This will be updated as other helpful hints are posted in the Main Breast Group.

  •  Nail hardener or nail oil to keep your nails healthy and strong (Mena & Tej0362)
  • Baby wipes are very useful for many things (Dragonlady15)
  • Some kind of flavoured sweets, for example starburst or Gin-Gins – for during chemo or when there can be a strange taste in your mouth (Lakeslover, Katee17)
  • Wear comfortable clothes and bring layers. Sitting for a long time inactive can make you a bit cold.
  • Taking some frozen grapes to suck/eat during your sessions can help avoid mouth ulcers especially with docetaxel (Jamiehosed)
  • A purse with some spare change for when you get peckish (Lakeslover)
  • Ask about your hospital parking as some chemo patients get free parking (Dreamthief)
  • If you feel a bit nauseous Arrowroot biscuits can help settle your stomach and Ginger Nut biscuits can help with taste issues
  • A hot water bottle for a poorly tummy or sore arm after chemo (QuiltMags)
  • Microwaveable Lavender Wheat Wrap to help ease chemo affected arm vein aches (Dreamthief)
  • A diary to write down important notes and appointments, daily temps etc such as the free to order Macmillan organiser  Now also available as a mobile app (Dreamthief)
  • If your anti-sickness meds don't seem to be helping much, inform your onco. Next time they may give you better ones like Emend
  • High grade Manuka honey is good for preventing and treating mouth ulcers - often on offer at  H&B
  • A mouthwash which contains Chlorhexidine or Difflam and a soft toothbrush for treating sore gums and ulcers (Tej0362)
  • The most important thing you can do for your hands and nails during chemo is to buy a pair of rubber gloves and use them religiously for any 'wet'  or dirty housework and a separate pair for pet care use. Kacang
  • If your mouth is dry get hold of something like Biotene to use

  • A digital thermometer for taking temperatures in case it shoots up to 37.5 This is the point at which to phone your unit for advice.
  • A good selection of multi-buy still or fizzy flavoured waters to keep up your fluid intake and flush chemo through kidneys.
  • Ginger Nut biscuits / Ginger Beer or Pineapple chunks to help kick start taste buds (Dreamthief) Skip the pineapple if your mouth is already sore though.
  • An emergency clothes hospital kit prepared with all overnight essentials- toothbrush, pyjamas, in case of infections while white cell count is low (Lakeslover & Cathy.R)
  • Get tablets for both constipation and diarrhoea as you could get either - and one can soon turn to the other :-/
  • Look good, feel better is a charity which helps women who are suffering from the physical effects of cancer, and run free workshops to improve wellbeing for cancer patients (Mena) and you come away with a free make up goodie bag :)
  • Make meals in bulk and freeze them ready for when you get back after chemo and do not fancy cooking (butterfly2212)
  • Non-foaming toothpaste for when you feel nauseous when brushing your teeth- such as Sarakan (Hollyoskar & Mike_R)
  • Oral Thrush - You can ask for Nystatin or other anti fungals like Fluconazole or Daktarin to help with this.
  • Gunky Mouth / Throat (mucositis) Gelclair can help break this down.
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and/or feet (nerve pain or peripheral neuropathy) can be helped with a nerve related painkiller like Gabapentin.
  • Numb / Tingling or Painful Feet or Hands ?  Report this to your onco unit as it could be the start of Peripheral Neuropathy.

  • A selection of magazines or book to read
  • - Sudoku or crossword puzzles (and a pen!)
  • - A kindle which you can read or go online with
  • - A tablet with films & TV programmes already downloaded - most have wi-fi too.
  • - A craft activity such as sewing, knitting, cross stitching
  • - A personal MP3 player with your favourite music- get friends/family to create a playlist for you.
  • - Inspirational and mood boosting books like the ones here
  • A diary or journal where you can write how you are feeling day by day so you know what to expect and when next time around (Dreamthief) See Link to the Macmillan organiser above.
  • You could start writing a blog about how you are feeling today and share it with others so they know what to expect. Update it each time you go to chemo
  • Take a friend - it can be scary going to your 1st chemo and help you get through the day if you have someone to talk to.
  • A notepad and pen to swap details with other patients and friends (Margaret853)
  • A smile - chat to the other chemo patients. Not everyone will want to, but a smile or ‘hello’ can go a long way and make you all know you are not going through this alone.
  • If you decide to use dark nail varnish - get some Acetone Free remover it is less harsh.
  • Some small nutritious snacks such as nuts, biscuits, fruit, crackers, cereal bars etc.
  • A positive attitude and good sense of humour (ali owl)
  • Small box of Heroes etc for the chemo nurses to share - You need them on your side :-)

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