What can/ can't I do?

What about other medicines I am taking?

Generally, you should continue to take any medicines that your GP prescribes for you. However, it is important to tell your doctor or nurse at CCC about them and anything else you are taking, including medicines you buy over the counter. If you are taking Warfarin or other blood thinning drugs, tell the doctor at the anti-coagulant clinic that you are receiving chemotherapy, as the chemotherapy can interfere with the way in which your blood clots.

What other tests may I need?

Although you may have already had certain tests before we see you, we may need to repeat them, or do some new tests throughout your treatment. These are routine tests and the doctor or nurse will explain them to you if necessary.They may include:

  • chest X-ray
  • electrocardiograph (heart tracing)
  • ultrasound
  • bone scan
  • CT scan (computerised tomography)
  • bone marrow aspiration
  • lumbar puncture
  • MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • PET scan

These tests will help the doctor to decide the most appropriate treatment for you when evaluating your response to the treatment. Do not feel afraid to ask about anything.

Can I still go out?

Yes. It is important that you carry on as normally as possible. However, you should avoid people who have infections such as influenza or chicken pox.

Can I still go to work?

Yes, if you feel well enough and the nature of your job enables you to continue with work, but everyone is different. It is best to discuss this with your doctor.

Can I go on holiday?

This very much depends on you as an individual and the type of chemotherapy you are having. Sometimes treatment can be adapted to fit in with holiday plans. Please ask your doctor in good time if you want to alter your treatment date.


If you are planning to go abroad, it is extremely important that you do not have any ‘live virus’ vaccines while you are having chemotherapy. These include polio, measles, rubella, MMR, BCG, and yellow fever. Vaccines that you can have include whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, flu, pneumonia, hepatitis B, rabies, cholera, typhoid and anthrax. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse.

Travel insurance

If you are planning to go abroad, you may find there are exclusions on normal travel insurance policies because of your cancer and cancer treatment. We appreciate that holidays are important and have a list of insurance companies offering travel insurance after individual assessment. Please ask your nurse for the leaflet.

Can I drink and smoke?

It is best to discuss this with your doctor. Generally, small amounts of alcohol are safe but best avoided for the first forty eight hours following treatment. We do not advise you to smoke but we cannot stop you.

What if the chemotherapy does not work?

If the drugs do not appear to be working, the doctor may want to change the drug or combination of drugs but will discuss this with you beforehand.