Chemotherapy treatments can vary in both length and abundance, with sessions lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 3-4 hours. That’s a lot of downtime which could lead to crazy amounts of boredom if you’re not fully prepared! Luckily, we’ve composed a fairly concise list of what to take to chemo treatments.
The Magic List
Before we ramp this post up, let’s start with the basics: A fairly large bag with several pockets, such as a weekender duffel bag, a gym bag, or a backpack. This will keep you organized and help eliminate the possibility of you forgetting something.
Keep in mind the room you will have your chemo treatment in will most likely be on the chilly side. Maybe even penguin-dreamland chilly. The best advice we can provide is to be over-prepared when it comes to packing cozy things to take to chemo treatments.
- Comfortable Closed Toed Shoes - Maybe even a pair of comfy house shoes
- Warm Socks - Wool or cozy toe socks
- Comfy Clothes - Short sleeved, v-neck shirts are best to make your port easily accessible. Try the Adison Bamboo T-Shirt and Bamboo Pippa Pants for an extra luxurious feel!
- Hat/Beanie - We recommend our warm Slouchy Sweater Knit Snood Cap, or our Knitted Head Wrap, and there are many more options to choose from!
- Cozy Sweater or Blanket Scarves - The warmer, the better! A couple ultra warm blanket scarves are the Zig Zag Fringe Wrap and the Ruffle Ruana.
- Sleeping Mask - In case you feel drowsy and just want to tune out, a sleeping mask is the perfect way.
- Warm Blanket - Just in case your warm clothes and hats aren’t doing the trick. Forgot your blanket and feeling chilly? Ask a nurse for one! They most likely have several on hand to keep you warm and snug.
Food and Drinks
When you're sitting around for extended periods of time, it's always good to have something to snack on!
- Water and Juices - But especially water and plenty of it! Staying hydrated is key to your overall health.
- Snacks - Bring a few of your favorite snacks in case you feel peckish. Salty, sweet, and preferably healthy treats are ideal (but not necessarily required).
- Candy - These tie more into keeping your nausea at bay than satisfying a general snack attack. Consider keeping a supply of specific candies that help your nausea, such as lemon drops, ginger chews, and hard candy.
Consider bringing these toiletries to chemo treatment in case your hands or lips start to get dry, or you just start to feel "icky."
- Lip Balm - Chapped lips are a common side effect of the chemotherapy drugs. Lip balm or lip treatments may help alleviate these symptoms.
- Toothbrush/Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth/Gums - Although chemotherapy will not take all day, dry mouth and sensitive gums/teeth are another side effect you may experience during or right after.
- Your Medicine
- Hand Sanitizer
- Lotion - Dry hands is another side effect of chemo. Lotion will help soothe your skin.
As we said, some chemo treatments can last up to four hours. You're going to want some entertainment to take to chemo treatments. Here are a few suggestions:
- Coloring Book
- Cell phone, Laptop, iPad/iPod - Don’t forget your charger(s) and earbuds!
- Journal/Sketch Pad/Pen - Journaling or sketching is a perfect stress reliever. It’s also fabulous having a journal around to make lists or a note to yourself in case chemo brain strikes later on.
- Knitting/Crochet Projects (Or take this time to teach yourself!)
- Games/Gaming Devices
- Items to Inspire or Provide Comfort - A stuffed animal, favorite photos, your personal Bible… Anything that will make you feel more at home
- Medical Documents - Always good to have a folder handy with these items in case they are requested
- A Friend - Chemo may leave you feeling exhausted; It’s best to have someone else drive you to an from chemo so you can rest easy.
- Bucket/Plastic Bags - Perfect to have in case you feel sick during chemo or on the drive home.
- Goodies for Your Nurses - Not a requirement but treats may be greatly appreciated!
Although some of these items may seem excessive, it never hurts to be prepared! What items do you take to chemo treatments that help pass the time or give you comfort? Let us know in the comments below!