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What's in your personal chemo kits?

StephMooneyham's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012

I know this is sort of a silly question compared to most I've seen on here, but I just have to ask it. (Plus, silly things keep me from focusing on the depressing ones.) You see, I--like many others--have my own little chemo bag I bring to my treatments. I bring quite a bit of stuff with me. But I feel like there is something I forgot to put in my Super Official Chemo Bag of Magical Awesomeness and I just can't figure out what. (I have OCD as well, and this is unfortunately one of the subjects my brain has decided to obsess over.)

Here's what I take with me to chemo:
- all my medications
- wallet
- blanket
- books and magazines
- DVDs (each room in the infusion center is private and has its own TV/DVD player)
- iPod
- notebook and pen
- hand sanitizer
- lotion
- lip balm
- tissues
- toothbrush and toothpaste (just in case)
- warm, fuzzy slipper-socks
- some kind of craft project to work on
- snacks (usually pecans, granola bars, caramels, peanut butter and crackers, etc)
- ginger ale
- ginger supplements
- hard candy
- my stuffed SpongeBob toy

All you girls who bring your own chemo bags to treatment, is there anything else you think I'm forgetting? What stuff do you like to bring with you? Also, is there anything special you like to do during treatments (besides sleep, LOL)? For example, I've found that all the years I've spent practicing meditation have really come in handy during my second go-round with cancer...

Mwee's picture
Posts: 1341
Joined: Nov 2009

This is not silly at all. We unfortunately have chemo newbies who really benefit from this kind of help. I'm an OCDer also. It takes me forever to pack for any trip and I need TO DO lists before I do anything. I'm definitely stealing some of your ideas... never thought of ginger. Here's what I keep in my chemo backpack:

1. MP3 player loaded w/audiobooks and music
2. Ipad
3. cell phone
4. list of any new medications or problems since the last time
5. mints, crackers, water bottle
6. wisps (disposible toothbrushes)
7. notebook w/pen
8. hand lotion, lip balm and hand sanitizer
9. small wallet w/some money and my insurance card
10. sometimes a craft projects that needs hand sewing to finish it up

They have personal TVs in the infusion room, but I rarely turn it on, It's just not distracting enough for me. I prefer to play games on my Ipad and if I get very lucky, I fall asleep. (((HUGS))) Maria

Posts: 89
Joined: Jan 2012

A very good thread, will help those starting out and give some good tips to others. As well as what others have posted, my tote bag includes:

- My cell phone (for emergencies only, wouldn't dream of disturbing others with a phone conversation)
- Chewing gum (sugarless)
- Box of tissues or small package
- Warm socks
- My throw-sized blanket (it's freezing in the chemo room!)
- Snacks, such as a handful of trail mix or homemade peanut butter crackers
- Bottle of water (cold)
- Book or magazine
- Catalogs (really help pass the time)
- Hand sanitizer

I always bring to chemo with me all of the magazines I've recently purchased that I've already read. I leave these there for others to read and pass the time. A win-win situation for all.....I get to declutter my house of all my magazines, others get to enjoy them.....

Wow.....some of you have private chemo rooms. Our center has chair after chair lined up with no privacy. I think of it as the "beauty shop".....LOL.....

jbeans888's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Mar 2011

Wow! You are prepared. I always brought warm cloths and some times a small puzzle. They sell the 100 piece puzzles in sets. During treatment and after treatment I did a lot of puzzles, I would say about 25 in total all fifferent sizes. It kept my mind busy and they are pretty. However, while actually receiving chemo it was hard for me to do anything but sleep.

lovesanimals's picture
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sep 2011

I love all of your lists and will share your ideas with others who join our "club". As for me, I brought a portable DVD player (gift from my parents), that day's newspaper, water, light snacks, and hand sanitizer. However, I admit that I love TV and usually ended up watching all of my favorite shows (old and new) the whole time I was there. (My infusion center also provides individual TVs and headphones for each patient.) This may sound weird, but I was happy as a clam!


Marnel's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Mar 2012

I am new to all of this and wouldn't have even thought about bringing things to my chemo treatment. I'm so on to this now. I will be bringing all of these things plus my teddy bear!

Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2012

I'm new to this ...I just started chemo lastweek dx in jan with stage 3c ovca. My 1st chemo i brought some magazines and actually some snacks for nausea and went down to the giftshop before i started my chemo. I will be getting chemo every week till july(taxol,carboplatin and avastin.) 9 months of avastin maintenance. Ty for these wonderful ideas.

Radioactive34's picture
Posts: 388
Joined: May 2011

A calander I could write in for the appointments, and for the contact #'s of the volunteer drivers.

I carried my laptop- it allowed me to chat with family members who were worried

Hard candies- all types anything that would help with the metallic flavor..I found Jolly Ranchers..Apple flavored worked for the port flush med..for me anyways

MP3 players and headphones- the clinic had thier own headphones, but I liked to use mine

Blanket- a family member shipped me one made by church members

I carried my meds- the clinic encouraged anti-nausea pills on top of the drip anti-nausea


For the long days- food...something that sounded good, but would hold if I could not eat it

My purse fit in my bag

Emergency contact #'s

Those little puke bags

Shoes that were slip ons...that way I could kick them off when sitting and put them on to go to the bathroom without bending over...also when I got home just kick them off and crash in bed

Lol, I packed the house if I could. Though for all the stuff I took for distraction, by the 2nd and 3rd chemos, I would mostly just sleep. I would wake for bathroom runs and to drink water or juice. Despite the hydration prior to chemo, I had constant dry mouth.

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