It can be very daunting going into hospital for chemotherapy treatment for the first time. Here is some information you may find useful –
- Prescribed medication – Should I continue to take my regular prescribed medication on the day of my chemo? Yes
- Clothing – Will I be undressed and in a hospital bed during my chemo treatment? No – just wear comfortable clothing
- Pain relief – Any patient taking regular pain relief drugs should take this with them as they can self medicate whenever they need to. This saves the nurses finding a doctor to prescribe. In the time this takes pain can become worse and be more difficult to control. If the patient has their pain relief with them they can use it as soon as they feel any pain. This would also apply to any other regular medication being taken, but pain relief is the one which is usually left at home!
- Mobile phones – Mobile phones are allowed to be used on the suite (within reason). This is helpful for when patients wish to let friends/relatives know how their treatment is going or when they are ready to go home.
- Pillows/cushions – Some patients find it useful to bring their own pillow or cushion if they find it more comfortable to use when sitting for lengths of time.
- Food – Although sandwiches, yoghurts, fruit, soup and juice are provided patients may bring their own food/drinks with them. However the ward cannot heat/reheat anything for them due to food hygiene rules.
- Drink – Patients who prefer to drink bottled water will need to bring their own supply although there are vending machines which sell this. Free hot drinks are also now available in the day room funded by GEMS.
- Things to do – Books, magazines and electronic book readers are a good idea. The chemo suite does have magazines, but they are often out of date.
- Hobbies – Patients may wish to bring in knitting, craft work etc. if they wish.
- DVD players – The chemo suite has several portable DVD players, but limited DVD’s. Patients are very welcome to bring their own selection of DVD’s to watch.
- Laptops and tablets – Some patients will bring in their lap top/tablet which is OK, but should only be used on battery power and not from the mains. (PAT testing rules)
- Hand soap – If patients wish to bring in their own hand soap etc., for when they visit the toilet this is fine.
- Oxaliplatin treatment – In the colder months for patients who are to receive a chemo called Oxaliplatin they should bring with them scarf/hat/gloves to wear. (This is to help prevent some effects of temperature change when on this drug).
Click here to find out more about the cancer services at Leicester’s Hospitals.