I thought this might be useful for anyone about to start off on this journey. Be warned, there can be a LOT of waiting around, so it’s best to be prepared:)
1. WATER – you will be told this day after day after day, but you have to drink shed loads of water (2-3 litres per day – I actually end up drinking more because the drugs make me really thirsty), so I always carry a casual litre around with me! Hydrated eggs are happy eggs!
2. MILK – this doesn’t go for every clinic, but my clinic also tell you to drink 1 litre of Milk per day. I tend to try and get one pint down in the morning and another in the evening, but as a previous post has illustrated, a good old plastic carton is often found on my person.
3. COOL BAG – you don’t have to have this, although it does say to keep meds cool (I didn’t before, I just had them in a container in my bag), BUT I have to say this has been really useful this time round. Not only does it keep your meds at a good temperature, but is an organised way of keeping everything in one place. I restock mine daily with what is needed for that day, particularly during WEEK 1 of treatment.
4. Syringes/ Needles/ Vial openers – tonnes of them on your person at all times. Although I have never had to do say more than three injections in one go, it’s always good to keep more than you need so you are never caught short!
5. NOTEBOOK + PENS – best piece of advice ever. Whenever my clinic call, they say “do you have a piece of paper and a pen?”… well YES I DO, at all times! it’s really important to write everything down, not only so it’s clear in your head, but as a reference looking back. I also use mine to write down questions that I want to ask ahead of a scan or a consultation, it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed or that you are asking something silly, so it’s good to have a prompt.
6. KINDLE/ TABLET/ READING MATERIAL – godsend! Ensure enough material is downloaded already (prepare for lack of WIFI in clinics) so you can keep your mind occupied.
7. HEADPHONES – attach to the above;)
8. SNACKS – the guideline for diet is basically high protein, snacking little and often if you can. My go to is a healthy supple of almonds and the odd protein bar. Some days you do really feel hungrier than others, and some days you don’t feel like eating at all, but you really must.
9. EXTRA VITAMINS – this is a bit obvious, but important nonetheless. This will vary person to person, as each of us have our own needs, but clearly FOLIC ACID is a must. During my last cycle, my VIT D levels were a little low so iv’e been taking them ever since and seem to be doing the trick (I suggest more holidays is the answer, but hey I’ll take it where I can get it).
10. A SENSE OF HUMOUR AND A SMILE – you can’t pretend that this isn’t a stressful, emotional, slightly exhausting and trying process, BUT you do have to try and relax and take it in your stride. Easier said then done, I know, but finding the humour where you can and smiling, not just at others but for yourself, I would say are pretty damn important.