Cancer treatment is typically a long and harrowing experience. Chemotherapy infusions is one of the most well-known aspects of treatment and getting through them can be rough. I recently posted a chemotherapy gift guide with items that helped me handle infusion days. But not only will you need help getting through multiple chemotherapy infusions, recovering from each one also requires a lot. Each type of chemo drug can have differing effects, so I have created this general chemotherapy gift guide to help with chemo recovery for the most common side effects.
Comfort plays a big role in chemo recovery. Immediately following each infusion, I started feeling ill and was utterly exhausted. I would basically hibernate for 3 full days. A friend of mine sent me a bluetooth sleeping mask and it was truly a life saver. I loved being able to rest and listen to music or books at the same time.
Day 3 post infusion, for me, brought with it extreme bone and body aches. There were times when the only place I felt any relief was in the bathtub. Because of that I used this bath pillow throughout treatment and was so grateful I had it.
The second chemo drug I took was called Taxol. While it was definitely better than the “Red Devil” it was what really pushed my body into pre-menopause, or chemo-pause, as they call it. Thanks to major hormone imbalances, I found myself constantly battling hot flashes. My sister gifted me one of these mini portable fans with a chord, that I wore it around my neck 24/7. I even slept with it blowing on me because I would often wake in the middle with such intense hot flashes that I’d have to change pajamas. This fan was the perfect solution.
One thing we all think about the minute we hear the word chemotherapy is hair loss. It’s basically part of the deal. I used a biotin shampoo from the start and I feel like my hair grew back even better than it was before. I found this biotin shampoo at my local grocery store but you can also buy in bulk too. Four years out and I am still using it!
And it’s not just the hair on your head either. I loved wearing false lashes to help me feel like I at least “looked healthy” and feminine, even if I looked like a pale and sickly teenage boy. Try these beautifully natural looking lashes designed specifically for cancer warriors from Flutter Junkies!
Skin and nails also take a major hit because of how harsh chemo drugs are. I found that using a body oil helped immensely at keeping skin dryness at bay. This is my very favorite – Naturium Glow Getter Multi-Oil Body Wash.
Nothing quite says cancer and chemo recovery quite like reading a book about what it’s like going through cancer. I read a lot of books about cancer, from day one, and Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life was one of my top 3 favorites.
I hope you are not in a position where you need any of these items but if you are, I really hope they provide some comfort for you. Let me know if you have any of your own chemo recovery items that you would add to the list!