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Diagnosis and Treatment

Dear Iris: What to Pack on Infusion Days

Dear Iris,

I'm going to be starting chemotherapy soon. My oncologist has talked to me about what to expect from a side effect perspective and I feel prepared. However, I never thought to ask if there was anything I should do to prepare for the day of infusion. Are there things I should bring with me?


Dear G,

It’s great that your oncologist has provided you with the information you need to prepare for your chemotherapy treatments. Planning for the day of treatment can also help make the process a bit smoother for you. Every treatment center may vary on the things they keep in stock for their patients, including snacks, drinks, reading materials, etc.

If your infusion center allows it, you might want to try and schedule a quick walkthrough of the infusion area, so you know what to expect, where to go, and what things to bring with you. They can also give you a rough estimate of the amount of time you will be spending there so you can coordinate work, events, or additional appointments you may have.

A couple of things you might want to consider include: 

  1. Wear a shirt with buttons or zippers, if you have a port, for easy access while receiving treatment

  2. Dress warmly with layers (sweater, cardigan, or jacket), or bring a comfortable blanket

  3. Bring a book, tablet, or iPad with headphones to help pass the time

    • BONUS TIP: Make sure to bring an extra charger just in case! 

  4. Pack a bottle of water, snacks, or candies (especially during long treatment days) 

For your first treatment, it might be beneficial to coordinate a ride to and from the infusion appointment. For some individuals, treatment can make them tired or sleepy from the medications given, so you may want to have someone available if this occurs for the drive home.

Preparing yourself with these essentials can make your infusions as comfortable as possible. Remember, you're not alone in this; if you have any questions please reach out to the Iris Care Team.

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This article meets Iris standards for medical accuracy. It has been fact-checked by the Iris Clinical Editorial Board, our team of oncology experts who ensure that the content is evidence based and up to date. The Iris Clinical Editorial Board includes board-certified oncologists and pharmacists, psychologists, advanced practice providers, licensed clinical social workers, oncology-certified nurses, and dietitians.