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Mesothelioma Nurse Offers To-Do List to Prepare for Chemotherapy Treatment

Chemotherapy, also known as “chemo,” is a medicine prescribed to help treat mesothelioma. These drugs can be used alone or in combination with other drugs. Chemotherapy can also be given in addition to surgery or radiation. Chemotherapy can be given orally, by injection, topically, intravenously, and even intraperitoneally (directly into a body cavity such as the abdomen).

Prior to starting your chemotherapy treatment, I suggest you do the following:

  • Check your insurance policy to determine whether oral  chemotherapy is covered;
  • Talk with your physician about any fertility concerns you may have;
  • Visit your dentist for a complete oral exam and a thorough teeth cleaning;
  • Hydrate yourself prior to treatment. You should attempt to increase your fluid intake by 5-8 ounces 6-8 times a day several days prior to chemotherapy.

While the above focus primarily on health issues, there is additional prep you should do:

  • Make a list of all the pills including prescriptions, medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medications that you are taking. You should keep this with you at all times.
  • If you are given meds to help with the side effects, fill them before you start your treatment.
  • At this time, get any OTC meds that will help with constipation or diarrhea.
  • If you are concerned about loss of hair, consider getting a wig or head covering.
  • Often times people need to take medications prior to their chemotherapy, so those prescriptions should be filled as well.

Next week, I will offer suggestions of what to expect on the day of your chemotherapy treatment.

If you have questions about your mesothelioma treatment or any aspect of your mesothelioma care, please email me at [email protected].

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