CHCWM – Cancer & Hematology Centers of West Michigan

FAQs

We know that patients have many questions. To help you prepare and feel comfortable, here are some common question and answers.

What type of treatment will I receive?

Your treatment will take into consideration your cancer, its location and stage, your general health, your age, and more. Your team will thoroughly review all those factors with you before recommending a plan.

What should I tell my children?

It depends on their age. If you might lose your hair, it’s important to let them know beforehand so they won’t be frightened. Our experience has been that it’s good to be as honest as you can with children.

What if I think I may be pregnant?

Let your physician know immediately. Chemotherapy can be dangerous to the fetus.

What can I expect at the treatment center?

During therapy, you will be seated in a recliner chair, or in a bed if necessary. Heated blankets are available if you become chilly.

Semi-private rooms are also available if you and your nurse decide this is appropriate for your condition.

Oxygen tanks can be accommodated; however, we ask that you bring your own oxygen supply.

We do recommend that someone accompany you if you are receiving your first treatment, as this can be a stressful time and a “second pair of ears” is helpful.

Should someone accompany me to my appointments?

It’s helpful if a friend or family member can join you, and we encourage it. It’s natural to be anxious and you may not be feeling your best. Often, it’s helpful another person along to listen, take notes, ask questions and provide emotional support.

What should I wear to treatment?

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered.

Is there food available? Should I eat before treatment?

If you would normally eat prior to your scheduled appointment, do so. We have vending machines with snacks, cold drinks, and juices. We also have a kitchen with a microwave and small refrigerator so you can bring a meal to warm up. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided free of charge.

Am I going to be in pain?

Not necessarily, but there are many medications available to help keep you comfortable. If you do experience pain, let your nurse know so we can resolve it quickly.

Will my hair fall out?

It depends on your treatment. Chemotherapy can cause hair to thin or completely fall out. If that happens, it will grow back after your treatment is complete. More information about Managing Side Effects is available.

How do I contact my physician when the office is closed?

If you’re experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency, call 911.

If you have a question or a concern you feel can’t wait, our answering service is available at (800) 411-7999

An on-call physician will return your call as soon as possible. If your problem is not cancer-related, please call your primary care physician.

When should I call my physician?

Please call us if you experience:

  • fever, chills, or temperature of 100.5℉ or greater
  • vomiting or uncontrolled nausea
  • diarrhea not controlled by Imodium AD
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling dizzy, unsteady, or lightheaded
  • mouth sores

How does my physician feel about me seeking a second opinion?

Our physicians encourage you to do what you feel is right for you. We will even make suggestions.