You can receive chemotherapy in a hospital, a doctor's office, or a clinic. Chemotherapy can also be taken at home if you have a portable pump or are taking your chemo medicine as a pill. Most people are able to go home between treatments. In some cases, you may have to stay in the hospital so your doctor can monitor your health, especially if your immune system isn't working as well as it should (doctors call this a suppressed immune system) right after your treatment. When you decide on a chemotherapy regimen, your doctor will tell you where you'll be getting your treatment.
Tips for passing time during chemotherapy infusions
If you're getting chemotherapy at a hospital or clinic, the treatment may take anywhere from 1 to several hours, depending on your specific regimen. Some people bring a bag of things to do during treatments. Many chemotherapy treatment areas have televisions and magazines, but you can bring your own supplies to help pass the time:
- a thick book you've been meaning to read
- a portable music player so you can listen to music, books on tape, or radio programs you've downloaded
- a laptop computer, so you can catch up on email (if the treatment center has an Internet connection you can use), play games, or watch a movie
- a portable video game player
- knitting, needlepoint, crocheting, or other hand crafts
- a crossword or other puzzle book
- a jigsaw puzzle (though you may need a large table)
- cards or board games (if you have someone to play with)
- a sketchbook and pencils
Other tips to pass time:
- Write any notes, letters, or cards you want to send.
- Practice relaxation or meditation techniques.
- Start a journal or diary of your treatment process.
- Make a list of everything you're looking forward to when treatment is over.
- Catch up on your sleep and take a nap.