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How to Prepare for Chemo

I’m halfway through my chemotherapy treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer (hurray!) and I’ve put together a list of what to take to chemo and how to prepare for chemo, if you’re heading there yourself.

You might be wondering how long does chemo take? Well, you might be sitting in the chemo chair for many hours each treatment, especially for the first one, so it’s good to take a few things with you to occupy you and make the time fly quicker.

This is my pre chemotherapy checklist that I used.

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Related: Download my Chemo Appointment Reminder Stickers here.

My Friend Has Cancer eBook by Mim Jenkinson
My Friend Has Cancer eBook by Mim Jenkinson

What to Take to Chemo

1.  Kindle/Book

When my beautiful blogging buddies heard about my chemo, they got together and sent me a Kindle!

For years I’ve complained about not having the time to read books anymore, especially since having kids. Now, I’m faced with sitting for hours on end having chemo and it’s the perfect time to start reading again. They couldn’t have picked a more wonderful gift for this :)

You can buy a Kindle online here in Australia, here in the US and here in the UK.

2.  Puzzle Books

I’m a bit of a Puzzle Book fiend and have been since I was a kid so I was delighted to get one from my Mums Group friends in a lovely care package they sent me and it’s been keeping me busy in between watching the daytime TV shows!

Puzzle Book

3.  Snacks

Your hospital will probably supply these but as you’re there for a while you might want to take some snacks with you.

Bear this in mind though: some chemo drugs, such as the AC chemo I had first time, cause mouth ulcers and you’re advised to suck an icy lolly while it’s being administered. My nurses provided lemon ones but I honestly don’t think I could ever face one again because I associate it with chemo.

If you are going to take snacks, consider not taking your favourite ones as you might end up being put off them – you don’t want that!

But consider a few nice foods to eat during chemo and radiation that will make you feel comforted.

Ice Cream

4.  Phone Charger

Whether or not you’re an iPhone addict like me and using it almost constantly, you might want to consider taking your charger if you’re going to be at the hospital for a while so you are definitely able to keep in touch with your loved ones if you want to chat to them.

In fact, this should be at the top of my preparing for chemotherapy tips as I used it to record my appointments too and you might do the same.

5.  Prepare for Chemo with a Family Member or Friend

I’ve put this one last for the simple reason that having looked around my chemo ward, some people either choose not to bring their family/friends or they are not able to.

I have been very lucky in always having my husband or mum to come along with me and I’ve had offers from some amazing friends to travel and sit with me too (thank you thank you!).

If you do have someone to come along with you, let them know to bring the above things with them as it’s pretty boring for them too! Oh, and they won’t get a hospital lunch either :) Chemo patients have friends in high places – chemo nurses!

Do you have any more suggestions on what to bring to chemo?

If you have a friend or family member about to start chemotherapy, you might be wondering how to help someone going through chemo. Think about putting together a little care package for them with some of the above and a few of their favourite things! Please give them my love and best wishes and if they have any questions, ask them to contact me and I’ll help in any way I can.

Also, ask them to consult with their oncologist to find out what to expect during chemo. They will have the right chemotherapy preparation guidelines for them.

You can read about my first chemo treatment side effects here and other things that help during chemo for me.

Find out more about cancer and chemo here.

Related: Download my Chemo Planner Stickers here.

My Friend Has Cancer eBook by Mim Jenkinson
My Friend Has Cancer eBook by Mim Jenkinson

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Find out how to prepare for chemo with my preparing for chemotherapy tips and chemo checklist with what to take to chemo - Love from Mim #chemo #chemotherapytips #chemotherapy #cancertreatment

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I hope my tips on how to prepare for chemotherapy help you.

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15 Comments

  1. Angela
    / 7:06 pm

    Great list. I may need this advice if I need intravene chemo x

    • / 7:08 pm

      Thanks lovely – chocolate helped too :) x

    • / 6:56 pm

      Perfect choices! x

  2. / 6:24 pm

    I’ve accompanied a few friends to their chemo and it’s been a privilege to be with them. I’d add into the mix a pair of headphones because we have had fun listening to Pod casts together. #brillblogposts

  3. Plutonium Sox
    / 10:09 am

    That is such an amazing thing to do, putting together a list that will help other people. I bet loads of people will find your post in the future and it will make things just a little bit more bearable for them during chemo.
    Nat.x

    • / 10:25 am

      I really hope so, thank you so much! x x

  4. Lyn
    / 9:44 pm

    I never took snacks. I didn’t think of it and he first time, and never felt like eating during any of my subsequent doses. Other than that, all these were things I always took with me. My sister came to all but one of my chemo appointments, and a good friend came to that one with me. All the best for the rest of your chemo. Halfway feels good, the end of chemo is fantastic!!!

    • / 9:58 pm

      I’m the opposite – I can’t stop eating – I SHOULD stop :) thank you so so much Lyn – I’m nearly there! x

      • Lyn
        / 5:23 pm

        I found it really hard to eat through chemo, and ended up as one of the rare ones. I actually lost weight through chemo!! Mind you, plenty to go still, and at least it hasn’t gone back on

        • / 6:21 pm

          Ah that happened to me for the first 2 rounds but then the steroids (and being greedy!) has got the better of me. I think after Easter I need to sort it out :) x

  5. Kell @ All Mum Said
    / 8:57 pm

    Great list. I haven’t experienced this personally but a friend of mine has and she read your article nodding along the whole time.

    • / 9:02 pm

      Oh thank you Kell – I’m so pleased it was helpful. Lots of love to your friend too x

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.