Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Creating the Best Chemo Goody Bag - Helpful Items to Bring to Chemotherapy Treatment

by Margot Malin, Founder and CEO of Lots To Live For, Inc.

This is a condensed version of the post entitled GREAT CHEMOTHERAPY GIFT IDEAS AND HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CHEMO GOODY BAG which appeared in the Breast Cancer Yoga Blog on February 11, 2014

It is important to try to be as comfortable as you can during chemotherapy treatments. There are many things that can cause discomfort ranging from feeling chilly to feeling nauseated. We have put together some suggestions of items to bring to chemotherapy treatment to help you feel more comfortable. Its a great idea to make a checklist, buy a nice bag with several compartments for organizing, and keep the bag ready to take to treatment.


Taste changes are a very common side effect of chemotherapy. Your sense of smell might also change, and you might become overly sensitive to fragrances.  You might get chills frequently or constantly feel cold. Your mouth may develop sores and feel very dry. You may feel nauseous. Here are some ideas to combat these effects.

Warmth:  Be sure to include a warm fuzzy blanket, soft and warm socks, fuzzy gloves, a hat or other head cover such as a scarf or head wrap.  Wear comfortable clothes.

Oral Care:  Drink plenty of fluids. Carry a water bottle. Bring a thermos with organic tea or broth. Mouth moisturizer products such as Mouth Kote oral moisturizer and Biotene dry mouth gum can help dry mouth.  Be sure to include a lip balm or lip moisturizing product because you lips can get very dry. Bring a disposable toothbrush for gentle brushing and hydration.

Skin Care:  Different chemotherapy medications can cause a variety of skin issues.  Dry skin is very common. We suggest a hand moisturizer such as a tube of Atopalm Moisturizing Hand Treatment. If you are experiencing hand/foot syndrome we suggest CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin BalmLindiskin face serums (lavender or citrus) are very helpful for acneform rash. 

Antinausea Products (to combat CINV):  Biobands are clinically proven, effective acupressure wristbands that provide relief of nausea associated with chemotherapy. Queasy Drops are also an effective way to relieve nausea associated with chemo. They also help to alleviate dry mouth symptoms.

Overall Physical Comfort:  Bring a travel pillow.  Don’t forget individual packs of tissues. Don’t forget to pack a small hand sanitizer.

Create a Chemo Goody Bag to Enhance Comfort During Chemo Treatments


In addition to personal care products to alleviate physical discomfort, we offer suggestions to boost your mental, spiritual and emotional state of mind.

To Pass the Time:  Ask a friend or relative to sit with you during treatment if they have the time.  If you will be alone, be sure to bring a variety of things that can help you pass the time.  You might not feel like concentrating too deeply so bring a variety of different types of distractions – some that might require focus, some that require less engagement.  Choose as many or as few of the following:  An ipod, an ipad or tablet, a Kindle, a book, magazines, and/or a journal. If you like to draw, bring a sketchbook. We also suggest bringing pictures on electronic media or a photo album to surround yourself with pictures of loved ones.

Spiritual and Breathing: There are a number of CD’s, ipod downloads, and cell phone apps that can help with visualization and breathing.  Both can be very helpful during chemotherapy treatment.  Whip Cancer is an example of a visualization app which can help empower patients and reduce stress. The Breathe With Purpose CD is helpful for stress reduction, visualization, and meditation. There are numerous other apps for visualization, stress reduction, and meditation to explore.


Many oncologists recommend that cancer patients avoid refined sugar. Therefore baked goods and candy should not be consumed. Well meaning friends and relatives like to gift these items (not knowing that they should be avoided), but we feel strongly that more healthy food options should be considered.  Sugary drinks such as soda are not recommended either.

A cancer patient may become very sensitive to smells so we do not suggest perfumes or flowers.


We have researched and reviewed products for many years to find personal care products that are effective in reducing and relieving the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy treatment. We invite you to visit our website at www.LotsToLiveFor.com to see all of the products that meet our high standards. 

To read the full blog post on the Breast Cancer Yoga Blog: click here

To view Chemotherapy Gift Ideas please click on the following Chemo Goody Bag Collections below:
Chemo Gift Kit
Deluxe Chemotherapy Gift
Ultimate Chemotherapy Gift
Ultimate Chemotherapy Gift