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Top tips for the day of your chemotherapy

We asked our Facebook group members for their suggestions and tips for preparing for chemo treatment, including what to get ready in advance to take with you on the day. Here is what they told us.

Image of two people smiling
Vicky, in remission from DLBCL

Being practical

Practical things to think about in preparation for the day.

  • Ask the hospital about whether free car parking is available for you or anyone taking you to your appointment.
  • Take a notepad & pen (and a spare) to write down those questions as you think of them. Or you could use the 'notes' on your phone. You can also list what you want to take with you next time.
  • Your medical records if you have them.
  • Lip balm.
  • Face wipes/ hand sanitiser/ tissues.
  • Face mask (COVID).
  • Your glasses and hearing aids if you use them.
  • Ear plugs& black out mask if you want a nap in peace. 
  • Small blanket.

Your hospital team might also give you a list of what to bring with you on the day.

A man smiling at the camera
Mike, living with skin lymphoma

Snacks & drinks

Refreshments are available at most hospitals, but you might want to take the following with you.

  • Bottled water (freeze one so it is chilled later in the day) or use an insulated reusable flask or drinks bottle.
  • Concentrated squash.
  • Small cartons of fruit juice (you may want to avoid anything too acidic).
  • Fruit tea bags (and ask for just hot water).
  • Sweet & savoury nibbles – nuts, biscuits, crisps. (Some people find plain crisps help if they feel nauseous).
  • Pineapple fruit pot (also great frozen if your mouth is sore).
  • A favourite cake to treat yourself.
  • Chewing gum to keep your mouth moist.
  • Boiled sweets or Queasy Drops.
  • Ginger biscuits, ginger sweets, lemon sweets or ginger tea bags - as ginger may help with you feel nauseous.


  • Something loose fitting, as a cannula/PICC line can get in the way.
  • Elasticated waists are good for when you nip to the loo.
  • The temperature can change from chilly to warm, so layers and garments that you can easily put on and remove.
  • Fleece blanket (even in summer) - can be comforting.
  • Poncho, shawl, loose tracksuit, warm dressing gown with hood. 
  • Fluffy socks and or slippers to feel comfortable.
  • Spare clothes in case needed, such as if you are sick.
  • Something you feel good in.
A women smiling at the camera
Fiona, in remission from stage 4b Hodgkin lymphoma

Things to keep you occupied

Having treatment can take some time, and it may not always be possible to have someone with you on the day. The following are suggestions for things to keep you occupied while having your treatment.

  • A good book, magazine, newspaper or e-reader (and charger!)
  • iPad, iPod or MP3 player, tablet or smart phone (and don’t forget the charger!)
  • Headphones for if you upload films, podcasts or want to listen to the radio or music.
  • Download a gallery of favourite photos, take a special photo as a bookmark.
  • Puzzle books, crosswords, sudoku, word searches (and a pen or pencil!)

Join our Facebook support group today

This information comes from our Facebook users, and is a list of suggestions from the community based on what they personally found useful when they had treatment. This is not intended to be medical advice and is not a replacement for advice from your medical team. If you are not sure what to do to prepare for your treatment, or what to take with you, always consult your medical team.