a chemo patient and care provider share a laugh
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Your Treatment Plan

Patients who prepare for chemotherapy by asking questions about what they should expect are better able to handle the physical and emotional aspects of treatment. Gather information. Talk to others who have been through the experience. Everyone's cancer story is unique to them, but their stories can bring hope and encouragement.
Don't be afraid to speak to your doctor or nurse about any concerns you have. Set goals for yourself. Most importantly, be an active participant in your chemotherapy treatment.
You may receive chemotherapy every day, every week, or every month. Treatment plans are different for each cancer and may even vary from patient to patient with the same cancer. How long you receive chemotherapy depends on the type of cancer you have, the goal of the treatment, the medications you are receiving and how you respond to treatment.
Treatment is usually given in chemotherapy cycles or repeated doses. This means you will receive medications followed by a period of rest. Rest periods give your body time to replace damaged cells and to regain strength.
The most common reason for reducing the dose of chemotherapy, or delaying the next cycle, is the development of potentially serious side effects. Such side effects may include:

In many cases, your healthcare team can help you manage side effects so that your chemotherapy schedule is not interrupted.
Your healthcare team will check how you are doing and how the treatment is working during regular visits. They will do a physical exam and take tests often. They will talk to you about these test results and what they mean. Be sure to ask questions about anything you do not understand.
Side effects do not tell how well the treatment is working or not. Sometimes people think that if they have side effects, the medications are working and if they do not have side effects, treatment is not working. Side effects vary in type and severity from person to person and from medication to medication. They do not indicate whether or not the chemotherapy is working.
These tools can help you to manage your chemotherapy experience:
  • organize your schedule for chemotherapy and doctor visits
  • describe the side effects you may experience
  • track your side effects
  • prepare questions to ask your healthcare team at your next appointment    
Be prepared and stay organized with a calendar.
Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, Ontario   L3Y 2P9
Tel: 905-895-4521   |   TTY: 905-952-3062
Copyright © 2012 Southlake Regional Health Centre