• Things to bring to the infusion center

    Asked by CarolLHRN on Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Things to bring to the infusion center

    I am about to start my second round of chemo (FOLFOX). My last round, I just had to go to the infusion center to have blood work and my pump reloaded (30 minutes tops). I understand this time I will be at the infusion center for about 4 hours every other week. I was wondering if anyone had tips on important things to have to pass the time and make it more comfortable.

    24 Answers from the Community

    24 answers
    • danellsar's Avatar

      ipod or some other music device
      a small, light, fleece blanket (those places are always chilly)
      food (lunch or snack)
      warm socks

      over 9 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I was lucky enough that mine only lasted about 20 to 30 minutes. Others were sitting there for hours.

      over 9 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar

      I usually take my lap top. At the infusion center I go to they have T.Vs movies snacks, drinks, nice warm blankets, volunteers that bring you anything you need. I call them Ma and Pa they have been married forever and they have both survived cancer most wonderful people full of love. We also have lap blankets that the senior center makes and brings to us. We are always getting goodies from places that donate makeup, hats, things to make us feel better. So don't take too much with you the first time until you find out what it is like. Maybe a book bottle of water and a snack and then just take it from there. I usually sit around and talk have met many wonderful people and heard many adventures.
      Good Luck wear comfy clothes

      over 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I take a reusable grocery bag with me. In it I have my journal, my day planner, a book to read, and usually a word puzzle magazine (don't forget pencil and pen). I also take lunch and some snacks (usually a sandwich, a pack a cheese crackers, a few sugar free hard candies and a bottle of water. My chemo center provides pillows and blankets, but if yours doesn't you might want to bring those too, because they usually keep the rooms a bit on the chilly side. A light jacket might be a good idea too. Mine also provides coffee, tea, sodas, etc. I almost look forward to my chemo treatments (mine last about 4 hours also), because it my "me" time, and I save up the things I want to do, but usually don't do at home (read, crossword puzzles, look at magazines, etc.) for that "me" time and it gives me something to look forward to.

      over 9 years ago
    • RuthAnne's Avatar

      My center has TVs & DVD players on site so some people bring in movies. I usually load up my Ipod with funny podcasts. I've brought reading, journals, knitting projects - it depends on what kind of mood I'm in on that day. I've had very entertaining roommates and nurses, too who help the time pass. Sometimes, I feel a little claustrophobic so I walk around the floor with my pump for a change of view.

      Wishing you easy times ahead.

      over 9 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      My stash of magazines that had piled up. I was also able to borrow magazines/books from our library.

      Puzzle books

      A friend...I was very fortunate to have a lot of friends who wanted to come with me. I was at a small infusion center so I only had one person come each time so we didn't disrupt others. It was nice to chat and play backgammon, UNO, etc.

      My smartphone to text and update my family members and friends on my progress (infusion center didn't have wifi otherwise I would have brought my laptop).

      If you are getting oxaliplatin, bring your own beverages at room temp. You won't be able to drink anything cold.

      Slipper socks (even during the summer) and a jacket.

      I had my dedicated chemo bag which was always packed and stashed out of sight until I needed it. It was very exciting when I was able to unpack it once I was done my treatments - closure.

      over 9 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      For me it was very important to have warm socks & a blanket. To pass the time, my laptop. But most important was something to eat since the smell of the nurses' lunch would make my stomach growl & they didnt always have snacks available for us. You might also want hard candy. Also, you might just want to talk to others there. I made a very nice friend during one of my infusions. May it go well for you!

      over 9 years ago
    • sweetcfo's Avatar

      In addition to bringing my laptop, I also bring funny movies or a movie I haven't seen so I can pass the time. I make sure I have a book downloaded on my iPad to read. I bring warm socks and have been thinking of bringing my own blanket - warm, soft, long because they're blankets are never long enough for me. I also bring some peppermint puffs for my mediport (I can taste the fluids they use to flush it - yuck). The peppermint puffs help soothe my stomach. I also bring my own cup. My infusion center has a water cooler but the cups are very small. I wish you well on this journey.

      over 9 years ago
    • Jackie's Avatar

      If you know how to crochet or knit, I suggest you find a small project (scarf, placemats, pot holders, even lap blanket) and crochet or knit while receiving treatment. Sometimes I just didn't want to talk to people and didn't want to read or be hooked up to an electronic device, so I would crochet. It is very relaxing and helps time go by. And, you get the added benefit of making something lovely! Many years have gone by for me and I still have some of the things I made. They remind me of my 'cancer days' and the blankets and scarves and other items are like my trophies!

      over 9 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I brought DVD's, crochet supplies, blanket, and food (lunch and snacks). I mostly crocheted while I watched a DVD until some of the drugs kicked in and I couldn't concentrate anymore, then I slept. My sessions lasted around 5-6 hours. Mine took longer than most other people there because they did one the chemo drugs very slowly.

      over 9 years ago
    • pattycake's Avatar

      I was in treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, i day, every 2 weeks. My treatments took 4 to 6 hours depending on what my blood counts and blood pressure were. My chemo drugs werre not mixed until vital signs were checked, so there was always an hour of waiting before treatment started. After my system got use to the schedule and meds, it was no more than 4 hours. You will probably have access to a TV. Wear a jacket, warm shoes, knee socks and even pants liners if you are cold natured. Ask for a heated blanket or take your own. Hopefully someone will be with you and conversations will help pass the time. Some people slept through it but I couldn't do that. My husband was always with me and would go to the cafeteria to get lunch....but my treatments were in the Cancer Center in a Hospital, ask ahead of time if food is available, if not take something to eat. There is usually a refrigerator available in the center. Pack a tote with:
      books, magazines, laptop, sewing or any other thing you are interested in. Take a journal, pen, tape recorder, etc. You will want to take notes and write down questions between treatments. Chemo may do something to your thinking process but you have been through it before. Good luck to you, hope your outcome is as good as mine.

      over 9 years ago
    • tspoon's Avatar

      If you have never learned to crochet, knit, embroider,etc. . . Take 2 1yd pieces of fleece. Lay back to back on each other, pin together. Cut 4" square from each corner, cut rest of border 1" spacing 4" deep all the way around. Tie knots with all the border strips you cut. You have a baby blanket, now give to someone you know, or donate to shelter. Great project, keeps your hands busy, and you can visit if you choose at the same time.

      over 9 years ago
    • TubThumping's Avatar

      My treatment were 4 days every three weeks and I was there about 6 - 7 hours. I kept a bag packed with my laptop, books, knitting, a blanket, and most important SLIPPERS. Everyone was jealous that I broght slippers. I hate shoes and with the many bathroom trips I wanted more than just socks. I also made sure to pack an extra set of clothes, just in case.


      over 9 years ago
    • bcwarrioragain's Avatar

      Hi Carol-
      I think you have a lot of great ideas here. I must say, when I had to be in treatment for 6-7 hours I would take a bag packed with many of the things listed above, but never used most of it. I found it most useful to rest during this time. After visiting with my ChemoPharm friends I would sleep, or nap at least.
      If you find snacks and lunch are something you need consider the smell of your food. Some patients will really struggle with the smell (I did) and there is no way to get away.
      Post and let us know what you decided to take and how you used your time.

      over 9 years ago
    • bobhess' Avatar

      A positive attitude, which seems to help me and those around me!

      over 9 years ago
    • momsofzeck's Avatar

      Dear Carol,
      Where do you go for "blood infusions"?

      over 9 years ago
    • mamajltc's Avatar

      My husband is in chemo every other week and we are at the hospital for about 6 hours or more. I take all of the magazines and catalogs that I get in the mail and go through them. When done reading, I give to the nurse's station of leave for other patients. I also crochet and always have something going. I have a 'chemo bag.' In it is a change of clothes for my husband (he is incontinent at times, and also, sometimes he may sweat quite a bit...always good to have a change). I have my reading, and an empty envelope to put anythings we might get that day ... appointment cards, info on any drugs, etc..So when we come home, we have all of the papers and cards togethers. I also always take some extra water.
      Also, if you have smart phone, ipad, etc...i have loaded music and books, etc, into it, so always have something to do at the tip of my fingers...:-)

      over 9 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      My kindle fire. I can listen to music, read books, watch movies, play games, surf the web. My cell phone. Lots of snacks, water and maybe even something for lunch. My chemo sessions were 7-8 hours long, yikes!

      over 8 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      I'm the spouse and being as we are here, int he infusion center, for 14-16 hours every Friday and have been doing this for 8 years now, I tend to move-in for the day. I bring along my laptop, Kindle Fire, mu journal, and a sewing project--I am currently making a Regency Day Dress, all sewn by hand (I am a Regency reenacter). Last tiem my husband went through chemo I taught myself how to knit and made everyone scarves until I progressed to shawils and made everyone a shawl--i think they are all very happy i've taken to hand sewing my Regency dresses this time around. I also bring my own coffee, Peet's, and a French Press so I can make it.

      over 8 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      I forgot to add that my husband, the one with the cancer, brings his ipad although he never even turns it on as he is loaded with so many sleeping/nausea drugs he is qucikly sleeping the entire time we are here.

      over 8 years ago
    • luckyme's Avatar

      Type your answer here...HUSBAND OR FRIEND

      over 8 years ago
    • booboo's Avatar

      If you are getting infusions of oxaliplatin be sure to bring warm socks and mittens or gloves. Oxaliplatin makes your hands, feet and throat very sensitive to cold. Bring drinks at room temperature. Bring snacks unless your center provides them (many do) but nothing that is very cold because cold foods and liquids can cause you to have painful spasms in your throat. I brought books at first but I found it hard to concentrate on reading. Bring your laptop and some DVDs or an ipod. Wear comfortable clothes, and be sure the nurse can get easy access to your port (no turtlenecks!) Bring a friend if you can, its nice to have someone to talk to. Bring your best positive attitude,

      over 8 years ago
    • LittleRed's Avatar

      My best friend and a good sense of humour! I said no to my family. Hard as that was for them. But I knew they would be too worried and sad. My HS friend and i had a crazy time - patients and nurses were all laughing. If only we'd taped my Gene Kelly dancing in the rain with my I'VE pole!! Not for everyone, but I needed to LIVE and do it BIG when I was under stress. I had a wonderful care team and they supported me all the way. OK. The Benedryl knocked me out at times but I truly believe the laughter made a HUGE difference!! Cancer fears only one thing and that is JOY in life. We can defy it with dignity and hope. Rock on!!!

      over 8 years ago
    • bhurdlow's Avatar

      Hi Carol. I have a particular shawl that I always bring to both the hospital and my infusions. It's a pashmina and since those rooms are always cold, it's nice to be warm. It's also sort of luxurious and I feel pampered by it which is a good way to feel when you're having an infusion. Your own sort of cozy is a good thing. If you have a certain snack or meal that you enjoy, that's a good thing to bring along. I found that being too hungry during chemo was always a recipe for disaster so I'd bring lunch for my long days. I always brought my iPad with headphones so I could watch a movie or show on hulu. In reality, I usually had some Ativan with my infusions so I mostly slept but being prepared to make the time pass is a good idea. I hope the treatment goes well!

      over 7 years ago

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