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Pathfinder Angel
Posts: 716
Reply with quote  #1 
What should I put in my chemo back pack?  I think I will really create a traveling feel-good kit and put it in my hiking bag for inspiration.
Random site reading reveals:  kleenex for constant runny nose, thermometer for temp checks, magik mouth wash for mouth sores (brand name please), etc.  - Compass so I know which way is up, light reading, buck knife for cleaning fingernails when being threatened by real and imagined negative vibes.  
Can we make a nice (unendorsed} list of what people have found helpful after trying everything else?   
For instance, my son liked the Knox gelatin and gingerale ice cubes I made when he was feeling particularly pukey.
I would love to hear your suggestions while trying not to anxiously await # 1  treatment of Adriamycin and Cytoxan.  My very open oncologist said I could have the doxil instead if I wanted to pay for it. I am out of money already for gas and co-pays.  Accompanied by neulasta, aloxi, compuzine, ativan, & decadron.  These all sound familiar from my son's experience with the osteosarcoma regime.  Thank God and modern medicine, he is well now 8 years out, and my mentor in this. 
I am being treated for 3N bc and concurrent MC lymphoma.
Nurse Cathy also told me to get some immodium and laxative of choice - maybe prune juice. 
My back pack will also have some Olbas oil in it.  It effectively replaces any off and bad smells with a transcendental mountain-breeze fresh air scent that also helped my son tremendously.  We sprinkeld it everywhere.
Thanks for being here, No Surrender!! Warrior-Persons.  I am suiting up.  Help me with the parts, please, I do need help - can't quite reach the back - Mary


Dear friend, theory is all grey, and the golden tree of life is green. - Goethe

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Posts: 164
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Limner,

A couple of suggestions for your pack: lemon drops (sour worked best for me in cutting the metallic taste from chemo) and baking soda (about a half teaspoon mixed with a small glass of water) for rinsing your mouth at night to prevent sores and also to help with any metallic taste.

You also mentioned "light reading", and while Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips is not exactly light (you're still smack in Cancer-world) it is funny and has a great take-charge attitude. I had my nose stuck in it for much of my chemo treatment and I swear, it was part oxygen mask and part defensive shield. I bet your local library may even have a copy or can order it for you.

So wonderful to read of your son's good health, and congrats to you for finding this site at what sounds like just the right time for you.

Best wishes to you!

Barn's burned down, now I can see the moon. - Masahide

Goddess Forever
Posts: 1,218
Reply with quote  #3 
Mary - what about music?  I didn't like doing anything except sleep during chemo, but I know alot of people had personal CD players, walkman or ipods.  I didn't mind soft music in the background, but am annoyed by something plugged into my ears. Some of the infusion rooms also had TVs but I avoided them.  I always took some sort of lunch to eat as my chemo started in the morning.  One thing I enjoyed was strawberry smoothies. Always had water with lemon in it.  I liked having my DH with me there, but it was more just knowing he was there than to talk to.

I also had several "good" luck amulets etc that I took with me to chemo and everywhere else. The number of items has grown over the past two years and I still take it everywhere with me. 

Could't focus well enough to read a book, but did look at magazines. 

I hope I have helped even just a little bit. Please let us know how else we can help.


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Goddess Forever
Posts: 203
Reply with quote  #4 
My chemo was also in the morning so I either carried lunch or someone would bring it in for me.  I worried about others smelling it but most of them were having lunch, too.  I also had a thing for tootsie rolls and ate them through every treatment.  My granddaughter Katie stayed with me during the four months of chemo...she was the best medicine/comfort I had during that time.

I agree with the nose ran constantly.  I used orange tic tacs for dry mouth and chemo taste.  I used Biotene mouthwash and toothpaste and kept my Zofran for nausea handy.  I also kept antibacterial hand wipes with me at all times. 

I finished chemo last if I could just find some help with the chemo brain....

Good can do this and we're all here for you!



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Pathfinder Angel
Posts: 716
Reply with quote  #5 

Great to hear from you all and the advice.  Bac10 & GD Katie - what a wonderful companion & pictures!  She looks like a great spirit to have at your side.

Gotcha on the day of - Music is a good idea Karen '56 - don't know what I was thinking, but I guess I will be there for a few hours, anyway.   
I sat through all of my son's infusions while he listened to Marilyn Manson and Godsmack, etc.  That mellowed out after time.  

I was wondering more about the things to have on hand to get you through to the Next chemo - for fatigue, nausea, mouth, etc.  Mostly concerned about maintaining my work day.
And those drugs - I can't be alseep all the time.
I went to the Beauty Stuff shop today and got some great free advice on false eyelashes from a real theatrical pro. 
Coco, I am going to look for that book.  And clean out the car so it smells nice.....
Thank you,  and enjoy this day - Fondest - Mary

Dear friend, theory is all grey, and the golden tree of life is green. - Goethe

Friendship Goddess
Posts: 1,424
Reply with quote  #6 
Here is a small list from many I have compiled.  I always took magazines to read or wrote note cards etc. 

Chemo Tips

Things to have on hand:

Biotene Toothpaste and mouthwash is great! It helps prevent mouth sores.

Senokot-S works great for constipation. Phillips Gentle laxative does too.

Immodium AD


Juices – some swear by grape juices and lemonade




Drink lots of water (or liquids) the day before, day of and day after chemo. The more water (liquids) you drink the faster the chemo is flushed out of your kidneys.

When you get the Adriamycin (red medicine) eat ice. The coldness of the ice helps to prevent mouth sores also.

Eat a light ungreasy meal before you go. If you’re going to be there during lunch and there’s no one to go get your something, take a sandwich or something you might want to eat.

Take your meds as prescribed. Don’t wait to see if you’ll get sick. If for some reason your anti-nausea meds don’t work – call the office immediately so they can get you something else. In this day and age there is no reason to be sick. I took Emend and received Aloxi in my IV prior to chemo. I was never sick.

If you get a metal taste in your mouth, suck on lemon drops. If you get it when eating,

try using plastic utensils.

Keep track of side effects and make sure you mention them to your oncologist or nurse on your next visit.

If you chose to not wear a wig, bandanas and caps are great! The more you wash the bandanas the softer they get.

Everyone looses their hair at different times. I cut mine very short after my first treatment and around day 19 it started falling out in clumps so I shaved it. This is a big adjustment. Just take things one day at a time and remember – the drugs are killing all the little microscopic cells.

My hair started growing in after my 3rd treatment and continued to grow throughout the remainder of treatments.

Last but not least: Accept help. This was very hard for me as I’ve always been the "doer" and no the "receiver". Also listen to your body. Rest when you need it.

"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it!" - Maya Angelou

Posts: 568
Reply with quote  #7 
Chemo has made me very sensitive to smells. Find an aroma you like and use it often.

I agree with the others, drink ALOT of water! It helps alot.
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