Your first treatment
It’s time for your first LARTRUVO + doxorubicin treatment. You’ve got this. The tips below are designed to help you get started. Remember, everyone is different, and many people will want to give you advice. But it’s important to find what works best for you—your preferences, your needs, and your comfort.
There’s no way to predict exactly how your body will react to different medications, so it’s a good idea to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your infusion, at least the first time.
If you can, familiarize yourself with the location of your infusion site, where to park, and where to sign in upon arrival.
Plan a comfortable outfit
Dress comfortably in soft, loose clothes. For extra comfort, bring your favorite pair of socks and slippers.
It is important to maintain proper nutrition and to stay hydrated. It is also important to minimize stress on your infusion days—planning healthy meals in advance can help both causes.
TIP: Don’t eat 1 to 2 hours before treatment. Avoid eating favorite foods when feeling nauseated as this may diminish your enjoyment of these foods later. A bad experience could turn your most favorites into your least favorites!
It’s treatment day. Bring your 4 B’s!
A loved one can make all the difference
A family member or friend can be a great distraction and can provide emotional support. They can also help take notes and organize information, such as post-treatment instructions.
Confirm in advance that your treatment location allows visitors to stay with you during treatment.
On the day of your first infusion, the last thing you want to do is go searching for paperwork.
Put all your important documents in one travel binder, with backup copies at home, just in case you need them:
- Insurance information
- Paperwork from your doctor such as lab results or prescriptions
- Contact information for your extended healthcare team and caregivers
- Appointment schedule
- Choose snacks that are high in nutritional value, don’t have a strong smell, and are somewhat bland in taste. For example, nuts, whole grain crackers, hard cheese, hummus, granola bars, and fruit.
- During treatment, some people like to suck on hard candy, like mints, lemon drops, or citrus candies. This is to help in case you experience a slight bitter or metallic taste in your mouth during treatment with doxorubicin.
Lip balm, lotion, and ice
- Keep your lips and skin hydrated with scent-free lip balm and hand lotion.
- You can also ask your nurse for ice packs or cooling caps during treatment. Placing them on your head may help reduce hair loss.
- To help pass the time:
- Get lost in a great book
- Relax and listen to music or watch a movie on your tablet or phone
- Are you the crafting type? Bring it along!
- Bring a blanket. Treatment areas tend to be cold, so if you don’t have a travel-size blanket, treat yourself to an extra cozy one. You deserve it.
- Keep in mind, you’ll be connected to your IV, which makes removing and adding layers of clothes difficult. So a blanket is best.
The first 24 hours after your infusion
You may feel hopeful, relieved, overwhelmed, or just tired. You may experience a range of emotions, but you won’t know until you get there.
One thing is for sure: You got up. You did it. You just got a round of treatment under your belt. Be proud. Pat yourself on the back. Today was a major accomplishment.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during your first 24 hours after treatment:
Reflect on your first infusion
Reflect on what worked in your first appointment. What went well? What could be improved the next time?
Your doctor is there to help, so don’t hesitate to call. If you develop any side effects, call your doctor.
Keep a journal
A journal can be useful to keep track of side effects, including their severity and how long they last. It can also be helpful as an emotional outlet. You can also keep track of memorable moments and experiences, or note down questions for your doctor so they can remain fresh in your mind.
Once you’re home, it is important to follow any instructions you received. Take your medication on time, rest, hydrate, and eat.
You can ask your family member or friend to help make sure you’ve picked up any medication you’ll need before returning home.