Creating a Chemo Care Package for Your Loved One with Cancer

When a friend or family member becomes ill, you may offer to help in numerous ways. Unfortunately, when cancer is the diagnosis, you may not know the most appropriate way to help. Considering an estimated 650,000 patients receive chemotherapy each year, your loved one may also experience this overwhelming form of cancer treatment. While effective for many cancer patients, chemotherapy can wreak havoc on a person's physical and emotional well-being. Due to the stress your cancer-stricken loved one will face, consider showing them love and making them feel a bit more comfortable by making them a chemo survival package. Using this guide, you can create a personalized care package for your loved one going through chemotherapy.

Fighting Boredom

Each person's chemotherapy treatment will vary, but your loved one may need to sit for a few minutes or hours. In some cases, chemotherapy will require a few days in the hospital. While your loved one is fighting cancer with chemo, they may also need to fight boredom during longer treatments.

To help them pass the time and take their mind off of their disease and treatment, consider adding a few personalized items to their chemo care package:

  • Music—If your friend or family member has a passion for music, add a gift card to their care package that will allow them to purchase songs and albums. This will allow them to listen to their favorite musicians while receiving treatment.
  • Reading—Bestselling books and gift cards to download e-books are great ideas for loved ones who enjoy reading. You can also add a few magazines to the care package. Choose entertainment, gossip, and humorous magazines that will take your loved one's mind off their disease.
  • TV and movies—If your loved one needs to catch up on popular television shows and movies, purchase them a streaming subscription and a tablet to use while in chemotherapy. The tablet is also suitable for social media and playing different games.
  • New hobby—If your loved one has shown interest in a new hobby, give them the tools to get started during their treatments. Create a small kit so your loved one can learn how to knit or purchase some beads and crafting wire for your friend or family member who wants to start making jewelry.

Fighting Discomfort

Cancer patients will experience many unpleasant side effects during their chemotherapy treatments, but you can help them fight this discomfort with a few simple items.

The medicines used in chemotherapy destroy the diseased cells, but they can also destroy healthy red blood cells during the cancer-fighting process. Known as anemia, this decreased number of red blood cells causes fatigue, dizziness, and even chest pains. In addition, anemia causes patients to feel cold the majority of the time, so make sure your loved one has items to keep them warm during their treatments. Place a warm scarf, socks, cap, and blanket into their care package to keep them comfortable.

Chemotherapy also makes patients nauseous, which can lead to vomiting. Doctors may give your loved one medications to ease the nausea, but adding a few items to the chemo care package can also be beneficial.

Place a few bags of hard candy, which can decrease nausea in some patients, in the care package. Peppermint flavors combat the queasiness, but the minty aroma also offers calming effects. Antinausea wristbands are also helpful for many cancer patients. Some brands of antinausea bands have been approved by the FDA to decrease nausea that stems from chemotherapy, pregnancy, motion sickness, and anesthesia.

If a friend or family member has recently been diagnosed with cancer, it is important to offer them support. Using this guide, you can create a care package that is personalized and beneficial for your loved one to use during chemotherapy. For further ideas, speak with a representative from a facility like Sturdy Memorial Hospital.