Stock up on toiletries/medications so that if you run out while you are not feeling great, you have supplies already in the house (this is essentially a shopping list – I have gone into more details about most of these items elsewhere):
1. Prescription medications (see note below)
2. Tissues – hair loss also means losing the hairs in your nose and so if your nose drips, or you have a nose bleed, there is nothing to catch the drops and it just comes straight out!
3. Indigestion/heartburn remedies – your chemo team will recommend the most suitable remedies for you.
4.Paracetamol but check with the chemo team about what painkillers you can take and how often you can take them.
5. Handcream (take a look at the section on Make Up, Clothes and All Things Glittery for advice on nail care)
7. Shampoo and conditioner Whether you are cold capping or risking hair loss, your hair need to be taken care of gently. Use ph neutral products, and ones that are specifically gentle. You may wish to consider using organic brands which do not have the same chemicals as the regular brands.
8. Toothpaste and mouthwash
9. Antibacterial hand gels (large size for the home and small size for out and about)
10. Antibacterial wipes
11. Eye drops for dry eyes (those recommended by your chemo team)
12. Shower gel and moisturiser Again use gentle or organic brands because your skin can become dry and sensitive during chemo.
For your toiletries you will want to use gentle brands because chemo plays havoc with your skin. You may wish to consider paraben free brands, organic brands or even baby brands (for example the Boots Baby shampoo and wash is paraben-free and recommended by a friend who has recently gone through chemo).
Get your free prescription certificate from your GP which entitles you to free prescriptions. Speak to your GP or cancer specialist who usually applies on your behalf, or ask for form FP92A. Take a look at these websites for more information:
Note: my number 1 tip for someone about to embark upon chemotherapy or already undergoing it is to get a copy of “Braving Chemo: What to Expect, How to Prepare and How to Get Through It” by Beverly A. Zavaleta MD (available from Amazon and other book stores). For my full review of this book see Breast Cancer Book Reviews.