• Linda Smith

Cancer Caregivers Go Bag

Updated: Jun 14, 2019



When my sweet, beautiful sister was battling cancer, we found ourselves frequently needing to head off to either the hospital, a chemo apt or a Dr.’s visit. Sometimes those visits were planned and sometimes they had a “gotta go now” urgency. Either way, we learned that over time having a “go bag” packed

with all of our nurturing and necessary items smoothed the journey. We kept this bag ready to go in the car and used it not only for medical visits but for any time that we were out and about. I repacked it after every trip and kept it current. It also helped any other of her caregivers be ready without having to think it through each time or risk leaving something behind that might be needed.


It’s an easy, customizable kit and I share it with you here because at some point, most of us will find ourselves being a caregiver to someone we love. It’s a role few of us feel trained in or prepared for. While love and caring in any form is the key always, I hope a little kit like this may be useful to you or someone you care about. Consider packing it in a washable, light weight shoulder bag ready to go whenever you are.


  1. Caregiver’s Go Bag

  2. Notebook with all meds and dosages kept up to date, Doctors’ names, contact info and visit info, extra blank pages to add more notes.

  3. Pen or two.

  4. Extra travel set of meds in case you are out longer than you expect. This is so important when pain meds are needed. Knowing you have it with you and won’t miss a needed dose can significantly reduce anxiety for the loved one.

  5. Bottle of water each for the caregiver and loved one.

  6. Bottled protein drink for loved one (I kept some in the fridge and grabbed it on the go).

  7. Lip moisturizer as lips often dry out.

  8. Body lotion for a nurturing hand massage.

  9. Tissues

  10. Light weight, washable and foldable blanket for both warmth and comfort.

  11. Pair of warm socks.

  12. Phone and earbuds with whatever APP and downloadable item gives your loved one comfort. For my sister, that was meditations that she could play during chemo, guided imagery, music and audio books. For my mom, it was crossword puzzles. We had it all cued up and ready.

  13. An object that means something to the loved one. For my sister, it was a set of prayer beads and a small crystal that had been passed around the family to hold our love.


Wishing you and your loved ones health and healing, love and joy, laughter and tears shared along this road. Whatever the outcome, the journey holds it all. Difficult and painful as it was, I’m so very glad that I was there. At the end of the day, it was about “being with” and holding hands, and for us, the final courage of letting go.

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