It’s hard to know what to pack for your first long day of chemotherapy. What will I need? Is there something I haven’t thought of? Below is a breakdown of what I keep in my chemo bag.
- Mints. Sometimes the medicines will leave a weird taste in your mouth. For me it took a few rounds to actually start happening, around #3, so I was very glad I hadn’t taken them out!
- A book. A like to read a book while I’m waiting for my labs. I’m not usually up for talking much that early in the morning.
- Steroids. I need to take a few the night before and a few more once I get to the center.
- Socks with grips. I ice my feet during my infusion to help avoid neuropathy and protect my nails. Thin socks help dull the pain from the ice but don’t block the benefits. The grips help when you have to make your way to the bathroom.
- Thin makeup gloves. I wear these for the same reason as the socks.
- A blanket. Best advice I got from fellow ovca fighters was never say no to the heated blanket. With all the ice and the different medicine, a warm blanket is so nice. But the hospital blankets aren’t the best quality so I like to double up with a soft fluffy one from home.
- Snacks. Because of course you want snacks. Sometimes things taste funny though so I try to bring a few different things for options. Rice cakes, pretzels, a cookie, pb&j sandwich, etc have worked for me.
- Lots of water. I usually fill two of my liter water bottles at home and try to finish them while I’m at treatment. It’s so important to hydrate during treatment.
- A phone charger. But I don’t usually need it because of the ice holding me back from Insta-scrolling.
- Port pillow. It’s a little pillow you put on your seatbelt as a cushion over your port. Sometimes it can get sensitive from treatment.
- Sometimes I throw in an extra hat or sweater depending on what I’m wearing that day. Layers that you can take on and off with the port accessed are key!
There’s no rule with what you need to bring, and every center is different so check to see what they provide before your first appointment!