What to bring to the first chemo treatment
When it comes to chemo, we know that the experience can be overwhelming. However, packing a chemo kit with soothing items will really help to reduce your anxiety levels, making it easier to manage all the side effects chemotherapy brings.
Chemo survival kit
1. Comfortable Clothing
In order to make it easier for the treatment technician to place an IV or a port in your chest, wear short sleeves or a V-neck shirt. You may also experience hot flashes in treatment centres due to the air conditioning.
My top tip: I would always wear my favourite clothes, as this gave me the confidence to leave the house and travel to the treatment centre.
Keeping a journal can be very helpful during Chemotherapy treatment. You can record your feelings to help you process them, keep a hospital passport, or note critical information from your appointments.
Make yourself more comfortable by bringing fluffy socks, a cosy blanket, a scarf, a hat, or slippers, so you can relax.
Make sure you have snacks and lunch for chemotherapy. Not only can cancer treatment make you feel sick, it can also make you anxious and stressed. Check out our blog about what foods are suitable to eat when feeling nauseous.
'what food to eat when feeling nauseous.'
Listening to music or meditations can be a great distraction. Or try taking a Ipad/laptop to watch movies, read, or go through holiday photos to district your brain from anxious thoughts.
6. Water Bottle
Chemo can be very dehydrating. Drinking lots of liquid before, during, and after chemotherapy sessions can alleviate feelings of nausea and help flush the toxins out of your body more quickly. Hydrating before blood tests also makes it easier for nurses to access your veins.
8. Skin Care
As chemotherapy can make your skin extremely sensitive, look for a fragrance-free cream or moisturiser and be sure to bring lip balm as well.
9. Oral Care
Chemotherapy is notorious for causing a dry mouth or leaving a metallic taste in your mouth. A toothbrush and toothpaste or a small bottle of alcohol-free mouthwash may be helpful. Or try gels, oral sprays or sweets.
10. Objects of comfort: An anxiety method that trains the brain to switch focus whenever anxiety occurs.
A comfort object can take many forms; you should try to find something that you find soothing to touch. It should be small enough to fit in a pocket, purse, or backpack, such as a rock you found on the beach, a squishy stress ball, or even a pen.
When anxiety flares, your object becomes something you automatically interact with. Utilise your senses by looking at it, touching it, and manipulating it. By repeatedly rubbing your thumb across the surface of the object, you can distract your mind from anxious thoughts and place it on the object. The result is a decrease in anxiety and a shift in thoughts. By practicing this technique several times a day, you will be able to train your brain to change its focus whenever anxiety flares up.
Prepare more with this blog - 'How to Prepare for Cancer Treatment'