What can I expect?

Will I have to stay in hospital?

Usually you will have to spend a few hours at the treatment centre for each treatment, as an outpatient. It is a good idea to take a book or something to listen to, or you may want to take a friend/whānau member to talk to.
Some people need to stay in hospital for a short period of time for each treatment. If you live more than 100 kilometres away from the treatment centre, ask your cancer treatment team if you qualify for subsidised accommodation through the National Travel Assistance Scheme. In some special situations travel or accommodation may be approved for distances less than 100 km.

Kerry Lions Lodge2

The Cancer Society provide accommodation for people receiving treatment and their whānau in some areas. Above: The Lions Lodge in Hamilton.

Can I keep working?

Many people keep working during their treatment and arrange time off or apply for sick leave for hospital appointments. Some people discuss the option of working part-time with their employers. Others take extended breaks for the whole course of their treatment. You may find it useful to read our information sheets on: Managing cancer in the workplace and Cancer, insurance, legal and employment issues.
If you can no longer work because of the effects of your cancer, you may be entitled to receive income support from the Ministry of Social Development – Work and Income. For more information, talk to a social worker or see the Cancer Society’s information sheets Benefits and entitlements and Benefits and entitlements: What happens when you apply for Work and Income support?. If you are not eligible to receive income support but are having difficulty managing your
finances, you may find it useful to talk to a budget advisory service.
The website www.moneytalks.co.nz can direct you to some useful support.

How treatments may act with other medications

Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted treatment can interact with common medicines and cause harmful side-effects. It is important to let your cancer care team know about any other medicines or supplements you are taking so they can check for any known interactions. It is also a good idea to talk with your cancer care team before having any vaccinations.

You might like to ask your cancer treatment team:

• how you might know that your treatment is working
• if you can drive after treatment
• what special precautions you need to take at home
• if you need to stay in hospital and, if so, for how long

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