What You Need For Your Chemo/Treatment Bag (Gift Ideas for Cancer Patients)

Chemo Day Tote Bag Graphic | Fabulous Boobies Blog by Nicole McLean

What to take with you to chemo (or for your treatment day) when you may be there all day!

Going to the oncologist/cancer center can take a long time 

The one thing I wasn't quite prepared for was the length of time I would end up spending at the hospital when I was being treated for breast cancer. Prior to my diagnosis, a trip to the doctor lasted maybe an hour - and most of that time was in the waiting room waiting to be seen and filling out paperwork. Welp... it is NOT that way when you're being treated for cancer.

There is the waiting room time. Then if you're having a chemotherapy infusion that can take HOURS on top of your waiting room time before you're called to the back. My infusions took about 5 hours. Before you get to the infusion area though, they have to take your fluids and run the tests for your vitals. And then you have to spend a little time with your oncologist or a nurse.

Real talk, chemo days felt like going to work. Just long, long days. Lots of hours. Lots of talking to various people. And I wasn't really feeling great. I was tired, sluggish and all of that too. Just a lot of a lot!

What I learned quickly was that I needed stuff with me so that I wasn't bored while sitting and waiting so much. And sometimes I needed a snack or a drink. Eventually, I realized that it just made sense to have a "chemo bag" prepared in advance so that I could just grab it on the way to the cancer center.

I packed my portable DVD player or my laptop, my headphones, socks or a sweater, a travel size blanket, a few snacks and something to drink. My oncology center did have a few snacks but we're not talking about anything fancy. Crackers and apple juice. That's it. The cafeteria was on the other side of the hospital and kind of expensive.

Packing a little something to eat helped. I could pack exactly what I knew I would like to eat and drink. Enough to share with my wing-man for the day too.

This chart is a starting point for your own chemo bag. Now, be clear, you don't have to use it just for chemotherapy. You may not be receiving that kind of treatment. But radiation therapy days can be long - and they are every day. Follow up appointments after surgery. That sort of thing.

You don't have to have everything on this list. In fact, it's probably best that you don't because that would be one HUGE bag. Just cover your basics. Pick and choose what will work for you.

Gift ideas

If you're not the one in treatment for breast cancer, you can always gather these items and put them together into a really nice gift for the person you love who is going through it.

I've included links to some of my favorite items below. You don't have to choose these items (though I don't think you'll be disappointed if you do) but similar items will be useful.

Keep in mind

Metal eating utensils are not good for folks in chemotherapy. The metal contradicts with the medication from her chemo and ruins the taste of her food. Her appetite may already be iffy and the slightest change in taste will just make it easier not to eat. We don't want that. So choosing wood or plastic utensils will help her to retain a pleasant eating experience.

A tote bag with sections or pockets will be easier for her to use for all of the various things that she's going to want with her.

When shopping for blankets, sweaters, scarves, hats or socks you're looking for the fluffiest, softest items you can find. Soft, soft, soft, soft. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgeries, etc. all make her skin and her fingertips and toes really sensitive. Nothing rough or scratchy, please. Even if it's pretty.

Remove tags too. Those can be super irritating as well. Her skin will be extremely fragile and prone to scratches or irritations. We definitely don't want anything that may hurt her or make her more vulnerable to infections (and broken skin is vulnerable to bacteria).

Chemo Day Tote Bag Infographic | Fabulous Boobies Blog by Nicole McLean

Blanket: Genteele Sherpa Throw Blanket Super Soft Reversible Ultra Luxurious Plush Blanket (50" X 60", Gray)

Socks: SDBING Women's Winter Super Soft Warm Cozy Fuzzy Fleece-lined Christmas Gift With Grippers Slipper Socks (Light Gray)

Sweater: Glamaker Women's Casual Open Front Long Cardigan Knit Sweater with Long Sleeves Gray

Blank journal: 5x7 Pink Journal Notebook, Genuine Leather, Lined Pages, Handmade, Diary

Pink Planner:

Headphones: Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Wireless Stereo Headset (Rose Gold)

Earbuds: Sony MDR-XB50AP/R Extra Bass Earbud Headset

Laptop: HP 17.3" HD+ Notebook (2018 New), Pale Mint

iPad: Apple iPad with WiFi, 128GB, Space Gray (2018 Model)

Kindle: Kindle Paperwhite – Waterproof with 2x the Storage – Includes Special Offers

Puzzle books: The Adult Activity Book You Never Knew You Wanted But Can't Live Without: With Games, Coloring, Sudoku, Puzzles and More

Coloring books: Good vibes: Don't give up: Motivate your life with Brilliant designs and great (Volume 16)

Colored pencils: Artlicious - 50 Premium Distinct Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring Books - Bonus Sharpener - Color Names on Pencils

Magazines: O, The Oprah Magazine Real Simple The Magnolia Journal

Water bottle: "Brave Because I've Faced Darkness" Fitness Water Sports Bottle w/ Time Marker, Measurement Goals, & Inspirational Quotes

Portable tea infusion bottle: The Lotus Glass Tea Tumbler with Infuser + Strainer for Loose Leaf Tea, Coffee and Fruit Water. Inc Travel Sleeve. 15oz Bottle with Bamboo Lid

Tea: Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea, Peppermint, 20 Count (Pack of 6) Loose Leaf Tea Sampler, Assorted Variety Tea Box, 15 Single Serve Pouches – Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, White Tea, Herbal Tea

Travel cutlery: Startostar Wooden Flatware Set of 5-Piece Tableware with Pouch (Fork, Spoon, Chopsticks)

Snacks: NON-GMO HEALTHY SNACKS Care Package (28 Ct): Snack Bars, Vegan Puffs, Popcorn, Fruit Snacks, Freeze Dried Fruit

Travel lunchbox: CHAUDER 1 Insulated Neoprene Bag: Large Lunch Tote Carry Case Box Cooler Container, Washable, Reusable, 10 ''x7'' HOMESPON Reusable Lunch Bags Printed Canvas Fabric with Insulated Waterproof Aluminum Foil

Lip balm: EOS 3-pc. Lip Balm Set - Vanilla Bean, Peppermint Mocha and Sparkling Ginger- Limited Edition

Lotion: Lindi Skin Fight Back Pack

Tote bag: Weekender Overnight Duffel Bag Shoe Pocket Weekend Travel Tote Carry On Bag (Stripe Black White 2cm)

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