Packing for chemo & radiotherapy

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Hi

Sorry if this has been asked before but I couldn’t find anything.

I am diagnosed stage 3c2 and due to start radio and chemo next Monday.

I was thinking of packing a little wheeled case with bits in, like snacks, water, blanket, iPad, headphones etc. Is this something people do or will I look like a wally turning up like I’m off on my jollies?! Joy

If this is something you do/have done, any tips or hints on what to pack?

thank you Relaxed

  • Hi  and welcome to our group

    Chemo makes the day a long one, so it’s a sensible idea to take some supplies with you. Radiotherapy treatments are short, but there can be lot of waiting around due to delays, machines breaking down/being in maintenance etc.

    I took a rucksack with me to chemo sessions and took snacks, boiled sweets,  iPad-remember your charger-fruit, a book, puzzle books. My hospital gave me jugs of water throughout the day, there was a tea/coffee trolley which did regular rounds and I was provided with lunch-soup, sandwich and yogurt typically. 

    I used to make up a couple of Tupperware tubs with chopped fruit and mixed nuts to snack on through the day, some crisps, anything easy to eat. I’d also recommend wearing loose comfortable clothing for easy access for the cannula, and ease of going to the loo. You will be drinking a lot of water to flush your kidneys, and when you go to the loo you need to wheel the drip stand with you so you need to be able to do things one handed. 

    I also took a change of clothes-fresh leggings, pants and pads in case of accidents! I found holding my bladder for radiotherapy could be a real challenge and it gave me reassurance in case of an accident. 

    I hope your treatment will go smoothly for you, but, if you start to experience any side effects, please tell your team so they can help. The effects of radiotherapy are usually cumulative and most typically bladder and bowel issues but don’t suffer in silence! You may be lucky and sail through but most people have some sort of effects. 

    If you’d like to fill in the details of what has brought you here and your treatment etc, you can do this by clicking on your account details and completing your profile. This helps others when replying to your posts and saves you repeating the same information in answers. If you click on anyone’s name and they have completed their profile, you can read their experience. 

    Please feel free to ask any questions or share any concerns. Many of us have been through chemoradiation so will be happy to share our experiences with you. 

    Sarah xx


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  • My experience was that there’s not much  spare space around you in the unit.   I took all my bits in an open topped shopping bag so that I could easily access things from it while laid back in my comfy chair.  There’s a lot going on around you so I found it hard to concentrate on reading much beyond a magazine. Very best wishes for successful treatment.

  • Hi  

    I was lucky with the room I was in, but other rooms in the chemo suite were very cramped. I didn’t read much-you’re right, there’s a lot going on, so sometimes I’d just be chatting to my partner or the lady in the next chair who is still a friend after all this time! 

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sunshinewarrior,

    I just took my phone, ear phones and book. Also some dry snacks and a bottle of water. It was quite interesting talking to other people going through the same thing, although the conversation is mainly focussed on cancer and some days I just wanted to block it out with music. It depends how sociable you feel!

    Good luck with everything,

    Lulabell

  • Thank you all so much for your replies. I was hoping there may be other people to chat to as I’d like that. Just want it over with now. Thank you for taking the time to reply. 

  • Hi  

    Just wondered how you were getting on? Hope everything is going smoothly for you so far.

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi! Thank you. My first chemo is tomorrow, I started radiotherapy Monday. Had a funny turn yesterday but nurse thinks anxiety rather than side effects. They’ve said I’ll need iron transfusion with the chemo tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to it. This isn’t much fun is it?! But I just keep thinking it’s another day down. 

    felt lonely at radiotherapy today. Waiting room full of couples aged 60/70+, mostly men for prostate cancer. They were all chatting away. Being a 46 year old female I felt the odd one out.

  • Morning  

    Good to hear back from you with an update! Definitely not a lot of fun going through this, but every day done is another day closer to finishing. It’s sad you feel lonely waiting for your radio-do you go on your own? I always had someone taking me to the hospital, so at least had my partner to chat to. Sometimes the waits were long, so I was glad to have company. 

    The effects are usually cumulative, and don’t normally happen when you first start treatment, so the nurse may well be right about it being anxiety. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.

    Did you get your bag packed for chemo? I hope it goes ok for you today-best of luck with it and hope you’ll let us know how you get on.

    Sarah xx


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