Rachel Van Wert - 10 things to have with you
Top 10 things to have at the hospital while going through treatment
There is a good chance your appetite will be affected, and it might be hard to get food down and keep a regular eating schedule. I found what they were serving at the hospital was not always what I was able to eat or when I was able to eat, and sure you can always ask them to grab you something else to eat but sometimes you just want a quick and easy snack at 2 am. I recommend keeping a stash of bland but filling snacks that are easy to eat. Some of my staple treatment snacks consisted of cheese buns, cheese and crackers, and yogurts.
Colgate Peroxyl Mouthwash
One of the painful down sides to chemotherapy is the mouth sores. I wish I knew of this mouthwash sooner as I found it really helped with the healing of mouth sores. Some hospitals may give out different types of mouth rinses (I was given plain soda water) but I found this mouthwash worked best. There may be different kinds of mouthwashes that are designed to help with mouth sores, but this is just what I found, and it worked for me!
Things to keep you entertained
Depending how long your stay in the hospital is it can get pretty boring and not to mention depressing. I found it was important to keep myself entertained when I had enough energy to do so. I recommend bringing things like coloring books, reading books, or a laptop to keep you entertained. Also, I am not sure what other hospitals have for TV but I know I did not have very good options so bringing a laptop to watch your own Netflix might be a good idea.
Binder/ folder for medical records and forms
Going through chemotherapy can be a stressful time and it may become hard to keep track of certain documents. Bringing something like a binder or a folder to organize and keep track of documents can help you not forget certain appointments or forms to submit, as well as keep important treatment information in such as whatever protocol you are on.
It is likely you will be given many different kinds of pills whether they are for your treatment or to help with side effects from the chemotherapy. At one point I was taking 25 pills a day. I carried my large pill bag around everywhere I went and kept a list of what medications I would take when and what every kind was for. This is just one way to help you keep organized and not have to worry if you brought the right medications with you.
The hospital is one of the more acceptable places to wear pajamas all day….. Take advantage of it. You probably will not be feeling great so at least try to be comfy.
This might not seem like a time you want to remember but it may help you look back and realize how strong you are and how much you have overcome. The time spent doing chemotherapy can seem like a blur and things may become hard to remember…. Chemo brain is real.
Things to make you look/ feel pretty
The loss of your hair may cause your self-esteem to drop, and you are already going through alot. Chemotherapy can cause you to lose your hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and make your face poof like a puffer fish. These may lead you to lose confidence in yourself as your body is changing. I found doing my eyebrows, wearing nice toques, or scarfs helped to raise my confidence and make me feel pretty.
Blanket and pillow
If you have ever stayed in a hospital you know that they do not have very good pillows and rough feeling blankets, bringing your own pillows and blankets just makes the bed a bit more comfortable. Chemotherapy will take a lot out of you and you will likely be sleeping ALOT…. Chemo is exhausting. Bringing your own pillows and blankets also help to make your room feel a little more homey and not so depressing.
A common side effect of chemotherapy is sensitive skin and if you do not already have facial cleanser for sensitive skin you may want to consider getting some. Dry skin and lips are also very common so keeping Chapstick and lotion close to your bed can become helpful.