Is driving after chemotherapy safe?

Motherinlaw asked...

Is it safe to drive after chemotherapy treatment?

Expert Answer

Bonnie Bajorek Daneker is author and creator of the The Compassionate Caregiver's Series, which includes "The Compassionate Caregiver's Guide to Caring for Someone with Cancer," "The Journey of Grief," "Handbook on Hospice and Palliative Care," and other titles on cancer diagnosis and end of life. She speaks regularly at cancer research and support functions, including PANCAN and Cancer Survivor's Network. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the CSN at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Evaluate whether it's safe to drive while having chemotherapy the same way you'd make other safe driving decisions. One oncologist puts it this way: “Envision a neighborhood with kids playing ball. The ball gets loose and a boy chases it into the street, where you are driving. If you feel you would be able to see the boy and respond without hesitation to avoid hurting him or yourself, then you can drive.”

This is a personal decision and you may feel more competent some days than others. Many people drive themselves to everything, including appointments, during their treatment cycles, but keep in mind that chemotherapy can affect your vision, your cognitive thinking, and your neuro-response times. By all means, keep your independence when you can but don’t increase the likelihood of harming someone else in the process. Ask for help from friends and volunteers, or use shuttles, public transportation, and taxis.