We understand how distressing a diagnosis of cancer or a blood disorder can be. To help get you the answers you need, we collaborate with community partners so you can quickly meet with one of our specialists.
After we receive a referral from your doctor, our New Patient Coordinator will call. The coordinator will answers your questions and review the paperwork necessary for your fist visit.
Please bring your identification, insurance card and any requested documents to your first visit. If there is more paperwork to be done, we will help you complete that.
Your comfort and peace of mind are our highest priority. Please let us know if we can do anything to make you feel more comfortable during your visit.
After the first office visit, your oncologist will recommend treatment options. He or she will work with you to customize a cancer care plan.
Prior to your first treatment, one of our physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners will meet with you to go over your treatment plan. You will receive more information about your chemotherapy plan and you will be able to talk about any concerns or questions you may have.
It’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed during your first visit. To make your experience more comfortable, we encourage patients to bring one support person with them.
When Your Treatment Begins
Prior to starting treatment, a nurse will either establish an IV, or access your port for treatment. Depending on your treatment plan, the nurse may give you medications to help prevent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Once your treatment begins, our oncology nurses will carefully monitor your condition to make sure you are tolerating the treatment. It is important to report any symptoms to your nurses during treatment.
Feeling At Ease During Your Treatment
We want every patient to feel comfortable and at ease in the infusion suite. We encourage patients to dress comfortably. Our clinic has a kitchenette that is stocked with locally roasted fresh coffee, juice, snacks, soup, and fresh seasonal fruits. These are available to patients and caregivers during treatments and office visits.
To help pass the time, a book cart and assorted card games are available. Laptops, tablets or other electronic devices may be brought in. We ask that you wear headphones when watching movies or listening to music, as a courtesy to others.
After Your Treatment
After treatment is complete, you will meet with a nurse to review your condition prior to discharging you from the clinic. While you might be able to drive yourself home after your first chemotherapy session, we encourage all patients to have someone drive them.
Some of the most common side effects of chemotherapy are fatigue and nausea. The best way to control these side effects is to rest and relax the day of chemotherapy, and the day after. We want your treatment experience to be as comfortable as possible, and we encourage you to call us with questions or concerns as they arise.
First Visit FAQs
It is normal to be nervous about your first visit. Remember, you have selected knowledgeable and skilled professionals to help you.
If you have questions that aren’t answered here, please call us at 503-561-6444. We’re here for you.
Treatment lengths vary. When you make your first appointment, we will give you an estimated amount of time you can expect to be here.
Remember to bring:
Snacks, drinks, or even a lunch if you will be here for an extended period of time. We provide some juices, coffee, hot cocoa, tea and water. We also have some light snacks.
Any medications you would normally take during the day, including any pain medicine you may need while you are here. It’s always better to be prepared in the case you may be away from home longer than anticipated.
Something to do: Tablets, laptops, smart phones, books, puzzles and small craft projects can help the time go by. Please bring a headset if you are watching a movie or listening to music.
Should I eat and take my medicine on the day of treatment?
Yes. Please eat breakfast and/or lunch, depending on your treatment time. It’s also important to take your regularly scheduled medicines before you come.
Drink two to three liters of fluid on the day before and the day of your treatment to be well hydrated, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
What should I wear?
Please wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and footwear. During your treatment you will be sitting in a recliner chair. We want you to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
If you have had a port placed for treatment, wear a button-up or deep v-neck shirt so your nurse will be able to access it. This will also make it more comfortable for you.
Who should I bring?
We recommend bringing one person to provide support. When your nurse reviews information with you, it is always helpful to have another set of ears. It is ideal to have someone drive you here for the first and second time. Once you know how your body responds to treatment, you may be able to drive yourself to future appointments.
When will I lose my hair? Will it grow back?
Hair loss does not occur with all chemotherapy. You may notice hair loss or thinning in the second or third week after your first treatment. It may happen suddenly or slowly and in an uneven pattern. It is common for hair loss to include hair that grows anywhere, including eyelashes and eyebrows. In almost all cases, your hair will resume growth after your treatment is completed. More information on hair loss.
Why are labs drawn each time I come for chemo?
Low blood counts are a common side effect of most chemotherapy treatments. Your doctor and nurse will want to check your blood before giving you your chemo. If your blood counts are too low, your doctor may readjust the dosage of your chemotherapy or hold it so your blood counts can recover. More information on lab draws.
Should I wear a mask or avoid public places?
When your immune system is low you are more prone to infection. The best way to prevent an infection is to wash your hands frequently, and to ask others around you to do the same. You can use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. You do not have to wear a mask but it is wise to avoid contact with people who are ill. More information on avoiding illness.
Are there any vitamins or supplements I should be taking?
A daily multivitamin and a well balanced diet should be sufficient. It is not a good idea to take high doses of vitamins. In some instances, large doses of vitamins or minerals can be toxic or harmful and are counterproductive to chemotherapy and radiation treatment. More information on vitamins and supplements.
Can I use my cellphone?
Out of respect for others, please refrain from using your cellphone. Cellphones can be used for emergencies only. You may text message if your phone is on silent.
Can I bring my laptop, tablet or other portable electronics?
Portable electronics are fine if they run on a battery and are equipped with earphones or a headset. Office outlets are not available for personal use.
How many people can I bring in the treatment room with me?
We encourage you to bring a friend or family member with you. However, only one support person is allowed in the treatment area; visitor chairs are available for their use. Treatment chairs are for patients only. If more than one person comes with you, they may be asked to wait in the waiting areas on the first or second floor, as our office waiting area is often full. For safety reasons, we ask that you not bring children under the age of twelve into the treatment area.
What if I get hungry during my treatment?
You are welcome to bring a lunch or snack with you during treatment. Your support person may also bring you something during your treatment. Crackers and beverages available at the clinic are for patients only. Please limit yourself to one clinic-provided snack and beverage. Your support person may help themselves to tea, coffee, or water.
If I come early, can I be seen early?
Not necessarily. We recommend you arrive no more then 15 minutes before your scheduled treatment time. Occasionally your doctor may be able to see you a few minutes early for your doctor’s appointment. This does not necessarily mean you will be able to receive your chemo treatment early.
If I don’t have an appointment, can I still be seen?
If you do not have an appointment but feel you need to see the doctor, please call the office prior to your arrival. Calling ahead allows us to advise you as to when you are likely to have the shortest wait time. Patients who arrive without appointments will not necessarily precede patients that have a scheduled appointment.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel for any reason, please call our office within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment. This will allow us to give the appointment to another patient needing medical attention.
What identification do I need?
The law requires that we have positive identification for all patients who receive services. To comply with this rule, we require the following pieces of identification:
Health insurance card
Driver License or other government-issued ID with photo.
You may be required to have a facial photo taken.
If the above identification does not match, additional identification will be required (i.e., a utility bill, school ID card, etc.).
"The billing office is wonderful and helped finding financial assistance."