This is a common question that many patients ask.
By knowing and bringing the right stuff to chemotherapy sessions, you can have a more comfortable and smoother overall treatment experience.
Watch the following videos, in which 9 cancer patients revealed the useful items in their chemo survival kit that helped them to get through the treatment – and the reasons of why these items were needed.
You can also go straight to check out the 17 things you should pack in chemo bag here, followed by bonus tips at end of this guide that you don’t want to miss.
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#1: Chemo Bag of a Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Patient
After 9 chemotherapy sessions, Erin Leigh figured out what she can’t live without.
She hoped to help people in some way, so here is her video and tutorial for others going through chemotherapy treatment.
What Erin brought with her to chemotherapy:
- Michael Kors Jet Set Zip-Top Tote bag
- Big fluffy blanket, as she did not like the smell of blanket provided to her during chemo.
- A pair of slippers and fluffy socks, to be more comfortable during treatment.
- Water bottle
- An organizer for small items
- Nutrigrain bar to fill the stomach when hungry
- Sour gum and Icebreakers sours to get rid of bad taste in mouth
- Kleenex tissue
- Wig brush
- iPad Mini and playing cards as entertainment to help pass time.
- Anti-nausea medications because she needed to drive home after chemo.
#2: Triple Positive Breast Cancer Survivor Shared Her Chemo Bag Ideas
Christina shared the items that she brought to chemo, including practical gifts that she received from her friends and co-workers.
She hoped this video is helpful for cancer patients who are getting ready to start chemo, and people who are trying to get some chemo gift ideas for someone who is starting the cancer treatment.
Items that Christina took with her to chemotherapy:
- A big giant bag
- Soft and fuzzy blanket
- A pair of slippers and fuzzy socks
- Hat to keep her head warm
- Water bottles.
- Wig brush
- Day planner for her to write notes about her treatment appointments,
- iPad, crossword puzzle, games, playing cards, coloring books etc to pass time.
- An organizer for small items
- Kaopectate anti-diarrheal upset stomach reliever caplets
- Antibacterial hand wipes, hand sanitizer, Refresh Tears eye drops, lip balm,
- Mouthwash with fluoride, to ease chemo side effects mouth sores and dry mouth.
- Xylitol candy cane and Perio Sciences dental gel for dry mouth.
#3: Chemo Bag of A 14 Years Old Teenager
At just 14 years old, Ellie was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.
She revealed what were inside her chemo bags, and how did these items helped her get through the chemotherapy.
What items Ellie took with her to chemo:
- A bunny toy to keep her accompanied.
- Her own blanket
- T shirts, fluffy socks, joggers (tracksuit bottoms) and dressing gown to keep comfortable.
- Hollister odor eliminator spray, because she was very sensitive to smell.
- Moisturizer, as the skin can get really dry after chemo.
- Senokot tablets for constipation relief
- Sleep mask, neck pillow, earplugs.
- Mouth wash and fruit sweets
- Face wipes
- She wore pull-ups as she had wound on her bottom and uncontrollable diarrhea.
- Phone, books to pass time.
- Other items: Deodorant, tablets case, Lavender oils for relaxation, note pad, etc.
#4: A Chemo Care Package Kit with FUNNY Motivational Items
After received “I want to be a better cancer patient Starter Kit” from her sister in law, Angela Huhman added things to prevent sore mouth, dehydration, proper nutrition…
and she didn’t forget her motivational wardrobe attire with humorous wordings that can really make people laugh!
List of items that Angela brought with her to chemo:
- “Cancer Touched My Boobs So I Kicked Its Ass” T-shirt
- “Mother Fxxking Girl Power” socks
- Avocado tea
- Lip balm
- Stress relief lotion
- Soothing music
#5: Breast Cancer Chemo Bag with DIY Vision Board
Micky Stewart beat breast cancer, and she wanted to to inspire others to be fighters.
In this video, she shared helpful items that make her feel more comfortable during chemotherapy.
What Micky brought to chemotherapy:
- A big bag
- Travel size pillow
- Comfy blanket
- Fuzzy socks
- Healthy snacks
- Journal to document her journey
- Kindle tablet and coloring book to keep her time occupied during chemo.
- Her DIY vision board with the photos of her family to keep her stay encouraged.
#6: Chemo Bag for a Man and Short Chemo Day
Tiffany shared what were in her chemo / hospital bag for her father with lung cancer.
What Tiffany prepared for her dad’s chemotherapy:
- Medium size Tote
- An organizer or travel pouch for small items
- Water bottle
- Snacks and candies
- Planner to keep up with appointment
- Hand sanitizer
- Tylenol pills
- Magazines, phone, iPad, battery charger, headphone.
#7: APL Leukemia Patient Shared What She Brought to Chemo
Cassandra Prieto shared the items in her chemo bag that tailored to her needs.
What Cassandra took with her to chemotherapy:
- “Fight Like A Girl Boxing Glove” Tote Bag with lots of pockets
- Comfy chemos with zippers on both sides of the neck length
- Booties or slippers, pillow.
- Seat belt cushion for chemo port
- Water bottle
- Anti nausea mints
- Medications, pill cutter, thermometer, numbing gel, etc.
- Neutrogena sunscreen, because chemo made her skin very sensitive to sun.
- Vaseline lip balm
- Skin lotion and hydrating spray for her dry skin that cracked.
- Hand sanitizer and hand sanitizing wipes
- Pen or pencils with notebook to write down useful tips from doctors and other patients
- A little inspirational lock with the word “HOPE” engraved
#8: Chemo Survival Kit Ideas from a 22 Years Old
Nicole Amber, a 22 year old cancer survivor from Canada, shared the items in her chemo survival kit.
What Nicole brought with her to chemotherapy:
- Big tote bag
- Cardigan sweaters that you can open in the front without interfering with IV too much
- Wattle bottle
- An organizer for small items
- Anti nausea pre meds
- Hand lotion
- Reading book
- Other items: Phone, phone charger, headphones, note book,
#9: Chemo Bag Ideas from a Patient Who Brought Her Bible
Items in her chemo bag:
- Big bag
- Comfortable clothing
- Snuggle socks
- Snacks and tea
- Ginger candy for nausea.
- Wet wipes
- Bible, Jesus Calling book, notebook, pen, highlighter.
- Tablet, plug, earphone.
Summary: 17 Recommended Items To Bring For More Comfortable Chemotherapy Experience – and Why You Need Them
Here is a list of things you don’t want to be without during chemotherapy, based on tips from the 9 cancer patients above alongside the additional research that we’ve done:
1. A tote bag to bring along all the items you need going back and forth for chemo treatments. Keep it like a regular bag packed all the time, and just switch things in and out of it when you need them.
2. Chemotherapy room can be cold, so nearly every chemo patient recommends to bring your own blanket, especially when most patients do not like the smell of blankets provided in the chemo room.
BlankieGram Healing Thoughts blanket is a top rated option, as evident by its excellent user reviews. Superior quality and unique warm weighted blanket design with inspiring messages on the blanket are what make it stand out.
3. A pair of slippers, and change into them to be more comfortable during treatment.
4. Fluffy socks to keep feet and toes cozy in the cold chemo room.
5. Hat or chemo beanie to keep the head warm in the chemo room, especially if the patient shaved all of the hair.
6. Chemotherapy wear with easy port access, to avoid discomfort and difficulty of accessing the patient’s ports when doctor inject medicine into the patient’s body.
Specialty clothing with easy port access, such as ComfyChemo Port Zipper Shirt for men and ComfyChemo shirt for women, can really help to make the treatment easier for cancer patients undergoing chemo — with comfortable access.
7. Water bottle or portable slim thermos flask for warm water. Chemo patient needs to drink a lot of water and liquid to keep hydrated, as chemo may cause side effects such as diarrhea or vomiting that lead to dehydration with an excessive loss of body fluids occurs.
8. Healthy snacks, as chemo patient may feel hungry during long hour chemo session.
10. Alcohol-free oral rinse that provides relief for dry mouth, which is a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. Most chemo patients recommend Biotene oral rinse, with Xylitol oral spray is a good convenient alternative.
11. Skin moisturizer to counter chemo side effect of dry and sensitive skin. A great option that will really make the difference based on user reviews is Jeans Moisturizing Cream
12. Unscented hydrating lip balm that helps to relieve dry or cracked lips caused by chemo.
13. Anti-diarrheal upset stomach reliever, as chemo drugs may cause frequent passing of loose, watery stools.
14. Hand sanitizer to keep germ free during chemo.
15. Any entertainment that can help to pass time during long chemo sessions. For examples: Playing cards, books, Kindle, iPad, puzzles, crosswords, and much more.
16. An organizer or travel pouch for small items, so that they can be found easier.
17. A journal or day planner to help chemo patient stay organized throughout the chemotherapy treatment, or a journal that they can write about their feelings and journey.
Bonus Tips: 4 Additional Items To Consider During Chemo Treatment
18. PICC Line Protector, with PICC stands for “peripherally inserted central catheter”. This is a thin, flexible tube inserted into the veins of a patient’s arm to administer IV medications during chemo. Using LimbO waterproof PICC line protector during bathing and shower can help to avoid infection.
19. With WedMD revealed the increasing usage of herbs and dietary supplements to boost body immune system of cancer patient, you can check out the natural mushroom extract Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) that is clinically proven to significantly reduce chemotherapy side effects and improve the patient’s quality of life. >> Learn more
20. Use bamboo cutlery to counter the metallic taste in mouth after chemotherapy. Eating meals with metal forks and spoons may have electrochemical reactions that worsen the metallic taste feeling, while non-metallic bamboo cutlery can help to restore the dignity of mealtime to cancer patients.
21. Medical research shows 10,000-Lux light therapy can improve depression. So people who experience chemo side effects of depression, anxiety, and sleep disruption may consider light therapy lamp like Verilux HappyLight that mimics sunlight with a light intensity of 10,000 Lux and brings UV-free daylight indoors.
Do you have any chemo bag ideas to add on? Leave comments and share your tips!