Can a chemo patient drive to and from treatment?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband will be getting chemo 4 days a week. Will he be able to drive himself there and back?

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.

The chemo and driving combination is often asked about. One oncologist answers the question this way "Let's say a four-year-old child runs into the street, chasing after his ball. If, on a normal day, you can see him and react successfully to avoid hitting him and the ball, you're probably a safe driver. On chemo, if you feel like you are alert and able to react quickly enough to not hit the child, you can drive. If you are lethargic, weak and uncertain about it, ask someone to drive you."  That said, you will soon see the effects of chemo on your husband. Ask him to honestly consider this question so as to not endanger himself or others while driving.  If there is a doubt, err on the side of driving him.