A Gift of Better Rest For Cancer Patients
Good rest is a prerequisite to keeping up energy, keeping mood up and healing better.
Having spent more than a month at the hospital, this comes from experience. Working 7 years of nigh-shifts also taught a few things.
If you ever spent a night or day in a hospital, you know it's noisy.
Between the frequent intercom paging, the clicking of boots, heals and shoes down the corridors and the sounds and lights from the machines, taking a nap is a challenge.
Reducing light and sound pollution, herbal organic teas, and warmth can make the difference between a nap happening or not. Sleeping during daytime is much easier in darkness.
These are the tools many patients recommended and told us about for home or at the hospital.
We chose the 3M earplugs because of the quality of the foam and string. These are used in industrial settings but are very comfortable. Why the string? Because it's easy to lose earplugs if they are not attached. Also, one earplug is surprisingly ineffective. You don't want these on a hospital floor. 3M earplugs are made of a foam that is easy to wash and reuse as well, the material is very soft and non-absorbent. Sleeping in noisy environment without something like this is tough.
Recovering well requires sleep and rest. At the hospital, it's bright. At home if you take a nap during the day, it's bright. When actively trying to sleep through distractions, reducing light pollution helps. We chose this eye mask because it is thin, silky and has a nose extension that prevents light from coming through. We prefer thin to fluffy and thick because sometimes the extra material just gets in the way and is heavy to wear.
Neck pillows make it surprisingly easier to avoid neck strain and neck kinks while napping or dosing off involuntarily. We chose an inflatable, light weight pillow that is easy to inflate and deflate and carry in a bag. The inflation knob pushes in flat and gets out of the way so it does not poke you. Texture is velvety. Nothing fancy, but it's easy, light and convenient to carry in a chemo appointment package. Get the rest you need anywhere you are with an easily portable neck pillow.
Organic Chamomile tea
Natural sleeping aids are great to experiment with. If they work, great!
Chamomile is one of those plant-of-many-tricks that is considered safe by medical professionals. From calming nerves and stomach, it has been used for centuries. Specifically, chamomile is a non-caffeinated, stress-relieving plant. It is also recommended to be used as a mouth rinse to swish with - helping relieve mouth sores.
"By using the highest quality herbs, there is no need to include any artificial or natural flavoring. Enjoy your tea the way nature intended". Buddha Teas wrote this on the tea bags. Makes sense.
The bags are unbleached as well which was something we went out of the way to find,
drinking chlorine sucks.
Epsom - Bath Salt
Bath salts are essentially a combination of minerals (magnesium and sulfate mostly). The skin is our largest organ and is very absorbent. Taking a bath in general is great for calming and may be enhanced by using epsom salts to help relaxation, reduce stress and inflammation. It has been used for treating aches and pains for generations. Soothe your irritated skin, calm the nerves and ready yourself for a good nights rest with these bath salts.
Sleeved Blanket - a Blanket with more possibilities
Much like a normal blanket, this covers you from neck to feet with some room to spare. The size is 130cm by 180 cm and is made of basic fleece. Unlike a normal blanket, this one has sleeves to provide free access to holding and manipulating objects without needing to uncover, keeping your arms and neck wrapped in warmth. The sleeves are long and roomy. Having two sleeves is handy (accidental pun) for putting on and removing the blanket easily when you need to access the intravenous chemo lines. The sleeve on the side of the chemo line can be tucked around the neck for extra coziness. It is easy to remove one sleeve while the other sleeve holds the blanket up. We recommend using this blanket only at the hospital and not using it at home due to cross-contamination possibilities. If you wish, there are many more expensive versions of this blanket available. We chose this one as an economical, disposable, temporary solution for each round of chemo. Stay warm and cozy, yet remain active with this adaptable sleeved blanket.
Socks - Non Slip
Chemo and radiation appointment rooms can be cold. Chemo treatments and stress can cause chills. Keeping your feet warm and being able to walk around safely without putting shoes on and off at your cancer care appointment is needed sometimes. The anti-skid bottoms are a nice addition to normal socks which may prove dangerous on slippery floors. We recommend only using these socks at the chemo clinic and not at home due to cross-contamination risks. We recommend you keep these socks in a separate bag in your appointment kit to prevent them from touching other items in the kit. We chose these socks as a basic, economical, disposable yet washable backup for a round of chemo for use at the hospital.
Magic Cap - Flexible Head or Neck Covering: Headband, Cap, Neck-Warmer...etc.
The head releases a lot of body heat. Covering your head helps prevent some of the heat release and keeps you warmer. Cancer patients recommended this type of hat for its soft flexibility during hair changes and its versatility in that it can be used as a neck-warmer, a bandana, a full cap and other possibilities. Instructions on the many ways to use the scarf are in each cancer care kit that contains it.
Detail about the items in our kits and why we chose them