Preparing for Treatment

Before you start your cancer treatment, it’s completely normal to feel anxious and have lots of questions. Rest assured, the compassionate, knowledgeable team of experts at Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center will be at your side every step of the way. Ask questions, discuss side effects, and read all of the resources provided by your cancer care team. By learning what to expect and understanding some steps you can take, you can feel better prepared for the journey to come.
Ways to Prepare at Home

No matter what type of therapies may be in your personalized cancer treatment, there are some general guidelines you can follow to better prepare yourself ahead of treatment: 

  • Assess your home environment—Identify the areas of your home that will be the best spaces for you during your recovery. Choose places that will make it easy for you to access the bathroom, drinking water and other essentials. 

  • Have a clear plan—Make sure you, your care team and your loved ones are on the same page with your treatment plan.  

  • Plan for what you can—From meal prep to pet care, plan out what you can ahead of time. Unknowns often pop up during treatment, but the more you have planned, the easier it will be to manage anything unexpected.  

  • Lean on your support network—Ask loved ones to help with cooking, cleaning and transportation during treatment. 

  • Expect changes in your appearance—Cancer treatment usually causes physical changes, ranging from hair loss and weight loss to skin rashes. 

  • Practice healthy habits—Focus on a whole-food diet and do as much physical activity as you can, such as light walking. 

  • Talk to someone who’s been through treatment—Use our Cancer Center support resources—like our BOLD Program—to connect with other people who have successfully undergone treatment. 

Preparing for Chemotherapy

Preparing yourself for treatment depends on the type of treatment you’ll be having. If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, here are some ways to prepare: 

  • Drink plenty of water 

  • Eat bland foods that are gentle on your stomach 

  • Focus on the positives in your life 

  • Go for a short walk every day (if you can) 

  • Let your body rest when needed 

  • Try not to compare your body to how it looked before chemo 

Preparing for Radiation Therapy

Here are some ways to prepare yourself for radiation therapy

  • Plan your transportation schedule for treatments 

  • Bring music or an audiobook to listen to, or a book or magazine to read 

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet 

  • Pack a lunch or snacks 

  • Wear comfortable clothing and slip-on shoes