How to be prepared for your loved one’s first chemotherapy treatment

Supporting Couple

Chemo is Hard on Your Partner, and Hard on You

Someone you love has recently been diagnosed with cancer. After discussing things with their doctor, they have decided to move forward with chemotherapy treatments. This can be a scary time for both you and your loved one. Being prepared for your loved one’s treatment will help you provide them with the support they need to get through the difficult recovery.

Communicate With Your Partner

The first and arguably the most important step is to communicate with your loved one and determine exactly what they need from you during this time. Everyone handles chemotherapy differently, and you must support your loved one in the ways that they need you to. Sit down before their first treatment and discuss what your loved one expects from you. Be transparent and honest. Reach an understanding about the level of support your loved one requires from you and what you can provide for them. When you communicate and prepare, you take unneeded stress away from your loved ones when they are not feeling their best.

Supplies to have Ready

It is significant to have the right stuff ready when your loved one gets home from their first treatment. They will most likely experience several side effects like nausea and exhaustion. Be sure to have things on hand to help with these side effects so that you can minimize your loved one’s discomfort.

Ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy to nausea caused by chemotherapy. Whether you have fresh ginger or choose to use ginger-based beverages like tea or ginger ale, having ginger on hand can be helpful. You can also use ginger lozenges if your loved one is not interested in eating or drinking much.

Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things your loved one can do after chemotherapy. Water can help limit nausea and will help the body recover. Have plenty of water on hand for your loved one.

A comfortable place to rest

Your loved one will be exhausted after their first chemotherapy treatment. Having a place to rest and recover ready before they get home will limit the amount you have to do while they are uncomfortable. Whether you use a bed or couch, make sure that you have everything near, so they will not have to move much. Keep the resting place near a bathroom if possible. If it is not possible, be sure to have a container near in case of vomiting.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself

It may seem counterintuitive for many people, but you cannot take care of someone else if you do not take care of yourself as well. Chemotherapy is a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure that you are ready for the long road to recover. Get sleep when you can, eat a healthy diet, and stay hydrated. You will be a much better caretaker if all of your needs are met. Remember that this is a difficult time in both of your lives, so be patient and caring with yourself and your loved one.