I am so afraid of chemotherapy, and my doctor tells me that I have to have it. What can I do to prepare for it and what can I realistically expect?

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It is normal to feel afraid or overwhelmed when your doctor tells you that you need chemotherapy. However, you will be cared for by a team of highly trained healthcare specialists who will assist in ensuring optimal treatment. Each chemotherapy treatment plan is individualized. Prior to beginning chemotherapy treatment, you will meet with your medical oncologist to determine your exact treatment plan (e.g., schedule, number of cycles, drugs administered, method of administration, etc.). How you prepare and what you can expect during your treatment will depend on this exact treatment regimen. Your medical oncology team will give you these specific instructions and information. Examples of how you may need to prepare for chemotherapy include undergoing tests and procedures to ensure your body is ready to receive chemotherapy, a dental appointment to check for a tooth infection, make arrangements for help at home or work, and plan ahead for any short and long-term side effects (e.g., infertility, hair loss).