Talk to your Doctor
If hospital visits are particularly difficult for you, ask the doctor managing that specific treatment if there are alternative ways to receive it. If there are not, the doctor may be able to suggest ways to make it more bearable. There will not always be a better way, but your doctor or nurse needs to know how you are coping.
If having an intravenous (IV) inserted each time you receive treatment is causing distress, ask your doctor about suitable alternatives such as a port - a cath (an access device surgically implanted in your vein).
Take a book to read while waiting for treatments and try to avoid scheduling scans for Mondays, when the hospital is more likely to be crowded with the weekend's spill-over.
Ask for help
There may be ways of easing your discomfort, so it is worth asking. For instance, a social worker may be able to arrange assistance with transport, if travelling to hospital treatments is proving difficult. Or it may be something as simple as asking a nurse at the hospital for a cushion to make the wait more comfortable.
Did you know that your old x-rays, and you may accrue plenty of them, can be recycled to produce new silver? Go to Planet Ark's recycling website, www.recyclingnearyou.com.au and select "x-ray films" from the product list.
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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.
Last updated 30 August 2015