How Do You Go To Treatments?
As a moderator of numerous Facebook groups pertaining to lung cancer, I see the same question quite often - "can I drive myself/go by myself to chemotherapy." The short answer is yes contrary to what many people believe. Since my diagnosis, I have had surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. The only thing that has restricted my ability to drive is my surgery. There really is no reason why you cannot drive yourself.
Questions to keep in mind
Now, there are quite a few questions to ask yourself before you grab your car keys and head out the door. If you are just beginning chemotherapy, you have no experience to base how you will feel afterwards. Some chemotherapies require Benedryl by IV prior to receiving the chemotherapy medication. Obviously, this will have severe consequences if your drive. You have to be in tune with your medical team at all times.
Another reason for taking some one the first time is to see how you actually feel immediately after treatment. Most people feel fine. I was one of those. My side effects didn't hit me until day two or three. Because of this, I have always preferred to go by myself.
Treating treatment as me time
It is truly my quiet time when I do not have to worry about my kids or anyone else. Depending on the time of day, I may watch television or as in most cases, I take a nap. I have always felt it is stressful enough having lung cancer on us and our family, so why have them come to stare at an intravenous drip for several hours at a time.
I am also lucky that I live in the suburbs of a large city and can receive my treatment at a large facility. They have food, books, art therapy and music therapy. I have actually participated in the art therapy and have even said, "I'm glad I'm here by myself to just relax, unwind and paint or draw."
What do you prefer?
Obviously, attending chemotherapy and immunotherapy by myself is my personal choice. You may feel you need the support to have someone with you - which is perfectly fine. The main theme here is to what is comfortable for you. I know adults who have never gone to even a well check up without having their spouse or a child with them. Sometimes it is always great to have an extra set of ears. On that note, keep in mind, I am not speaking about physician appointments where you will be given important information. My opinion is to always take someone with you to be another person in the room to hear what is going on. As you may have already figured out, although you may think you hear everything, I can guarantee you that you will miss some information.
I am very interested to hear from others who go by themselves. Do you do it to relax or because you have to?
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.
Do you find that staying zen through your lung cancer diagnosis has helped you in your journey?