LiveLaughLearn – How To Create a Treatment Care Kit

My name is Jasmin and I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34. I found going to the hospital so frequently for treatment and appointments was pretty draining for both me and my hubby. We tried to find ways to make the best of our long days and decided to enjoy the time we had together at treatments, even if we were stuck in a hospital.

In my LiveLaughLearn video I share some tips on putting together a care kit for someone you know going through cancer treatment. I had my “big chemo purse,” as I called it, and filled it with stuff that helped me make it through long days at the hospital. It also helped me feel prepared for some of the not-so-nice side effects of treatment. My bag came with me to every appointment and was always fully stocked. Some of the items I gathered myself and other stuff came from family and friends who wanted to help me feel loved and taken care of during chemo, radiation and surgery.

Here are some items you might want to pick up to help create a personal oasis in a bag:

Mints – These are handy because some of the medications can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Music and headphones – Music is both healing and a good mental distraction which makes it perfect for while you are getting chemo. Make sure you bring headphones though so you don’t bug the people sitting around you.

Lip balm – Chemo dries you out and so does sitting in a hospital all day so keep a lip balm on hand.

Hand cream – It’s important to keep your skin in good shape during treatment. Hands can take a beating so hand cream is helpful to keep the skin hydrated and protect them from getting sores and cuts. Make sure it is unscented if you are bringing it to the hospital as chemo patients can be very sensitive to smell. Something you think smells incredible might make someone else nauseous.

Soothing tea – Body temp can go from hot to cold and back again so a warm tea is nice to have nearby in case you get the chills. Chamomile tea is soothing and peppermint tea can help with nausea.

Magazines/Books – I brought both because some days I would feel like diving into a book and others days I was so tired and spaced out I just wanted to flip through a fluffy magazine.

Snacks – Snacks are always good! You never know when you’ll feel hungry or when you’ll feel nauseous and want something in your tummy.

Fresh juice or smoothie – The cold feels really good on the throat and can also numb the mouth a bit so you get less of the yucky medication taste as it is going through your system. A fresh veggie juice also provides a great nutritious burst full of vitamins which is important for the body during treatment.

Blanket – Some of the medications make patients sleepy so a cozy blanket from home is nice to have. It helps you get comfy in your chair and can also be used as a pillow if needed.

Going to the hospital for treatment can be stressful for the patient and the caregiver. Everyone will experience it a little differently. Some days the wait for your appointment can feel like forever, other days you breeze through and head home to rest quicker than you thought. Putting together a treatment care kit ahead of time can make the day easier for both of you. And don’t forget to add your personal touch and include some items that you know might make her smile during the hard days. A little extra thought can make all the difference!

Jasmin Fiore has been a long-time supporter of Rethink Breast Cancer and started Stretch.Heal.Grow, a wellness retreat for young women with breast cancer. You can read more about Jasmin here.

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LiveLaughLearn – How To Create a Treatment Care Kit
50 Carroll Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M4M 3G3
Phone: 416 220 0700
Registered Charity #: 892176116RR0001

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