Putting Together A Cancer Care Kit

When you or someone you know is given a diagnosis of cancer, things happen very quickly.

A whirlwind of testing and treatment begins before you have really had time to absorb the news, much less plan to get through the weeks and months of treatment to come.

Taking the time to gather some items that will make things easier for the cancer patient is a wonderful gift, whether it is for yourself, someone you know with cancer, or a caregiver.

Here are some items you may wish to include in your cancer care kit:

  • A good calendar or day book with spaces for writing down appointments and keeping track of names and telephone numbers
  • Items that can help with the nausea so common with cancer chemotherapy, including peppermint candies, sour lemon candies, ginger lollipops, ginger tea, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, pretzels, plain crackers, etc. An assortment of easy to prepare bland food can also be helpful (instant rice, chicken soup, instant oatmeal, etc.)
  • A quality skin emollient like Aquaphor to protect the skin from the effects of cancer radiation therapy
  • A moisturizing hand sanitizer in a large size for the home and a smaller travel size
  • Antibacterial, disinfecting wipes and sprays
  • Items to make the long hours of chemotherapy pass more quickly, such as books on tape, headphones, an eye mask to make napping easier, a cozy blanket
  • Disposable wipes, such as unscented baby wipes, come in handy
  • Baking soda, which will be used to prepare a mouth rinse
  • Sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 (choose unscented products when you can), including a lip balm with sunscreen
  • Gentle moisturizing cleansers and shampoo
  • Arnica gel to help with bruising after lab work or receiving IVs
  • A quality refillable water bottle not made from metal
  • A cookbook especially written for cancer patients