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Chemo Bag Essentials

If you’re not sure what to include in your chemo bag, here is a list of things to consider:

Drinks and Snacks

Snacks and drinks  you enjoy might not be available at your infusion center, so bring snacks and drinks you know you’ll like. Bring a filled water bottle along with your favorite beverages. 


Don't bring snacks that have strong smells, because the odor might make you or other patients nauseous.

Some suggestions from the American Cancer Society:

  • A container of cold cereal

  • Cheese or peanut butter with crackers

  • Cookies

  • A bagel

  • Fresh or dried fruit

  • Gummy snacks

  • Granola or trail mix


Lemonheads, ginger candy, peppermints or other mints can help prevent nausea and the metallic taste some patients experience. They can also help with dry mouth.

Lip Balm

Chemo can cause dry lips. Have some lip balm or petroleum jelly on hand to help.

Lotions or creams

Cream or lotion can help moisturize your skin and help to relax you. Look for products that are hypoallergenic and unscented.

Electronic Devices

Bring your smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-book reader or other electronic gadgets, as well as the charger for each of your devices. 

Music or Audiobooks

Your electronic devices also allow you to play audio material. Come with a playlist of your favorite songs, a download of a favorite podcast, or an interesting audiobook. You could also stream a movie or TV show. Make sure you pack a pair of earbuds or headphones so you don't disturb other people.

A Journal or Notebook

Writing is a great way to spend your time. A notebook (and pen) not only allows you to journal, but also provides a place for you to record information about any side effects you may experience during treatment, or jot down questions for your doctor. 

Reading Material

Reading provides a good way to pass the time, so have some reading materials with you; a book or magazine that interests you, or download something onto your e-book reader or other electronic device so you have easy access while you’re receiving treatment.

Handheld Games or Puzzles

If you don’t play games on electronic devices, consider bringing a book of crossword puzzles, a word search, or sudoku. If you enjoy card games, bring along a deck of cards. 


Comfy Socks

Comfort is very important during chemo! Bring a comfy, warm pair of socks so you can take your shoes off and slip on some socks to help you relax and be more comfortable.

Comfortable Clothes

Make comfort your first priority! Wear a sweatsuit or pants with an elastic waistband.  Choose clothing made of soft, loose material that will allow the medical team to access your port. Layer your clothing so you can regulate your temperature. 

Bring a warm hat or cap, especially if you’re experiencing hair loss, to put on if your head starts feeling cold. Bring a scarf to keep your neck and throat warm, and a pair of gloves for your hands.

Blanket or Pillow

Your infusion center may have basic items to keep you comfortable, but you might feel more comfortable bringing your own pillow, neck pillow, and/or blanket.

Crafting Supplies

Do you needlepoint, knit or crochet? Are you a sketcher? Bring what you need to work on your favorite craft. 

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