By Margot Malin, CEO, President and Founder of Lots To Live For, Inc.
We often receive questions from friends and relatives of cancer patients about the best gifts for chemotherapy patients. In this blog piece we share our best ideas and reasons why we choose to highlight these items. If you are a patient, give yourself permission to create a wish list or put together a self gift. All the items we have chosen to include will enhance your physical, spiritual and emotional comfort during chemotherapy.
PRODUCTS FOR THE PHYSICAL SIDE EFFECTS
During and after chemotherapy your senses may feel like they have gone haywire. Taste changes are a very common side effect of chemotherapy (technically called dysgeusia). Your sense of smell might also change, and you might become overly sensitive to fragrances. You might get chills frequently or constantly feel cold. Your mouth may develop sores and feel very dry. You may feel nauseous. We offer a variety of products to add to your goody bag to reduce these uncomfortable physical side effects.
Warmth: Be sure to include a warm fuzzy blanket, soft and warm socks, fuzzy gloves, a hat or other head cover such as a scarf or head wrap. Wear comfortable clothes.
Oral Care: Drink plenty of fluids. Carry a water bottle. Bring a thermos with organic tea or broth. Mouth moisturizer products such as Mouth Kote oral moisturizer and Biotene dry mouth gum can help dry mouth. Be sure to include a lip balm or lip moisturizing product because you lips can get very dry. Bring a disposable toothbrush for gentle brushing and hydration.
Skin Care: Different chemotherapy medications can cause a variety of skin issues. Dry skin is very common. We suggest a hand moisturizer such as a tube of Atopalm Moisturizing Hand Treatment. If you are experiencing hand/foot syndrome we suggest Soothing Balm by Lindiskin. Lindiskin face serums (lavender or citrus) are very helpful for acneform rash. Don’t forget to pack a small hand sanitizer.
Antinausea Products (to combat CINV): Biobands are clinically proven, effective acupressure wristbands that provide relief of nausea associated with chemotherapy. Queasy Drops are also an effective way to relieve nausea associated with chemo. They also help to alleviate dry mouth symptoms.
Overall Comfort: Bring a large tote bag with compartments to organize and carry all of your items. Bring a travel pillow. Don’t forget individual packs of tissues.
THE MENTAL, SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL
In addition to personal care products to alleviate physical discomfort, we offer a few products to boost your mental, spiritual and emotional state of mind.
To Pass the Time: Ask a friend to accompany you to treatment on occasion. If you will be alone, be sure to bring a variety of things that can help you pass the time. You might not feel like concentrating too deeply so bring a variety of different types of distractions – some that might require focus, some that require less engagement. Choose as many or as few of the following: An ipod, an ipad or tablet, a Kindle, a book, magazines, and/or a journal. If you like to draw, bring a sketchbook. We also suggest bringing pictures on electronic media or a photo album to surround yourself with pictures of loved ones.
Spiritual and Breathing: There are a number of CD’s, ipod downloads, and cell phone apps that can help with visualization and breathing. Both can be very helpful during chemotherapy treatment. Whip Cancer is an example of a visualization app which can help empower patients and reduce stress. The Breathe With Purpose CD is helpful for stress reduction, visualization, and meditation. There are numerous other apps for visualization, stress reduction, and meditation to explore.
A FEW NO-NO’S
Many oncologists recommend that cancer patients avoid refined sugar. Therefore we do not suggest baked goods or candy. They are often recommended by others, but we feel strongly that more healthy food options should be considered. Sugary drinks are not recommended either.
A cancer patient may become very sensitive to smells so we do not suggest perfumes or flowers of any kind.
We have researched and reviewed products for many years to find personal care products that are effective in reducing and relieving the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy treatment. We invite you to visit our website at www.LotsToLiveFor.com to see all of the products that meet our high standards. We hope that the suggestions in this blog piece will help to make your chemotherapy journey more tolerable and comfortable.
- Comfort During Cancer – Radiation Burn Relief – Lots To Live For Cancer Side Effect Solutions
- Products to Reduce Chemotherapy Side Effects and Improve Comfort and Quality of Life
- Tips to Control Chemotherapy Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)
- Cancer Pre-Treatment Check List – 6 Tips To Make Your Life Easier Once You Begin Treatments
- 22 Questions to Ask Your Oncology Team About Your Cancer Treatment Protocol
- 7 Tips for Preparing for Chemotherapy and Radiation
- Tips For Oral Health While Undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiation
- Books to Help Cancer Patients: Empower Yourself by Becoming Your Own Medical Advocate
- Practicing Gratitude Can Improve Your Health, Mood and Spirit
- Comfort Slings Help Relieve Soreness and Abrasion Beneath the Breasts
About Margot Malin: Intellectually curious and fiercely independent, Margot Malin has a passion for knowledge. After receiving her MBA from The Wharton School, she launched her career by analyzing and evaluating businesses. In 2002 she embarked on the “creative reinvention” phase of her career with the intention of “giving back”. Margot founded Lots To Live For, Inc., an internet retailer that sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation.