Each person’s experience is different with chemotherapy. I was told when I first met with my doctor and nurse that I would feel a little yucky some days but never be sick.I told everyone this! I was so positive that chemotherapy had changed from what our parents/grandparents had seen before that I went into this with blazing guns. I was also told because I was 31 that my dosage was higher than usual to be sure that every cell was killed because I had a long life span left.
In my defense, I have always been very sensitive to any type of medicine. My doctor once told me to take 5mg of melatonin, and I had to reduce the dose because I was too groggy. This does not happen people! Who knows??
My point is that chemotherapy kicked my ass. By the time I regained strength, I was getting hit again. I had multiple breast infections, hospital visits, emergency surgeries, and a blood transfusion. If there was ANY kind of road block in this process I could hit, I smacked right into it.
So here are the things I did or wish I had done to my bedroom where I spent countless hours, prior to starting chemotherapy!
1. Paint the walls to a favorite/calming color.
2. Get pretty curtains.
3. Have some type of card holder where I could put all my cards and see them from my pillow.
4. Receive plants over flowers.
5. Have a verse or quote hanging for strength. (Mine was Proverbs 31:25, and I LIVED BY IT! Thank you, Laken.)
6. Have a television.
7. Have a TV tray.
8. Make sure to have really cozy blankets (especially in case of a fever).
9. Buy thermometers (multiple thermometers and good ones – ask a new mommy for the best kind).
10. Collect books/magazines – mindless ones, nothing too deep or cancer survivor related. The last thing you want to read in bed is a book or article on how other peoples’ chemotherapy is going better than yours.
11. Gather old photo albums. They make you laugh and give you something to fight for.
12. Create and keep a clean room. Let your husband or kids know how important it is for your safe haven to be clean. I’m telling you, it makes a difference to not wake up and see a mess.
13. Visits by people who care, like really care. Even if they just lay in bed with you and don’t say anything. Or just sit next to you, holding your hand and praying for you.
14. PILLOWS! Large pillows, small pillows, tiny pillows, wedge pillows. It helps depending on surgeries and also just with the discomfort of being in a bed for a long time.
I hope these ideas will help someone be prepared for the road ahead if it’s spent in their bedroom. I know that’s where I spent a lot of time, because I was just too sick to move.