Orange Coast Radiation Oncology Center
Build A Perfect Chemo Care Package

From crosswords to cough drops and lip balms to lotions, care packages come in many sizes and contain many different items. But if you have a loved one who is undergoing chemotherapy, it will take a special kind of care package to make an impact.

When people undergo chemotherapy, their bodies go through various changes all at once and it can often be hard to handle. That’s why your chemo care package can make a world of difference. You can show your loved ones that you care and are standing by them as they go through these changes. So, we at Orange County CyberKnife want to help you give them a thoughtful gift that they will remember forever.

Chemotherapy Care Package Ideas

Before you start building your gift, it is best that you discuss with the doctor of your family member or friend to make sure that it is safe for them to use the items. Once you have the green light, we recommend that you talk to your loved one to see if they even want to receive a care package. If they do, then this would be a good time to also find out what kind of things would be beneficial to them.

After you figure all of that out, it’s time to decide on what to gift. Whether it is helping to relieve the nausea of chemotherapy, nourishing one’s skin, or keeping the mind occupied during treatment, here are some ideas for the perfect chemo care package from Orange County CyberKnife to you:

  1. Special Bag. Instead of a basket or box, opt for a cute tote bag or backpack to hold your care package. Patients undergoing chemo will find it useful for packing a blanket and other items for taking to future treatments.
  2. Lotions & Bath Products. According to the National Cancer Institute, effects from cancer treatment can make skin dry and itchy, and this may lead to rashes. To help minimize the risk, consider giving some gentle, unscented lotions and bath items that include essential oils, beeswax, vitamin E oil or goat milk for your care package. For example, Lindi Skin offers clinically-proven skin products specifically designed for cancer patients that are both safe and effective. Or you can head to your local drugstore to find fragrance-free Aveeno products made with nourishing ingredients.
  3. Lip Balm. During the treatment process, a person’s lips can become dry and cracked. A good way to remedy this is to use moisturizing lip balms throughout the day. If you know what your loved one’s typical lip balm is, feel free to add that to the bag. Another good option is the popular Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm.
  4. Mouth Rinse. A soothing mouth rinse can help combat the common side effect of dry mouth. It also can help the person going through chemotherapy to balance their natural oral bacteria. Mouth rinses gently clean and soothe minor mouth irritations commonly experienced by chemotherapy patients.
  5. Magazines & Puzzles. Puzzle books, brain teasers, and magazines help pass the time during long days of treatment. They also are a great way to exercise the brain and support mental abilities. While chemo patients may not have the concentration to read a book, they may enjoy flipping through a magazine like Good Housekeeping, Family Circle or Men’s Health.
  6. Water bottle. It is important to stay hydrated during the chemotherapy process, and one way to help with that is to keep a water bottle on hand. Pick up an insulated aluminum water bottle to help your family member or friend stay hydrated. It can also be used to keep herbal teas hot.
  7. Teas. Another way to help with hydration is to drink hot, non-caffeinated teas (but don’t drink it too hot!). Herbal teas like peppermint and ginger may help with digestive issues and reduce nausea. Check with the doctor to make sure the type of tea is good to bring.
  8. Lozenges & Candy. A popular care package addition is Queasy Drops—made from all-natural herbs and essential oils. It was developed by healthcare professionals to provide relief from nausea and alleviate dry mouth. Other soothing candies include ginger candies and peppermint gum.
  9. Comfort Products. Sleep for chemo patients is often sporadic, so they may love an earplug set, neck pillow and satin eye mask to catch some z’s at any time. A nice large fleece blanket, a cozy beanie and socks with grippers can go a long way in keeping your loved one warm.
  10. Handwritten Note. Lastly, your family member or friend may really appreciate a handwritten note from you expressing your love and encouragement as they fight their disease. This shows them that you are thinking of them and that you are there for them.

Other Ways To Help

There are other ways that you can help your loved ones in their time of need. At Orange County CyberKnife, we recommend the following:

  • Research into alternative treatments, such as our exclusive CyberKnife technology or brachytherapy
  • Find additional resources to better educate both you and your loved one about what’s going on
  • Read relevant blog articles to stay up-to-date on news, tips and tricks, and other helpful important information that may help in the fight against cancer

These ideas can be packaged together to provide comfort to a family member or loved one enduring the challenges of chemotherapy. Let them know they are stronger than they think with this special gift basket. And know that the cancer specialists at Orange County CyberKnife will be right beside them on this difficult journey.

For more information about cancer treatments, contact us at (714) 962-7100.