What's in My Chemo Bag?


What's in My Chemo Bag?

Jan. 2, 2020 | by Stephanie Dawn Cansfield


Chemotherapy round #4 for me is set for this coming Tuesday, January 7th, 2020. To prepare (and since my bag was getting heavy, messy, and out of control with all the paperwork and literature I’ve received from the hospital these last 2 months) I decided to organize my bag. 


First off: I took all the paperwork out and organized that in my bill box. The only paperwork I bring now is my appointment card, recent bloodwork letter, and my anti-nausea drug schedule.


I figured showing what all I bring to the hospital each chemo session might be interesting or helpful to some of you. So here we go!


Here’s what is in my bag now:


  • Water bottle (to take my meds and stay hydrated— this is super important in feeling okay afterwards)

  • Anti-nausea meds (I take 4 total I think every time just before I get hooked up, and 4-5 the next three days)

  • Appointment card, anti-nausea med schedule paper

  • Book (I have a few books on the go right now but this is the one I chip away at only while at the hospital “A Spark of Light” by Jodi Picoult)

  • Notepads, pens, pencil, eraser (for blog ideas, to-do lists, to write down how I’m feeling, etc.)

  • Games (Crossword puzzle, Sudoku)

  • Colouring book & pencil crayons

  • Headphones (you’re in an open room with other people so if you want to watch YouTube, listen to Podcasts, or zone out to music, headphones are a must)

  • Ginger candy (for anti-nausea, I was just sent these so I haven’t tried them yet!)

  • PSI bands (I haven’t tried them yet but they’re acupuncture wrist bands for anti-nausea— I’ll update you all soon as to their effectiveness!)

  • Blanket (I like to be cozy!)

  • Wallet (I keep my ID, port identification card, and health card with me)

  • Hand cream/lip chap (is it weird I’m paranoid of getting paper cuts now? Hah)

  • Tissues (because it’s Winter and my nose doesn’t stop running, joy)

  • Cozy mitts and hat to get me there and stay warm)

  • Plushie (you can stick this guy in the microwave to stay warm but I won’t do that at chemo. I’ll simply have him there as my little support bud, haha)

  • Snack (sometimes my Mom or Dad will bring along a snack for us— it depends what time my session is at)


Basically, I try to bring things that will distract me from what’s currently happening. These items help me stay focused on something other than the tube stuck in my chest or the strange side effects of the drugs being pumped into me (burning/itchy/running nose and extreme fatigue). I’m lucky to always have one of my parents with me at each of these sessions too (and though I’m not usually in a chatty mood, just having them there is nice).


The sessions are never horrible. The nurses are always nice. And the room is full of other patients going through the same thing. But it’s not exactly fun either, obviously. So I think how my bag is packed now is as optimal for a ‘good time’ as possible.


What do you bring to your chemo sessions? I’d love to know if there are any other neat/helpful items that I could bring along with me. Let me know in the comments below, email me at shestaysstrongblog@gmail.com, or DM me on Instagram @shestaysstrongblog


Thanks for reading! XO


Read more from Stephanie's blog: She Stays Strong

Stephanie Dawn Cansfield

Stephanie Dawn Cansfield