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Preparing for Chemo

Preparing for chemo means ensuring that you are as comfortable as possible before, during and after your treatment.

Eating before treatment

We suggest that you eat a light meal before receiving chemotherapy. Try to avoid any fried or greasy foods.

Cyclophosphamide_ivPrevention of nausea

After receiving your treatment, we have found our patients have less nausea if they are not hungry. You may need a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to prevent nausea. You should eat a bedtime snack for 2-3 days after chemotherapy. The best snacks are starchy and bland such as pretzels, saltines, crackers, toast, English muffins, bagels, vanilla wafers, animal crackers or popcorn that is not greasy. Avoid warm foods with strong odors as these can take away your appetite and may cause nausea. If you are nauseated, eat small amounts of starchy foods starting with drinking small amounts of clear liquids – increase these slowly over time.

Morning after chemotherapy

For 2-3 days after chemotherapy, you should take your medications with food unless specifically told otherwise. Drink your fluids with breakfast, not before.

Foods to avoid the day of and day after treatment

  • Fried or greasy foods
  • Red meats tend to cause a bitter, metallic taste
  • Spicy foods are hard to digest
  • Foods with strong odors, especially if you are cooking

Foods generally easy to digest

  • Toast and crackers
  • Pancakes
  • English muffins
  • Baked fish
  • Waffles Pretzels
  • Animal crackers
  • Yogurt Sherbet
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Angel food cake
  • Beverages sipped
  • Pound cake
  • Oatmeal Cereal
  • Skinned chicken baked or broiled
  • Fruits and vegetables – soft, bland

Clear liquid suggestions

  • Water
  • Koolaid
  • Crushed ice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grape juice
  • Soft drinks
  • Popsicles
  • Apple juice
  • Jell-O
  • Tea
  • Chicken soups, broths


You should bring food and something to drink with you to your treatment.

Be sensitive to those around you:

  • Avoid bringing foods with strong odors into the Treatment Room.
  • Avoid wearing perfumes or colognes in the treatment area/office.
  • No children under the age of 12 are permitted in the treatment area.