Author Topic: Chemo Care package - need suggestions  (Read 9925 times)

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joraemi

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Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« on: March 02, 2011, 11:19:05 AM »
I'm thinking of putting together a Chemo Care Package for my aunt who is completing radiation treatments today for Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), getting her port tomorrow and probably starting IV chemo next week.

My initial thoughts are to get her a Guided Imagery CD I saw made especially for use during chemo treatments and an MP3 player of some sort (she doesn't have one) so she can take it to her treatments with her and listen to the guided imagery.

For those that have gone through IV chemo or know someone that has - what are some other things you would have liked to have in a little Care Package to help you through your chemo? She has really sensitive skin (even before cancer), so I steer away from getting her lotions and things because she has so many problems with allergies to different skin products.

Thanks!




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IDriveADodgeStratus

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 11:44:37 AM »
I sent this: http://www.flylady.net/pages/FlyShop_swb.asp to my aunt when she was having chemo. It keeps water cold forever.  I also sent Burt's Bees lip balm and fuzzy socks. Maybe a journal and some fancy pens?

EmsMommy

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 12:03:54 PM »
Does she read a lot?  My aunt is on her last round of chemo right now & she has looooved her Kindle throughout this.  If she already has one, maybe an Amazon card for more books?  She also takes her iPod for music.  I know that chemo has really messed with her food intake.  Food textures are different to her & thing "just taste weird." Initially she had nausea, so they make some sour pops for cancer patients (same brand & product as the preggy pops).  Also, if there is any food that she likes, make it in small batches for her.  If my aunt lived closer she would love these (she refused to let me ship it to her)  I make mini loaves of banana bread (2inches x 3inches)  perfect for a little snack. Her co-workers & employees have all contributed homemade frozen meals that she can just pop in the microwave or oven & not have to do any of the work.

JaiJai

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 12:04:00 PM »
Myself and a group of friends have just done something similar for a friend. Don't know how big your budget is, but we bought:
Silk sheets (bare head is very sensitive)
Cashmere blanket (for curling up on the sofa with when feeling rotten)
One of our group made a special 'friendship' pillow
Cozy socks
Magazines, MP3 player and cross stitch kit (for the boredom)
With the remaining money we are going to buy vouchers for a spa weekend.
Jai
x

Carnation

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 12:10:06 PM »
Audio books (or a similar product) downloaded onto the MP3.    She could rest her eyes while keeping entertained and won't have to hold a book.   

Elfqueen13

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 12:16:35 PM »
Maybe a couple of pashmina shawls?  Very soft, large enough to wrap around her shoulder or her head if she gets cold and gentle enough that they shouldn't irritate her skin.  Plus if you get the ones that are imported from India (as opposed to the plain ones you find in most department stores) you get fabulous colors and patterns.
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rashea

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 12:29:41 PM »
Soft anything.

Shawls, socks, etc. Maybe a travel pillow to help her get comfortable (hospital's not being comfortable generally)

Maybe a gc to a grocery store that delivers, especially if she lives alone.

A basket of OTC medications for dealing with side effects.

Lots of letters!
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Betelnut

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 12:32:24 PM »
Just got this email the other day:

If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning - once per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It's our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along.

http://www.cleaningforareason.org//
Native Texan, Marylander currently

Slartibartfast

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 12:37:18 PM »
Just got this email the other day:

If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning - once per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It's our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along.

http://www.cleaningforareason.org//


Was just going to post this :-)

Sirius

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 12:48:07 PM »
I sent a care package a 13 year old girl recently who's going through chemo and her parents said that she was finding she was getting really cold feet so I found some soft fluffy socks (without elastic at the top) and sent them on to her.  Would your aunt appreciate something like a Slanket in case she gets cold whilst having the chemo/sitting around but can still do stuff like read? Not sure of the practicality though.

This.  When my sister was taking chemo she said she got very cold.  She's a quilter, so she'd bring one of her smaller quilts with her.  She'd also bring her iPod and books and munchies and...she said she'd show up with this huge tote like she was moving in.

bookworm317

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 12:49:51 PM »
Joraemi, when I went thru chemo, this is what I had in my bag: bottled water, books(both reading & puzzle), hard candy, magazines, and this little blanket-thing that my aunt brought with us while I was there(to put on the chair back--I have OCD). And a hat that covers your head & neck(or a hoodie), I know I was REALLY self-conscious about being bald.

She should start eating potato chips on her good days(when she's not nauseous), just in case her potassium levels drop. That's what happened to me(only I had to go BACK to the chemo place to get the potassium).

If you need any hints, tips, or suggestions--just PM me!

Oxymoroness

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 01:05:56 PM »
Stuff I bought for FIL that seemed to go over well:

Hard Candies (sour if you can manage it)

Sweaters, socks, sweatshirts

If there's any overnight hospital stay get them a college-type laundry bin (very portable)

Audiobooks

Favorite Music

Classical Music (very relaxing)

If your looking for lotion for sensitive skin, (also non-smelly), try Aveno products


What NOT to give: Any thing that has any kind of scent, flowers or plants (there's a health risk there), any uncooked food (namely fruits and vegetables).

Firecat

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 01:13:02 PM »
If she does get chilly, maybe she'd like these: http://www.brookstone.com/nap-socks-3-Pair.html

I have several pairs of these, and they're very soft and warm. I hate slippers (too much like shoes), but I love these. They also have some nice soft robes and throws in the very similar fabric.

Poirot

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 01:23:11 PM »
When I was having treatment, I had a little stretchy terry cloth turban I'd wear on my head. It was breatheable and comfortable, and kept the hairs from getting all over everything while they were falling out. Also essential for me were hard candies, soft, cozy socks and a small, battery-powered personal fan.

I also POD the audiobooks, because my head often hurt too badly to read.
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Arrynne

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Re: Chemo Care package - need suggestions
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 01:39:17 PM »
The iPod sounds like a lovely idea. Perhaps a subscription to audible.com so she can download audio books to listen to.  My husband loves to listen to his audio books in the car, and it might be nice for your aunt when she's just too tired/weak to read, but unable to sleep.