Newly Diagnosed

The following advice is based on my own experience with cancer -- chemo, surgery, and all that goes with it:

If you have a port:

Port site will be sore for a time after insertion -- sleep sitting up for a time.

Get one of those things to wrap around the seat belt in the car to cushion port site.  I’ve found that these Port Pillows work wonderfully, and she’ll mail you one for free:

Put Lidocaine on port site before chemo (your infusion nurses may give you Lidocaine and Tegaderm (the clear plastic to cover it), or your doctor may give you a prescription for Lidocaine, and you can cover it with Saran Wrap).

If you’re having chemo:

Make sure the shirt you wear to chemo makes it easy to access your port.

Suck on a popsicle or ice chips as chemo med is going is to prevent mouth sores.

Use plastic utensils to offset the metallic taste when eating. 

Mints or hard candy to help with the metallic taste, and dry mouth.  What works best for me at the mints they hand out at Chick-fil-A.

Take blanket to chemo, as most infusion centers are chilly (or, most infusion centers have blankets).

Pack light.  For my first chemo session, I took a bag with a book, some knitting, a coloring book and colored pencils, snacks for me and my husband, a few magazines, tons of stuff to keep me occupied.  I ended up sleeping through most of it.  Now I bring some knitting and make sure I have a book loaded on my Overdrive or Kindle app on my phone.  Some infusion centers provide snacks and/or lunch.  Check to see if yours does.  Definitely bring a notepad and pen.

If having Neulasta after chemo, take

  • Tylenol before shot
  •  Claritin the morning of, and three mornings after

General tips/info:

Set up a notebook to keep all of your medical information.

Register for a Look Good, Feel Better session

Sign up with Cleaning for a Reason

Look into a retreat for your family with Little Pink Houses of Hope

check out this website for more:


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