Preparing for Your Procedure and Treatments
Based on their years of caring for patients with cancer, our staff at Northern Westchester Hospital has developed this cancer treatment information to help you prepare for your surgical procedure or treatments.
Preparing for Surgery
Please review this general information to help you prepare for your upcoming surgery with us.
It explains what you can do to prepare for your procedure before you come to the Hospital, what to expect while you are in the Hospital, and how to prepare your return home to recover.
Each patient receives treatment tailored to meet their individual needs, so your individual instructions from your surgeon may vary depending on your specific procedure. Please be sure to review your preparation procedures with your surgeon.
Preparing for Treatments
We encourage you to take steps to prepare for your therapy. We are here to help you make your treatment as easeful as possible.
Preparing for Radiation Therapy
Please call us at Radiation Oncology for information on how to prepare for radiation Therapy: 914.242.8115.
Preparing for Chemotherapy
The lists below to help you prepare for your chemotherapy were compiled by Laurie Bass Sklaver, whose battle with breast cancer inspired her to help make other people’s cancer treatment as comfortable as possible. These questions might suggest other questions you’ll want to ask your doctor or nurse. At NWH, our oncologists and care teams are here to help with any cancer treatment information you need.
10 Questions to ask your doctor about chemotherapy
1. Will my insurance cover chemotherapy?
2. Why are you recommending chemotherapy for me?
3. Which drugs are you recommending for me? Why?
4. What types of side effects should I expect?
5. Is there anything I can do, eat, or drink to prevent or alleviate side effects?
6. How long will the series of treatments last? How long is each treatment?
7. Is there anything I can or cannot do during the treatment?
8. How do I know the treatment is working?
9. Should I take my regular medications? Are there medications I should avoid?
10. Am I eligible for any research studies or clinical trials?
Things to do before chemotherapy treatment
- Decide who will drive you and take you home
- Schedule chemo around when you will have time to rest and recover after treatment
- Learn the names of Infusion Center staff so you feel more comfortable asking questions
- Drink a lot of water to prevent dry mouth
- Get enough sleep and rest
- Eat healthy foods and consider seeing a nutritionist
- Do light exercises
- Try to go out, walk in the park, see friends, or do other activities you enjoy
- Plan something to celebrate the end of your treatment.
- Build a support system during chemo treatment
- Surround yourself with positive people and good listeners
- Consider joining a support group or talking with other cancer survivors
- Consider writing in a journal
- Consider complementary treatment such as yoga, massage, and acupuncture
- Consider an arts and crafts or adult education class to take your mind off treatment.
What to bring the day of chemotherapy
- A family member or friend
- A portable music device
- Relaxing music or audiobooks
- Any medications you will need during the time you are at the Infusion Center
- Contact information for anyone you may need to call during treatment or to arrange transportation
- Water or something else to drink
- A snack
- Loose, comfortable clothing
- Ginger hard candy for nausea and metallic taste in mouth
- Herbal tea
- A positive attitude!
For more cancer treatment information and details of the programs offered by NWH Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center, please call 914.242.8333.