If a family member is undergoing chemotherapy, you’re sure to want to get the full lowdown on chemo. Essentially, it’s like the body’s personal SWAT team – storming in with a mix of drugs to put cancer cells out of commission. The goal is to send those unruly cells packing and stop them from throwing wild multiplication parties.

Chemo can shrink tumors or blast away remnants after surgery or radiation has done its thing — totally upping the odds against cancer. It’s not just about playing defense; chemo can be offensive too – reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.

Woman wearing a head scarf, holding someone's hand for support

Like a power-up in a tough video game level, chemotherapy helps give people with cancer a fighting chance.

However, there is a downside to chemotherapy. For instance, it can cause unpleasant side effects. So, you should get a rounded view to understand what your close one is going through and support them at every step of the way.

Here are four of the most important things to know about chemotherapy.

1. Chemotherapy Can Cause Side Effects

Sure, chemotherapy treatment can potentially kick cancer’s butt – but it can also rough people up in the process.

Your family member’s body will essentially go through its own version of a monster truck rally because chemo doesn’t only target those pesky cancer cells. It can also smack down some of the good ones too.

This leads to an entourage of gnarly side effects, ranging from nausea and fatigue to hair loss and infections.

And everyone’s experience is pretty unique. Some folks might breeze through with minimal fuss while others get hit harder than a game-winning homerun at the bottom of the ninth inning by these side effects.

Bottom line: chemo’s got its risks, no doubt, but when it’s part of kicking cancer to the curb, sometimes you’ve got to roll with punches. However, modern medicine is getting slick at managing chemo side effects with all sorts of tricks up its sleeve to help keep them at bay.

2. Unfortunately, Defective Port Catheters Have Been Used for Chemotherapy

Although nowhere near as common as side effects, if defective port catheters are used, it could create major problems.

Indeed, recently, some people who needed to have a port catheter implanted into their bodies to allow the administration of chemotherapy ended up receiving the chemo through defective port catheters manufactured by Bard Access Systems. 

Many are now filing Bard PowerPort product liability lawsuits to gain compensation.

While defective medical products are not typical, as we have seen, they are unwittingly used from time to time. In turn, that can create medical complications for people undergoing chemo.

3. Receiving Chemo Is Sure to Result in an Emotional Rollercoaster 

Brace yourself – because your loved one’s emotions are going to flip more than pancakes at a breakfast buffet. One minute they may be as chill as a cucumber in sunglasses; the next, they’re climbing anxiety walls like a pro rock climber.

So, you need to give them an ocean of support. You’ll need to channel your inner Zen master too because these vibes can rub off on you.

Seriously, though — talking helps. Whether it’s with each other or professional counselors doesn’t matter. What counts is not bottling up those feelings and becoming emotional hoarders. Trust me, keeping that communication flowing smoothly like butter eases the edginess all around.

4. Chemotherapy Can Be Costly

Chemo is not just a physical and emotional tango — it’s also like opening a wallet in a tornado. Costs can spiral fast. Drugs, appointments, travel for treatments, and even maybe special diets or home care can all contribute to costs and those bills can sneak up quicker than a cat on a laser pointer.

So, make sure your family member looks into insurance coverage and copay assistance programs. Some foundations throw financial lifebuoys to folks wading through these money floods too.

Community fundraisers or online crowdfunding platforms could also help to pay for the costs of chemotherapy.