Venita is making this list of over-the-counter supplies that she is using during chemo in case you have another friend that has to go through chemo. Perhaps you can make hir a gift basket of these supplies.
- Biotene mouthwash and toothpaste. There are other Biotene products, like gum and a pocket spray. You can gets many of these Biotene products from any pharmacy.
- Chewable antacid, like Rolaids or Tums. Or a liquid antacid, like Maalox or Pepto-Bismol. Or an acid reducer tablet, like Pepcid AC, Prilosec OTC, or Zantac. Often, antacids/acid reducers is a personal preference thing, so a sample or travel pack of various products might be the way to go. Here's a list of the antacids/acid reducers that Hocks.com carries.
- Diaper rash cream, for the anal soreness that comes with diarrhea.
- Wet ones or a similar wet wipe product (make sure it's flushable; some are not).
- An anti-diarrhea product like Immodium Advanced, which also handles gas, a frequent side effect.
- A product for constipation, like FiberCon.
- OTC pain meds, like Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
- Lip balms, like Carmex or Chapstick (in the soft squeeze tube) and Abreva, an OTC cold sore medicine. (We get dry and cracked lips, and there is a possibility of viral infection.)
- A large see-through box with a locking top in which to keep all the meds. Sandwich-sized zip lock bags in which to keep individual meds. A permanent marker with which to mark the zip-lock bags.
- Alcohol wipes if your friend has to give hirself shots (like of Neulasta).
- A pill splitter/crusher.
- Non child-proof caps for prescription drug vials. (A pharmacist will give you these for free).
Venita also is making this list of soft foods that she finds palatable when she has mouth sores from chemo. Again, you could make a friend a gift basket of small/sample amounts of these foods.
- Small curd cottage cheese. With non-acid fruit like canned pears or peaches.
- Le Creme yogurt. Comes in a four-pack.
- Progresso lentil soup with shredded soft cheese (like Monterey Jack or Colby). This is rich, so V doesn't know why it appeals to her.
- Toast with peanut butter (Jif is better than Skippy), or with margarine and jelly. (Does your friend have a toaster?) Try different "exotic" types of breads, like cinnamon or challah. The grocery's bakery will slice bread loaves for you.
- Applesauce. They make some different flavors, and in individual serving containers.
- Puddings. Again this is sold in individual containers, both in the pudding aisle of the grocery and in the refrigerated section.
- French toast. Man, that goes down slick. Get some "exotic" syrups and non-acid fruits to dress the top. (V has found red grapes and strawberries to be acidic. Go figure.)
- Scrambled eggs and egg salad. (V never has been a big egg person, so she eats these foods sparingly.)
- Avocados. (V will smash them and spread them on toast, or just eat slices.)
- Smashed (with skins) potatoes and chicken gravy. (Butter Red or Yukon Gold potatoes are the best.)
- Granola. (Have to let it "soak" in milk for awhile to soften it up.)
- Oatmeal with brown sugar.
- Frozen yogurt smoothies (Julie's suggestion, although V hasn't tried them).
V has read that she needs to stay away from fresh uncooked fruits and vegetables when her white blood cell count is low from chemo. She asked the onc nurse how she would know, because V doesn't get the blood test results. She was told that with chemo on Tuesday, she should avoid those food from the next Friday (3 days hence) through the following Tuesday (7 days hence).
Let us know if you can think of other OTC supplies or soft foods to add to this list.