Whether you’re just starting your chemotherapy treatments or you’ve been doing it for a while, we know that sometimes small things can make a big difference as you work through your cancer treatments. Most cancer treatment centers, like Compass Oncology, are designed with cancer patients in mind. However, creating your very own chemo care kit with personalized comforts can give you some hope and peace of mind. This simple collection of comfort items can go a long way toward giving you peace of mind and offering additional support throughout the treatment process.
At Compass Oncology, we understand the importance of being with you every step of the way from diagnosis and throughout your treatment journey. We’ve compiled a helpful list of things you may want to include in your chemo care kit that may help keep your mind busy and our nerves eased as you receive your necessary cancer treatments. Of course, you are more than welcome to bring along other special items to you, but this list is a great starting point.
What is a Chemo Care Kit?
A chemo care kit is a collection of items in a tote or bag you take with you during your cancer treatments. Because some treatments can last for hours, it’s helpful for you to have some things that bring you joy and make the experience as pleasant as possible. Personal items from home that remind you of your loved ones or friends are proven to be incredibly supportive.
Items to Include in Your Chemo Kit
When gathering items for your chemo kit, consider what makes you feel the most comforted. Everybody is unique, so the suggestions here can be personalized to your personal preferences. If you aren’t sure about certain items you’d like to bring, you can always ask the treatment center ahead of time.
1. Food and Drink
Most cancer treatment centers will provide water and snacks in case you become hungry or thirsty during your treatment. However, it’s always suggested to bring your favorite foods and beverages to give you just a little extra comfort and a touch of home. Items you may want to include:
- Refillable water bottle
- Lollipops or lozenges for dry mouth
- Portable snacks such as chips, pretzels, trail mix, cookies, etc.
- Fruit juice, flavored water, or other sports drinks
As mentioned before, chemotherapy treatments can take several hours to complete. It’s not unusual for people to get bored during their chemotherapy treatments unless they have a few activities to keep them busy. Your cancer treatment center may have a few items on hand, but you’ll want to bring your favorite items to pass the time. A few suggestions:
- Puzzle books such as a word search, crossword, or Suduko
- Books or audiobooks
- iPhone, tablet, e-reader
- Magazines and newspapers
- Craft supplies
- Coloring books makers, crayons, colored pencils
3. A Touch of Home
Personalized items from home seem to bring the most comfort to cancer patients. Plus, your body temperature is likely to change throughout the treatment. Having a few things on hand to keep your warm and comfortable may help. You will likely want a few things that you regularly use at home, such as:
- Warm, fuzzy socks
- A stuffed animal or another comfort item
- Handmade blanket
- Favorite lotion, lip balm, or salve
4. Other Helpful Items
Everybody has their special items that may make them feel more at ease during the treatment. Other things you may want to pack include:
- Noise-canceling headphones, if you prefer quiet spaces
- Sleep mask so that you can comfortably block out the sun and take a nap
- Gum or mints to keep breath fresh
Putting Together Your Chemo Kit
Putting together a chemo kit may feel like a lot of work and maybe even overwhelming in some cases. This is not something you have to do all by yourself. You could make it a group activity with your close friends and family. They may even want to make something special just for you. Some people bring many items, and others only a handful of things that help get them through. Just make sure that your chemo care kit has everything that you need so you are comfortable.
Get to Know Other Patients
In years past, people have often brought a support partner with them to chemo treatments. However, during COVID-19, in order to keep patients safe there are many additional restrictions in place. Therefore, unfortunately, patients are rarely allowed visitors in the treatment area.
What we’ve learned is that many patients reach out for the support of other patients. Consider playing games or simply chatting to other patients going through the same thing you are. That extra support can go a long way to boost morale.
Care After Chemo Treatment
Keep in mind; you will likely need some comfort items ready for you when you come home. Some people don’t feel their best following treatment, and you may need several of the items you packed up for your chemo kit. Other items that you may need while you’re recovering at home include:
- Plenty of fluids
- Ginger candies to help with nausea
- Fragrance-free lotion
- Herbal laxative teas
- Stool softener
- Soft hats
Compassionate Cancer Treatment
At Compass Oncology, we want our patients to feel supported throughout their entire treatment process. Compassionate care is always our number one priority. We are here to answer your questions and provide guidance on how we can work together to make this process as smooth as possible. If you would like to know more about your upcoming chemo treatment or what you should pack in your care kit, please contact your supportive care providers.