5 Things I Keep In My Chemo Bag

Hey guys and girls!

Im at the home stretch with chemo, only 2 weeks to go, and hopefully this will be the end of chemo forever!

If you are just about to embark on the chemo journey or feel completely disorganised on the day you go to the chemo unit, below are some of the essentials I take with me, week in week out!

Before I get started on listing my 5, I would like you to invest in a holdall or weekend bag, and don't  just take a regular little bag or plastic bag - trust me on this. When I first started chemotherapy the amount of times I forgot to bring this, forgot to bring that, purely down to lack of space was frustrating and I usually blamed my husband...as you do lol. 
Everyone and their dog knows I love my Harry Potter Merch, so obviously I was over the moon when I found this beauty (pictured below)  in Primark for less than £15.

A holdall is a great way of packing in all you need on the day and even keeping all your bits together when you are at home. If I need anything 'cancer related' be it letters, pills etc, I usually keep them in the same bag, that way when the old chemo brain hits, forgetting where I placed that letter from the oncology team will never be an issue and me and my husband are on the same page...no more blame games!

As some of you may also know, since starting chemo at the end of June 2017, I have been admitted into hospital 3 times, sadly this may happen to anyone undergoing chemo so being prepared for an overnight stay shouldn't be overlooked. Again, the holdall or weekend bag you buy would be perfect for this.



1. Chemo Book

When you start chemo, the team at the unit will give you a book its essentially a diary, this will keep a record of what meds were given to you on what date etc, so keeping this safe is imperative. 
Your blood levels, chemo administered and any notes you want to include will be kept in your little booky wooky - so even though this is the most boring thing I keep in my bag, its definitely the most important, so now that's out the way lets get to the good stuff...


2. Snacks, Treats and Lunch Box

I know it sounds silly, but I almost pack as if I'm going on a picnic...I swear to you, if you took one look into my bag you'd see the majority of items included are perishable goods!
I didn't know what to expect on my first day of chemo, but I'm telling you now, you will not be there for less than 4 hours and if you are, bravo to that team! 
My first day of chemo was probably one of the longest days of my life, I can genuinely compare it to queueing up to go to the Vatican in Rome and that was around a 4 hour queueing sesh!

I usually take sweets, a drink, chewing gum, crisps, biscuits to have with my tea and mints if I start to develop the funny chemical taste in my mouth...yuck! If you are on a very strict diet or are avoiding sugars then there are plenty of other snacks out there that I would recommend you take with you. Do not go without anything and if you do decide to ignore me then sweetheart, be prepared to spend a small fortune in the WHsmiths or M&S inside the hospital....

I won't lie, I'm slightly obsessed with the honey and mustard chicken pasta from M&S, and if i don't bring lunch with me from home, I do normally send Matt to grab me a pot...every week!

People usually think that the chemo will make you feel sick as soon as it is administered....this is very rare as the pre meds will keep that at bay, most people I see at the unit are snacking throughout the day so don't fear puking too much.



3. Books, Magazines, iPad or a good Crossword Puzzle

Waiting for hours on end for your meds to arrive, and chemo infusions can be very long and boring, especially if you don't have anyone with you on chemo day. Taking something to occupy your mind is a great way to pass the time and even keep your brain active. 
I always take a fashion or gossip magazine to chemo with me to read about all the latest in other peoples lives to forget about my own issues for half an hour.

To be honest though, I'm such a chatter box I do normally end up seeing a friend I've made or get talking with the person next to me, that I don't always get to read anything. But still, I do always ensure some reading materials are in my bag just in case I'm not feeling very social. 

Ive taken my iPad a few times and streamed films or caught up on social media or even made a start on writing blogs. Don't feel that going to chemo should be a no entertainment policy, set your own rules and take with you what you enjoy.


4. Music

I love music, it makes me feel alive and keeps my emotions under control sometimes. 
Create a play list on spotify or just download a soothing album to listen to on the day. 
Music for a lot of people is stress busting, there is nothing worse then feeling frustrated in the chemo chair ....just don't forget your headphones! 

5. A blanket and a Fan!

My temperature has definitely been a nuisance, hot then cold then hot again, chemo or other drugs can do that so make sure you are prepared for both situations while in the unit.
I always pack a small travel blanket with me and a fan, although the fan definitely gets used a lot more.
Most people I see in the unit experience chills, or sometimes they fall asleep in the chair so keeping warm is important. 


So guys I hope this has been somewhat useful. Of course you will start taking things you will find essential for you but the below 5 tips should give you a start. 
Please feel free to share with me some of your essentials and if you find that this has been helpful do let me know.

I wish you a speedy recovery :)

Much love 

Kaz











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