It’s one of those words that stops you in your tracks. When you hear about a loved one getting diagnosed, you feel helpless. You may not be able to fix it, but there are still plenty of ways to help & show love. Here are some tips for creating a “Chemo Survival Kit” that can help make the awfulness of cancer treatment a little bit easier to bear. I’ve made these kits a few times for friends & family & am always researching new products to add.
TIP: I usually use a reusable grocery/tote bag or a small bookbag for chemo kits. Having a specific bag dedicated to chemo day makes it that much easier to grab & go!
After I started listing everything out, I realized that I’m going to have to break this into multiple posts! Here are the links for Part Two: Taming Tummy Troubles & Part Three: Creature Comforts. Today’s post will focus on oral care. You can probably find many of these products at your local pharmacy, but I’ll provide links for everything in the titles just in case.
Many people recommend sucking on hard candies to help get rid dry mouth & cover the weird metallic taste you can get from chemo. These strawberry kiwi lozenges from Luden’s are actually meant to help with dry, irritated mouths, and the fruity flavor helps pull double duty!
Biotene is one of several companies who make an alcohol-free mouthwash specifically formulated for dry mouths. It targets the symptoms of dry mouth to keep things moisturized & the alcohol-free formula means it won’t sting any sore spots.
Mouth moisturizers, also known as artificial saliva, come in many forms. This spray from Oasis had some great reviews & people said it was very refreshing and better than other sprays they’d tried.
This moisturizer provides long-lasting relief from dry mouth symptoms, and many of the reviewers said they love using it while they sleep at night.
Reviewers swear by this stuff to soothe & promote healing of canker sores. It’s also one of the few all-natural products I’ve found in this arena — it’s made from the byproducts of honeybees!
Another great product for dry, sensitive mouths. This toothpaste & the mouthwash from Biotene were two products that my Pop-Pop swore by while he was on chemo.
Zilactin B’s long lasting mouth sore gel had some rave reviews compared to other brands. It actually creates a protective bandage so that you can eat without pain & let the wound stay protected while it heals. Pretty sweet!
If you don’t want to use a gel or spray, or if you want something a little bit more portable, you can try these dry mouth moisturizing strips. They’re kind of like Listerine strips, except less intense & more moisturizing, and you can use them during the day or while you sleep. If you’re a gum chewer, here’s another option for dry mouth relief.
A lot of these products are similar, but everyone has different needs and preferences, so I figured I’d share ‘em all so you can choose what works best for you or a loved one. Stay tuned for more tips & tricks to help combat other chemo side effects! Oh, and even though I’ve done quite a bit of research & talked with the nurses & doctors of my own friends and family, I would definitely recommend consulting your loved one’s doctor about these products before you throw away your receipts, since certain chemo cocktails may have different restrictions than others.