Your Personal Checklist: What to bring to chemo

Here is your personal checklist of things to bring with you to chemo, to make sure you're a little bit more comfortable and to help you bring a little bit of home to the hospital. All the suggestions come from people living with cancer who have gone through rounds of chemo themselves.

“Getting some of these things together might ease your anxiety about going to your first chemotherapy treatment and make you more comfortable.” Margaret, 44


To rest:


Blanket and Pillow

  • Many of you said you get cold during chemo so it helps to keep warm with a pillow and blanket


Sleeping Mask and Earplugs

  • If you want to be able to nap bring a sleeping mask with you to block out the light
  • If you want complete peace and quiet don’t forget to pack your earplugs


Top Tip

“Spray your blanket with your favourite perfume or smell, like lavender, to help make it feel like home.” Karen 37


To wear:


Comfortable Clothes and Layers

  • Dress in several layers, as you can’t predict the temperature of the room or how hot or cold you’ll fell during treatment
  • Don’t forget to ensure your clothes allow easy access to the port for your chemo – ask your nurse or doctor in advance where your port will be
  • Bring your own slippers from home they’ll be more comfortable than wearing shoes
  • Bring a warm hat in case you head gets cold. It can make a big difference.


To eat and drink:


Snacks and Drinks

  • You might like to bring your own drinks like cartons of juice, a bottle of water or a flask of tea. Your hospital might provide these for you
  • You might suffer from a dry mouth during chemo, so sucking on hard sweets, such as lemon drops or mints, can help you with this
  • Bring anything that you personally enjoy snacking on. Lots of you suggested making snack boxes with small amounts of different foods, so you can have whatever you fancy. Snack foods with lots of energy include nuts, fruits and chocolate.


Top Tip

“I bring fruit ice lollies and a small cool bag to keep refreshed.” Toby, 48


To do:



  • Make a playlist on your phone or music player with songs to help you relax if you plan on dozing or some upbeat songs to lift your spirits


Top Tip

“I asked my friends and family to make me playlists so I could enjoy new music each time. I have discovered some new bands.” Phil, 51


Crossword Puzzles, Sudoku, or other Mind Games

  • Mind games or puzzles can help distract you and also keep you alert


Laptop or Tablet or E-Reader

  • Bring your laptop, tablet or E-reader, preloaded with your favourite films, books, audio books and games – endless possibilities with these devices.


Top Tip

“Reading during chemo made me sleepy, so I shut my eyes and listen to an audiobook on my tablet.” Denis, 71


Colouring Book

  • Adult colouring books are a really relaxing activity that can help to reduce your stress levels and take your mind off things


Bring a Friend

  • If you’re a person that would like the company, bring a friend to chemo. Maybe you have friend that you enjoy spending a lot of time with or want to invite different friends each time to mix it up


Get your version of this checklist here.


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