Monday, July 20, 2015

Chemotherapy Stock Up List

Going through cancer treatment is hard, chemo was the hardest part for me. I am hoping you can benefit from my experience, so I decided to make a list of things to stock up on to make life a little bit easier during chemotherapy.

If you have to jump right into chemotherapy and don't have time to shop, these are some good items for friends who want to help or even order online and have delivered.

1. Toilet paper. Stock up as much as you can, a 3-4 month supply would be ideal. You really will not want to run to the store when you are having a bad chemo day because you are on your last roll.

2. Paper towels. If you have to clean up anything, you need to do it quick and easy. So stock up on a good quality paper towel. Six to 9 rolls should cover it.

chemo, chemotherapy, supplies, stock up3. A small - medium size bucket. The reality of chemo is that it will make you sick. Sometimes the meds are not enough to keep everything down. Keep a bucket near you.

4. Small trash bags or plastic store bags. (If using store bags, check them for holes) Use these to double line the bucket. If you are going to toss your cookies, clean up should be easy. Even when you are feeling ok, leave the bucket lined wherever you are, stomach upset can come out of no where and just hit you.

5. Paper plates and plastic utensils. Worry about dishes as little as possible. Many people have dishwashers but you still have to rinse and put in, turn it on and put them away when done. For those who hand wash, standing there while sick is not what you want to be doing... stock up.

Plastic utensils, chemo, chemotherapy, supplies, stock up
7. Easy to make food. Often you don't feel like eating and things can taste awful or maybe you will lose your sense of taste all together. So stock up on easy to make items. Frozen dinners, soups, broth mix. If you have time ahead, make and freeze your own soups with great wholesome ingredients. When you do freeze your own, only do 1/2 portions. If you want more you can always heat more up but often you don't eat a whole bunch. Also, don't let ANYONE make you feel bad if the only thing that tastes right is Corn Dogs or Twinkies or some manufactured food. It is hard enough to eat during chemo that we have to eat anything that has some calories in it.

8. Liquids. Water, sports drinks, tea (not green tea because my doc told me that it makes the chemo less effective). Keep yourself as hydrated as you can because it will make it easier to take blood and start IVs.

9. Wedge pillow or extra pillows. If you can manage to incline your upper body, that can help with nausea and a floaty feeling head.

10. Laptop or a tablet. You will spend hours sitting with your chemo drip and there will be days when you really don't have the energy to get out of bed but you cannot sleep either. So have something handy to help with entertainment and staying connected to your friends. Get a movie streaming subscription too, there are plenty to choose from and wherever you get chemo probably has wifi.

If there is any other items that you can think of to stock up on ahead of time, please comment on what helped you.


  1. I was on chemo for seven years. In remission but really had to stop because it was giving me heart attacks from blood clots building up. Great page here. I would add to speak in advance with friends, family and others willing to be part of your "support team." This could be anything from helping prepare meals, running to the store, acting as a patient advocate, helping you pay your bills on time, etc. Also call your insurance company to be clear on your benefits for everything related such as co-pays for calling an ambulance (I had none turns out and paid nothing for the four times I had to call), sending a nurse to your home (checking your blood pressure, etc.).. whatever. 911 also said my life was saved because of a form I created with ALL the information they need when arriving. You can get a free copy at

  2. Brandy, I think everyone should keep a copy of your list. Cancer touches everyone anymore... friends, family, co-workers, etc. When someone feels helpless at the news of cancer, buying them "care" items can be a way of helping. Thanks for sharing and my heart and prayers are with you! Hugs!