How to Keep Occupied While Having Chemo

by GregP_WN

Those of us that have had the displeasure to sit in "the chair" for any length of time know how it can be a long sit, or at least seem like it's taking forever. Some patients report taking 8 hours or more to receive all of their pre-meds, fluids and actual chemo. In other cases, some patients have a slow drip for 24 hours. You're going to need something to keep your mind occupied. Here are some suggestions from patients that have come before you to keep occupied while having chemo.

Sara 1st Chemo

There are always conversations going on about having chemo on WhatNext, these are some of the suggestions the community has given.

Phoenix76 says: Mine was about 6-7 hours also. I brought crocheting, snacks, crossword puzzles , a book, magazines, CDs/player and a pillow/throw to snooze (Benadryl was included in the chemo). I also brought a journal to write down my random thoughts. I bugged my nurses with lots of questions, like, "How long does it take for blood to make one circuit through your body?" "How does the port work?" Etc., etc., etc.

Crossword Puzzles For Chemo

IH25 added: Mine were about 6 hours also. I napped because of the Benadryl as well. I had my Kindle to play games and read. I also had one of those adult coloring books and some colored pencils and that was fun.I had company as well most sessions.


HeidiJo said: I would bring a big bag of things to do, books, puzzles, my Ipod , but I was given Benedryl through my IV, so I would doze for much of the treatment.

Buckhunter said the time spent with the kids or grandkids is priceless. "I have asked grandkids to come with me, the older ones will have the patience to sit and talk. I have learned more about them during our hours-long chats than I ever have before. And they also have asked questions about where I grew up and some of our distant relatives, I believe they have learned things about our family that they wouldn't have known before., Other than that, I have a combination of the things that have already been listed. Sometimes it looks like I'm moving in when I show up."

Related Book "Talking to Kids About Cancer "

Talking To Grandkids During Chemo

BoiseB took advantage of the time and multi-tasked by having other appointments on the same day as chemo. She said: "My center had more beds than chairs and because I was so sick that I was almost always scheduled for a bed. My center also had appointments during chemo. I had appointments; with the nutritionist to adjust the formula for the feeding tube, with the counselors, and even my Dr.'s PA. We had Televisions, so I watched the Food Network. My center also provided snacks, and for those with a lengthy chemo, lunch was provided. With all the distractions, I slept most of the time."

BarbaraInBham has a wide range of things planned. "I always have things at home I've put aside to read when I get time. . . . Magazine articles are often online, too. Make a list of things you want to know (fun things, not like schoolwork), and do a search, depending on who you want to look up, where you want to travel to, etc. Shop for Christmas gifts online---even better, order gifts so you won't have to go to stores!

Chemo Ipad Via Sprintingtowards60.Com

TV shows are often online now if you've missed any episodes, or if you want to binge-watch a different show. Lowes or Home Depot have DIY videos online at their websites, plus a list of one-hour DIY classes they do on Saturdays.

If they don't have a TV, it might be worth taking a small flat screen TV with you. Best Buy has a 24 inch LG for $99 right now, and others even cheaper. If there is a TV, rent a movie or two from Redbox and take a portable DVD player for their TV, or you can use a laptop computer to watch movies. "

How about researching your family ancestry? ArtsyLady got hooked on while in her treatments. During chemo, I became hooked on It's $19.99 a month and it really made the time fly for me. If you've never used, it's a very tedious process looking at old documents and thousands of hits when you type in a name. I'm 64, my mom is 97 and has Alzheimer's. She can no longer tell me about her mother who died when I was 8 weeks old in 1953. She cannot tell me about my grandfather who died when she was 22. My father died 20 years ago, and his parents died before I was born. I realized I knew so very little even about my grandparents, and I want to give information to my sons who are 26 and 28. They may not care now, but they will one day.


Anyway, I don't mean this as an advertisement for, but any type of research really makes time fly for me. I now have information about all my great-grandparents, including photos that distant cousins uploaded. I found a photo of my paternal grandfather and grandmother in 1898 on their wedding day and my youngest son is the spitting image (seriously creepy spitting image) of his great-grandfather. Discoveries like that make the tedium worthwhile. I'm not nearly complete with my 'family tree' but I hope to eventually find information on when my ancestors arrived in this country from Germany and Wales.

KB2013 likes to watch movies, "Download the App 'Crackle' for free movies and tv...remember your earbuds "

Raysmith45 took these things with him, "Take your laptop, newspaper, a book, a memo book to write in, magazines and other like materials. There's music to listen to, movies and other videos to watch, research and planning to do. My wife was with me during chemo sessions (8 hours) and we spent the time together."

Electronic Book

LiveWithCancer has shorter chemo times but still takes a few things with her and suggests these things to do: "I play online games. The time speeds by. I am only there for 2 - 3 hours, but electronic books , the news, my games, WhatNext ... my time flies by."

As you can see by this list of activities, there is no reason to be bored while having your chemo. Be prepared and take a few of these things with you and keep yourself occupied while having chemo. We might suggest to not try to take a giant bag filled with all of these things at once but rather, take a few things with you each time you have a treatment that will keep you busy through that chemo session. The next time you have chemo take a few different things. Switch it up. 

How have you made the time pass and keep occupied during chemo? Please share in the comments below! 

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