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.
What to Take to Chemo
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 :)
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!
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.
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.
- I have Breast Cancer
- My Triple Negative Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment
- One year after my Breast Cancer diagnosis
- A Gift Idea for Cancer Patients
- 5 Gift Ideas for Cancer Patients
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I hope my tips on how to prepare for chemotherapy help you.