So one of the services offered by our Cancer Care Center is an introduction/orientation session on what to expect during chemotherapy. The training is recommended for the patient and for the primary caregiver. It provided a general overview of the issues that may be faced during the chemo treatments. There were a couple of things that never really occurred to me, but that are quite significant. One was the toxic nature of the treatment and what it means in the home. So, for example, chemotherapy stays in the body for approximately 48 hours. It is important that caregivers ensure that they are not unnecessarily exposed to the toxins. We were instructed to have the cancer patient double flush the toilet after use. When cleaning the toilet, sink, shower, etc., we were told to wear gloves. During sex, a condom is mandatory, regardless of whether it is a female or male having the treatment. The session included information on dental work, how to prevent or reduce mouth sores common with chemotherapy, the importance of water and proper hydration, the immune system, etc.
Initially I was reluctant to attend this session, but now I am most thankful that I went. This is a formidable process and continues to be quite overwhelming, however, we continue to move through it, along with the other five or six families that attended our training session. All ages, sizes and genders were at my training session today. This disease really does not discriminate.