Labs can be scheduled at any West location convenient to you.
Patients are advised to bring a book or other form of entertainment, snacks in case you get hungry, and a blanket for comfort for your infusion appointment.
Even for patients that have labs drawn 1-3 days prior to infusion, an infusion nurse will still need to take a quick assessment before ordering your medication from the pharmacy. For your safety, we wait to mix your medications until we know you are okay to receive treatment. Your medication is prepared based on your current height, weight, and most recent labs.
One of our infusion team members will begin your infusion treatment by either placing a needle in your arm or accessing your port-a-cath while your medication is being prepared. The length of time for infusion depends on your unique treatment plan and can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.
What to Expect
What to Bring?
- A book or another form of entertainment
- Snacks in case you get hungry
- A blanket for your comfort
- A support person who can keep you company (especially on your first visit until you know how your body will tolerate infusion)
You will be notified to proceed to your next appointment to either phlebotomy for labs, your provider, or infusion for your treatment.
A patient support associate will schedule your next clinic and infusion visit, plus any necessary scans once your clinic visit is complete.
About Your Treatment:
- Your infusion nurse will take a quick assessment before ordering your medication from pharmacy to be mixed.
- For your safety, we wait to mix your medications until we know you are okay to receive treatment. Your medication is prepared based on your current height, weight, and most recent lab results.
- Pleas know there will be a time frame where you are waiting for your medication to be prepared by our pharmacy.
What to Expect:
- One of our infusion team members will begin your infusion treatment by either placing a needle in your arm or accessing your port-a-cath while your medication is being prepared.
- The length of time for infusion depends on your unique treatment plan and can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.You will be notified to proceed to your next appointment to either phlebotomy for labs, your provider, or infusion for your treatment.
- Try eating several small meals throughout the day. Smaller meals are usually easier to tolerate than large meals.
- Avoid spicy or greasy foods if you are nauseated.
- Drink plenty of water. Drink at least 6 – 8 glasses (8 oz) a day or two before and after your treatment. If. you drink bottled water, this is about 2-3 (500 ml) bottles. With some chemotherapies, you may be encouraged to drink more to prevent damage to your bladder or kidneys.
- Activity will help prevent fatigue, so try light exercise such as walking.
- Do not take aspirin unless it is prescribed by your oncologist.
- Please make sure your doctor and nurse know about every medication you are taking, including medicines prescribed by other doctors, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and mineral supplements. Also, tell your oncology team about changes in medication dose or schedules made by other doctors. Make sure your doctor is aware of any allergies you may have too.
- Check with your doctor before having surgery or dental work.
- A word about sexual activity while on chemotherapy:
- While you may engage in sexual activity, you should know that many chemo drugs decrease sex drive and your ability to have children. They may affect your fetus if you do become pregnant during treatment. You may want to talk with your doctor about birth control and family planning before beginning chemotherapy.
- Do not drink alcohol beverages the day before, the day of, or the day after chemotherapy because alcohol tends to dehydrate your body.
For questions or more information, please call 901.683.0055 during and after office hours, or email [email protected].
Guide to Infusion Videos, By Location:
Germantown / Wolf River
Brighton, Corinth, Desoto, & Paris