Orange Coast Radiation Oncology Center
Build the Perfect Chemo Care Package

From snacks to Scope; from crosswords to cough drops. Care packages can come any 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. And it will be thoughtful gift that your loved one will remember forever. Whether it’s helping to relieve the nausea of chemotherapy, nourishing the skin or keeping the mind occupied during treatment, here are some ideas for the perfect chemo care package.

  1. Special Bag. Instead of a basket or box, opt for a cute tote bag or backpack for housing your care package. Chemo patients will find it useful for packing a blanket and other items for taking to future treatments
  2. Lotions & Bath Items. Effects from cancer treatment can make your skin dry and itchy and you may develop a rash. Opt for some gentle, unscented lotions and bath items that include essential oils, beeswax, vitamin E oil or goat milk for your care package. Lindi Skin offers clinically-proven skin products specifically designed for cancer patients including Body Lotion, Body Wash, Face Serum and Eye Hydrator. Your local drugstore will carry Aveeno products which are fragrance-free and made with natural colloidal oatmeal such as Bath Treatment and Moisture Bar. Or try Burt’s Bees Tips & Toes Skincare Set made with natural ingredients including vitamin E, botanical oils and rosemary extract to moisturize dry hands, and coconut oil and peppermint extracts to soothe tired feet.
  3. Lip Balm. To soothe dry, cracked lips, try Honey Pure Spring Lip Gloss by Rite-Aid, Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm or Lindi Skin’s Lip Balm.
  4. Mouth Rinse. Add a mouth rinse like Biotene oral rinse to help combat the very common side effect of dry mouth. It also gently cleans and soothes minor mouth irritations commonly experienced by chemotherapy patients. The Biotene mouth rinse helps with the sore mouth and sensitive gums that chemo can cause.
  5. Magazines, Puzzles, Cards.  Puzzle books and brain teasers are the perfect solution for mindless concentration and will help pass the time during long days of treatment. Magazines are also a great addition. 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. Pick up an insulated aluminum water bottle for keeping your favorite chemo patient hydrated. It can also be used to keep herbal teas hot.
  7. Teas. Soothing herbal tea is always a good addition to a care package. Consider a lemon or peppermint tea option.
  8. Snacks. While chemo patients may not have much of an appetizer, we recommend keeping snacks on hand to keep energy up and to curb nausea. Consider: Lipton Noodle soup mix with chicken broth, ginger snap wafer cookies, cheese or peanut butter sandwich crackers, dark chocolate covered pomegranate and acai berries (high in antioxidants).
  9. Gum & Candy. One of the most popular care package additions are Queasy Drops, made from all-natural herbs and essential oils and developed by healthcare professionals to provide relief from nausea and alleviate dry mouth. Peppermint candy can also help calm nausea, as well as ease headaches and soothe dry mouth. Peppermint gum, ginger candy and Jelly Belly jelly beans are other ideas.
  10. Sanitizers. Add a pack of Purell Sanitizing Hand Wipes to your care package, and/or choose a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer.
  11. 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 patient warm. Sweats caused by nausea and body temperature fluctuations make an Icy Cool Towel very handy!
  12. Handwritten Note. Lastly, your loved one will appreciate most a handwritten note from you expressing your love and encouragement as they fight this disease.

These ideas can be packaged together to provide comfort to a family member or loved-one enduring the harshness of chemotherapy treatments.Let them know they are stronger than they know with this special gift basket. And know that the cancer specialists at Orange County CyberKnife will be right beside them fighting cancer with the exclusive CyberKnife technology. For more information about cancer treatments, contact us at (714) 962-7100.