• Anyone else have 6 hour chemos?

    Asked by marie60 on Friday, December 21, 2012

    Anyone else have 6 hour chemos?

    I found out I'll be having chemos that last for 6 hours each. This sounds worrisome. I can't imagine being stuck in a chair or whatever for 6 hours!

    31 Answers from the Community

    31 answers
    • Debbie's Avatar

      My last 4 chemo treatments were 6 hour sessions. I learned to grab the la-z-boy chair and napped on & off.

      almost 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      You get use to it. Consider it "me time". You can finally read that book you've been wanting to read, or give yourself a manicure, or if you do needlework, make a chemo afghan or slippers, or just take a nap or watch TV. I actually looked forward to it, just not the side effects that would start a couple of days later..

      And the 6 hours isn't all chemo time. There is blood work, and flushing your port, and pre-meds for nausea, and wait time between infusions.

      almost 8 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Sure, make the most of it. Watch movies, do scrap booking, answer emails, play games, or chat with a friend if someone is with you. Heck, make a new friend with the person in the chemo chair next to you. Get used to the down-time and enjoy it. You don't have to stay planted in the chair the whole time. I used to get up and walk around quite a bit, taking my IV pole with me. When I had a regimen that required Benedryl I would sleep like a rock for much of the time.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      My chemo used to last at least 6 hours and somtimes as long as 10 hours when it got busy and I had issues just be prepared and you can sleep during most of it so stay up \late the night before.

      almost 8 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Mine are about that long w/pre-meds, then taxol, then carboplactin. I bring a couple books & some sudoku and my smart phone to pass the time. Unfortunately I can't sleep in a recliner.

      almost 8 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      Mine lasted at times up to 10 hours with IV hydration, supplements, pre-meds, 3 different chemos. I take my laptop, homework, snacks, and my husband goes with me, which makes it bearable. I usually get a nap in and watched some television. Just try to keep busy, bring a variety of stuff to do and you should do fine. Best of luck to you on your journey!

      almost 8 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      My chemo sessions usually lasted about 8 hours; bloodwork, pre meds, etc. The time went faster than I
      had expected. Just lay back in the recliner and relax. No doubt you will fall asleep.

      almost 8 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      My chemo lasted about 6-8 hours in clinic for the primary drugs, and then I was sent home with a portable chemo pump for the next 46 hours of chemo. After that, a nurse would come by to unhook me. At Clinic, they often let me have the one room with a bed, so I could sleep away the day at the clinic.

      You can walk around with your IV pole during chemo; you are not stuck in the chair. However, most people just stay settled in.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      I can understand that the process sounds worrisome, but it should be fairly easy. As others have said, you aren't actually stuck in a chair. Get up and move about if you want. The IV pole moves and probably has a battery so it can be unplugged. You should not be having any pain from the IV. It is a bit annoying that you need to move with attention to tubes, etc.

      It's down time. Relax. The chair should be comfortable. You might sleep much of the time. I did after the Benedryl. Not much choice there. For the rest, it's a good time for a book, do some work on a laptop, listen to music, whatever. I just block out the entire day. I'm not going anywhere but home when it is done. Get to the center early if you want the best chair. :-)

      Talk to the nurses if you feel pain or a reaction. There are ways they can make you comfortable.

      almost 8 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I received my infusion close to 8 hours a day over the course of 5 days. I then got 2 weeks off to recover. Like Nancy said, part of your 6 hours will be premeds like steroids, magnesium, potasium, anti-nausea meds and a liter or two of fluids.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Oh Marie... I actually used to look forward to chemo. (No I'm not crazy) I just made so many friends there. I miss them. The nurses were so wonderful... and still come to stop in when I'm there for my checkups... and it's been 7 years. Mine were almost six hours with the 'waiting to be called', and prior to starting Neulasta... the blood tests. (later we did blood tests the day before. I never could nap when my husband came with me... but my SIL would grab an unused chair and we'd both nap... Pretty much it was what you made it. Six hours is long.. but if you're chatting with friends about fun things... it flies. I ran into a man I'd worked with for 26 years. We talked for quite a while..... I cherish the memory of that, as he passed away about a month later.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Zippy's Avatar

      For my 6 hour sessions, my husband used to help me angle for a private room with a bed instead of a chair (we laughed that it was kind of like trying to get the best room at a hotel - rate this room on Tripadvisor!). I'd send him out for food (although the hospital provided sandwiches, I used that occasion to get whatever I felt like eating from the cafeteria).

      But the one thing I did that made the staff think I was nuts - but really helped me -- was to use the occasion to post on my Caringbridge.org blog. It was a sort of "Dispatches from the Infusion Room" updates to my friends and family, complete with pictures of me hooked up to IVs (and occasionally wearing tangerine jeans to help me keep my own spirits up.) Yes, I got some weird looks from other patients, sitting there typing away on my laptop, but so what.

      If you haven't discovered Caringbridge, it's worth checking out. So much easier than constantly reciting the response to "how are you doing?" to family and friends, and you can lock down privacy settings as tightly as you choose.

      As others have noted, Benadryl will help you sleep through much of it, if you choose. If not, bring things that are little treats (a book you've really wanted to read, a new magazine, favorite music, a movie). It's all about self-nurture. Don't hold back on yourself!

      almost 8 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      The Benedryl pre-meds were so strong that I slept for quite a large portion of the time, and it also affected my ability to form words with my tongue so didn't talk much when awake. Very strange feeling to be knocked out so but not unconscious. I took my computer along and would surf and do emails after the Benedryl started wearing off. Also took some DVDs, but never really had enough energy during chemo to be interested in them. My husband would go out to pick up a nice lunch and bring it back, and he also worked at his computer while we were there. I envy those who were able to do anything worthwhile, but the 5/6 hours goes faster than you expect when you're not alert.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I have 8-9 hour chemos. I'm in the infusion room from 8am-5pm. I see people come and go all day long. I just make sure to take all the stuff to make myself as comfortable as possible. :) Time goes by fast, especially if you take naps.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Terry15's Avatar

      Hi Marie,
      I have 6 hours of R-Chop for Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma every three weeks. I am lucky to have the iron constitution of my parents to not have side effects like nausea although I do have some others which should be relieved by the end of chemo.
      Six hours can go fast with the right attitude. Be prepared. Most chemo clinics have tv's at each station or chair. Talk with the people there and the nurses who are angels to do this work. Bring puzzle books, magazines, letters to write, mail to answer, bills to pay. Bring a DVD player and movies and headphones or laptop or ipad or other media device to keep you entertained. Pack your lunch and snacks and even make something for everyone who comes that day even if just the nurses eat it. They love treats! Who cares if you come with two bags of stuff? Bring your own pillow if you want to sleep. As long as your mind is occupied the time will go fast. Last time I took a bunch of coupons to cut out and mail to someplace in Florida that distributes them to families that need help. Took extra scissors and two other people helped me! And your treatments are hung on a pole so you can get up, stretch, walk around to get a change of scenery. Good luck!

      almost 8 years ago
    • RondaUpton's Avatar

      I have 8 hrs of chemo and the time goes by fairly quickly. Where I go each patient has their personal station that has a recliner, a place for storage, they bring you lunch and you also have your own television to watch. You can bring snacks, movies to watch. All in all they make you pretty comfortable. I even took a nap.

      almost 8 years ago
    • sunshinemb's Avatar

      I've had 8 hour chemo sessions and learn to read, sleep, watch tv, interact with other patients and staff; they really become your family when you spend so much time with them. It's not fun, but you get through it with support and faith. Good Luck and God Bless you.

      almost 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      They can be mildly enjoyable once you're used to them. They often have snacks and wonderful nurses. If you're in an open infusion center, it's a great place to people watch and/or chit-chat.

      My current chemo sessions are 4 days long, in the hospital. I miss the days of 6-8 hour chemos in the chair.. it was much more lively!

      almost 8 years ago
    • Loafer's Avatar

      My chemo is about 4 hours with another 4 hours required for the cold cap treatment. It's a long day with no napping with ice on your head! Take the advice of everyone and doze as best you can. You can do it!

      almost 8 years ago
    • marie60's Avatar

      Everyone, you are so kind to help. I saw that some were taking benadryl. What is that used for?

      almost 8 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      Benedryl controls some of the side effects. I'm supposed to take an over-the-counter pill if I feel a reaction, usually hives, but I haven't had any problems. They inject it right into my veins during IV treatment.

      almost 8 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      I agree with all the posts about the long day going quicker than you'd think. I also try to get a convenient chair to the rest room. With all that fluid, I think I make 20 trips to the rest room!!

      almost 8 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      Mine were about 6 hours or more. I spent the time crocheting, watching movies, and napping. I was able to walk around the doctor's office when needed.

      almost 8 years ago
    • lchapman2000's Avatar

      All of my chemo sessions were 6 hours. It was sort of relaxing. I read books. Listened to my IPod. Slept. More importantly, I would visit with my chemo sisters. I grew to love them so dearly. They helped me so much on my journey.

      over 7 years ago
    • CindyBz's Avatar

      6 hours tends to be fairly normal from what I was told. You can get up and walk around. In fact, with all the fluids being pumped into you, you will need to use the restroom. Think of that time as you time. My husband and I watched HGTV and "dreamed" about what we would do if we had the money. The first one is the worst because you don't know what to expect. After that, chemo days are not bad days. Good luck!

      about 7 years ago
    • MariaM's Avatar

      Mine were nine hours. You can read, watch TV, watch videos on your tablet - whatever. You can also get up a walk around with your IV stand. I was in a small spearate room on a bed, and the pre-infusions meds made me sleepy, so I got some great naps.

      about 7 years ago
    • mopone's Avatar

      my daughter has had 6.5 to 7 hour chemo after surgery for mucinous adenocarcinoma recurrence

      almost 7 years ago
    • Joeyb's Avatar

      My chemo would last around 6-7 hours with pre-meds being 2 hours and the chemo meds 3 to 4 hours. I would take a book to read and my scrapbooking supplies to help pass the time.

      almost 7 years ago
    • emdanuco's Avatar

      Hi Marie60,

      Time will go by pretty fast after awhile. I took lots of naps. Brought my iPad & social media helped me quite a bit. You will get used to it. Good luck to you.

      over 6 years ago
    • PurestPisces' Avatar

      I start chemo on Monday and I actually have to be admitted... I'm having three medications one is quick 5-10 minutes, one is delivered over 6 hrs and the other 11 or 12 hrs... When do you start? Seeing as how I haven't yet I can't help too much. But I'd take 6 hrs over being admitted any day! You'll get through it... keep strong

      over 6 years ago
    • PurestPisces' Avatar

      And now I'm seeing the date on this post so I feel silly asking if you started haha. Good luck hope everything is going well

      over 6 years ago

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