Redditors with Cancer Share the No. 1 Thing They Bring to the Hospital, Plus Other 'Time-Tested Hacks' to Improve Their Stay

When a Reddit user with colorectal cancer asked for advice about his upcoming hospital stay, other Redditors had plenty of tips

<p>Getty Images</p> Redditors share the hacks that make a hospital stay easier.

Getty Images

Redditors share the hacks that make a hospital stay easier.

When a Reddit user with stage 4 colorectal cancer asked what he could do to make an upcoming hospital stay better, commenters shared some obvious — and not-so-obvious — advice.

"Foresee a week in the hospital, unless infection is a thing," MrAngryBear wrote on the subreddit r/Cancer. “So, what are some of your time-tested hacks to make a hospital stay easier?”

The subreddit, which is described as "a place for people with cancer and caregivers to come together and provide support for one other," was flooded with tips.

“Three things that I can't ever be without: hand lotion, dental floss, back scratcher,” the top comment, from attorneyworkproduct, said. They added that most of their cancer treatment happened during Covid when visitors weren’t allowed, so they had to plan ahead for what they might need.

It turns out that dental floss and back scratchers topped the list for many. As another Redditor advised, “Think about what it would annoy you most to NOT have; dental floss (food in teeth will drive you mad), nail clippers (snaggy broken nail will also drive you nuts), a back scratcher, eye drops. I also take a little rechargeable hand fan because I can't stand being too hot.”

<p>Getty Images</p> Dental floss is a hospital essential, Redditors say.

Getty Images

Dental floss is a hospital essential, Redditors say.

“Omg I couldn't agree more about the back scratcher!” chimed in Redditor BitsiBones. “I thought I was the only person in the world who takes a back scratcher into hospital”

One commenter advised that you should bring not just a phone charger, but “the longest possible phone charger. We take up all your good plugs for the IV pump and such, sorry!”

The ideal length for a phone charger cord: “(10+ feet) just in case.”

And make sure to bring “Something to hold your phone so it doesn’t fall off the bed,” said another user.

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Many also suggested heading to the hospital with fully stocked entertainment options. “An iPad with pre-downloaded movies cause the hospital wifi sucks,” advised driftingthroughtime, who added that you should bring “AirPods/headphones to watch said movies without disturbing my roommate.”

And if you’re bringing clothing from home, make sure to have “pajamas that button in the front to allow easy access for the nurses.”

<p>Getty Images</p> Bring an iPad preloaded with movies and shows, Redditors advise.

Getty Images

Bring an iPad preloaded with movies and shows, Redditors advise.

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The group members also had advice for recovery. While it might be tempting to just lie in bed, they said, “Definitely move as much as possible after surgery.”

“Walk as much as you can,” added another. “Outside if it’s nice where you are.”

Another said, “I was doing all the walking around the floor,” which reminded them of another essential piece of advice: Bring a robe.

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