When I was diagnosed with breast cancer (see my story here) and told that I would have to do chemotherapy, I was totally overwhelmed. At that time, I had no one in my life that had ever been through chemo and so I had no one to ask about all the menial questions I had about what to expect, what to pack and what it would be like. I’m sure you can imagine that felt rather scary!

I was put in touch with two other cancer warriors over instagram who I reached out to and asked all my questions and just having them share things with me and tell me that I was going to make it through, just like they had, gave me so much strength. They shared with me things like what I should pack for chemo and where I could buy wigs from, all things that were super important to me at the time.

Since then, I have had the privilege of supporting loads of other men and women who have walked a cancer journey and providing them with advice on the various treatments and the journey.

So I thought I would share a very practical list of items that you should pack for chemotherapy, which helped me when I was undergoing my 5 months of treatment. Bear in mind that I had my treatment during COVID and so I wasn’t allowed to have anyone sit with me during my treatments so I needed more things to distract me and help make the time go fast.

What to pack for chemo:

  • Light snacks – ie a sandwich/chips/fruit/yoghurt – something a little boring/bland that you know you’ll be happy to eat, but not something you love because you’ll always associate it with chemo in the future. Also take snacks that are easy to open and eat. I struggled to open packets with the drip in my hand so be aware of that when you are packing food and rather pack things into little Tupperwares.
  • Sucking sweets – ie. mints/chewing gum/ginger sweets to help with the taste of the port/drip flush. Ginger sweets/biscuits are also great to help with nausea.
  • Your own bottle of water – it’s super important to hydrate during your treatment and you will be very thirsty. I took a massive bottle of water and sipped on it the whole way through my sessions. Better to take a bottle you can suck on instead of one with a screw off lid that you have to lift and drink from because that is hard with a drip or port.
  • Comfy clothes and fuzzy socks – don’t wear anything with tight waistbands or cuffs! Wear a loose top that they can get to the port through or that you can easily take your arm out of/roll your sleeve up for the drip. You will get cold from the drips so make sure you always take a comfy jersey/hoodie even if it’s 30 degrees outside.
  • Slip on shoes – you will need to wee a lot during your treatment and you need to be able to easily slide on your shoes without having to bend down and use your hands.
  • Blanket from home – it helps to have a comforting item with you and it will keep you warm.
  • Neck pillow – I didn’t use one but could be useful. You will sleep a lot in the chemo chair. Most chairs recline nicely so I didn’t need one but I did have it with me every week.
  • Eye mask – to block out the light to sleep
  • Headphones – to listen to music or watch series (and to drown out the noise of the chemo room and all the beeping)
  • Chargers – for phone and tablet. The sessions are long and you don’t want to be stuck with no battery
  • Device like a tablet to watch movies on – I bought an iPad specifically for chemo and I watched series during every session. It really helps make the time go fast and distracts you from your situation
  • Book – I recommend taking something light hearted and fun. A book that will help you escape your reality and not something that is too difficult to read. I read a lot of really funny romance books like The Switch and The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez, which were perfect for that time.

If you are reading this and you or someone you know is going through cancer treatment, please know that you and/or them are not alone! You are welcome to reach out to me and I will always be happy to help where I can.

You’re welcome to DM me on instagram here @amberdenae22

Sending love and prayers! x

Posted by:amberdenaetoday

5 replies on “What to pack for chemo

  1. Such great advice that will definitely help so many other men and women.
    Praise God you are on this side now, NEVER to go back there πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»
    Love you My Amby 🌸


  2. Such great advice that will definitely help so many other men and women.
    Praise God you are on this side now, NEVER to go back there πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»
    Love you My Amby 🌸


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