For every chemo treatment, I pack a bag of items I consider essential. My chemo treatment takes place over a course of 5 to 6 hours, and I can’t sleep sitting up, so I need things to do while I’m here.
1. Papers to grade: I don’t grade many, but I can generally get through two classes of work.
2. Lunch and snacks: I’m here by noon until 5:00 or 6:00. I have to have food. I bring granola bars, oatmeal, a sandwich, and some Jello or yogurt.
3. Water: I have 3 bottles of water with me at all times. On chemo days, I also have a liter of Crazy Water #3. I try to drink the entire liter of Crazy Water and at least another one of my smaller bottles.
4. My heated blanket: It is COLD in the infusion rooms, and I recieve saline throughout my entire treatment. Sometimes the saline makes me cold.
5. My purple Beats: I have an undying love of gangster rap, alternative music, pop, and country (gotta love my eclectic music collection), so the Beats allow me to listen to my music as loud as I want, and I don’t have to worry about offending the entire infusion room when Green Day drops the F bomb, when T-Pain lets loose, or Eminem comes on my playlist.
6. My laptop: I rarely use it, but I like to have it if I need to work. I had a paper due in one of my grad classes by midnight on the day of my second chemo. I used that time to work on the paper. Now that I’m finished with my master’s degree, I hardly use my laptop, but I like to keep it with me.
7. My iPad and charger: Netflix and my Kindle app for the win!
8. Fleece lined socks: I’m here for a long time and by hour 2 or 3, my shoes have to go, so comfortable, warm socks are a must.
9. A jacket: Again, it’s COLD in the infusion room. It also doubles as a pillow on the rare occasion I decide to nap.
10. My purse: I could put my wallet and keys in my chemo bag, but I prefer to have my purse. My glasses’ case, my glasses’ cloth, my wig brush, my gum, my lipgloss, and various pens, pencils, and highlighters are in it. Some of those are essential items for me.
I may not use every item at each chemo, but I keep them in my bag just in case. I’m sure it’s overkill, but with how long I have to be here, I want to make sure I’m busy and comfortable.