At this stage in the chemotherapy (chemo) journey, you probably have a lot of questions. How are you going to manage daily chores while in treatment? Will you be able to do what you need to for your family? How affected by chemo side effects will you be during chemo?

By doing some advance leg work, you can start to set up ways to keep your life going even while you undergo chemotherapy. For instance, you can:

  • Build a strong support network now by rallying friends and family.
  • Start an open discussion with your doctor and care team so you know what to expect.
  • Get a good understanding of what chemo is and how it works.
  • Begin to understand chemo side effects and talk to your doctor and care team about ways to manage them.

Planning for chemo side effects is a big part of getting ready for chemo. If you feel you need more information about the basics, please go to New To Chemo. The material there may help to enhance your knowledge about what to expect.

Starting chemo can be daunting, exciting, and nerve-wracking. One thing about this journey is sure: the more prepared you are, the more confident you may feel.

Some things to think about as you get started:

  • Work with your doctor and care team as much as you can.
  • Meet with cancer care staff who can offer exercise and nutrition plans.
  • Set up systems that will keep things going in case of chemo side effects. This may mean setting up support in advance. Speak with caregivers, family, and co-workers ahead of time and throughout your journey.
  • Ask questions about anything that's on your mind.
  • Make sure you've gotten all your affairs in order. This may include family issues, work arrangements, and financial or legal matters.
  • Getting Started:
    Questions Worksheet

  • The Chemotherapy and Infection Discussion Guide can help you understand your
    risk of infection

    Infection can be a serious side effect of strong chemo. Find out the factors that affect your risk of infection. Simply answer a few questions, and then print your results to share with your doctor.

    Use the Chemotherapy and Infection Discussion Guide to find out more.