Before your chemotherapy
Your doctor will decide if you need chemotherapy. If you will get chemotherapy that day, you will have to wait for it to get prepared. This can take up to two hours.
A nurse will then take you to the chemotherapy suite.
Once you are settled in your chair, a thin tube will be inserted into your vein. This is called an IV line. It is how the chemotherapy will enter your body. Instead of an IV, you might have a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) or a small device placed beneath your skin called a Port-a-Cath.
A member of your health care team will teach you about the chemotherapy. This includes the possible side effects. You may be given medicine to prevent side effects.
The nurse will check on you often to make sure you are not having any reactions to the medicine. A pharmacist may also speak to you about any medicines you will be taking home.
If you feel uncomfortable at any time during your chemotherapy, let someone on your health care team know.
You are welcome to relax, read, or eat while receiving your treatment.
After your treatment, your IV line will be removed and you will be able to go home.
You might need to pick up your medicines from the pharmacy before you go.
When you go home after your visit
What if I feel unwell?
If you are feeling unwell or have any questions regarding your treatment, you can call the Medical Daycare Unit at 416-864-5222 during working hours. You can also call your oncologist or hematologist’s office during working hours.
After hours, go to the Emergency Department to get help. Make sure you bring a list of your medicines (including your chemotherapy and the last date you received chemotherapy.) Bring the name of your doctor and pharmacist too.
For minor injuries or sickness that is not related to your cancer or chemotherapy, call your family doctor or visit a walk in clinic.
Asking patients to tell us about any problems that they might be experiencing is an important part of providing the best possible treatment.
The symptom screening tool we use, titled Your Symptoms Matter, was specially designed to help assess the most common symptoms that people living with cancer may have.
The Your Symptoms Matter questionnaire is answered electronically and allows both the patients and their health care team to assess and monitor symptoms.
Guides for how to manage your symptoms
The guides are filled with easy to understand, practical tips for what you can do and when to get help from your healthcare team.
Please note that information in the guides is not medical advice. Please discuss your side effects and symptoms with your health care team.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Mouth problems
There are several language translations of the Symptom Management Guides on the Cancer Care Ontario website. They are available in the following languages:
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
To access these guides visit the Cancer Care Ontario website.
Visit the Your Symptoms Matter tool on the Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) website.