A friend just asked me what was most useful during chemo because she wanted to send something helpful to a recently diagnosed friend. It’s a question that has come up too many times, sadly. Not trusting my brain to recall anything that long ago, I googled ‘Chemo Kit’. The results were a mixed bunch, perhaps compiled by office-bound medical staff or well intentioned religious folk. So I thought I’d get the coffee on and concentrate really hard and see what I could remember.
What works for one may not work for all, but some things might hit the slightly nauseous bullseye. The amount of information you get at the beginning is overwhelming but I know it was annoying to find out things that could have been helpful AFTER it was all over.
People may do chemo at the start or at the end, depending on their treatment plan. I have reliably forgotten some things so I’m making this a community operation. Please feel very free to add suggestions, especially my lovely ‘breasties’ out there who have had their own experiences and strategies.
Magicool (for chemo flushes)
Sucky sweets for nausea (sugar free)
Pretty scarves for headwear (if the person is into doing that)
Wide brimmed sunhat that’s not too scratchy on a baldy head
Sensitive skin suncream
Hat that covers ears and bottom of the head
Easy going books (not meaningless but not too emotional)
Cancer cookbook (sometimes the hospital will have their own but you have to hunt for them)
Unscented Hand sanitiser in lots of different forms (especially one that is automatic for home use)
Boxsets of comedy shows or Netflix subscription
Comfortable and safe/secure slippers
Warm and cosy wrap/cardigan
Little lap blanket
Super soft toothbrush
Corsodyl toothpaste/mouthwash (only use when gums are bleeding as prolonged use will turn your teeth grey!)
Pitrok (natural deodorant because you can’t use the chemical stuff)
Natural, scent free bar of soap
Lipsourcil Expert mascara (if you’re feeling flush, this MIGHT help with preventing eyebrow/lash loss)
Ice lollies (for nausea)
Pocket tissues (the hairs in your nose will fall out too and that means there’s nothing standing in the way of those drips)
Pillbox for medication
Soft neck scarf (to counter drafts)
Tablet/iPad (if you have a ton of cash)
‘Surgery kit’, ‘Hospital stay kit’ and ‘Radiotherapy kit’ in the works..