The perfect chemo shirt

September 16, 2008

Most folks headed to their first chemo treatment aren’t thinking “Hmmm, what on earth shall I wear?!” However, comfort and easy access provided by a well chosen shirt will serve you well. If you have a chemo port, something with a v neck will make it pretty easy to just pull the neckline to the side and let your nurse draw blood and get things taped and secure without you having to remove your shirt all together. I’m a big fan of redeeming any ounce of modesty I can these days, which I’m sure all readers can appreciate. Guys could probably get the same effect from a polo style shirt that unbuttons at the neck.

The next key chemo shirt criteria is the fit. Something loosely fitted to the body, even long sleeved, lets nurses take blood pressure readings over your shirt. It should allow you to easily push up the sleeves though in case they need access to your arm for any other blood tests or taking your vitals. And of course, all of your chemo togs should be comfy and easy to nap in. Save the Spanx and chunky belts for the club scene.

But here’s where I’d like to improve on the basics; I’d like to adorn my top with giant numbers representing my birthdate. A big ol’ glittery neon 3-16-70 across my rack might save me the constant confirmations of my birthday with every med and test administered during each visit. I know they have to ask, but it seems ridiculous in practice. Everytime I turn around, “March 16th, 1970”. I’m wondering if I could create something like my dream shirt at cafepress or some other nifty website. Maybe pimp it up even further with a snarky slogan on the back like, “Giving cancer a smackdown since May.” or “I just had chemo. How was your day?” or even “I have cancer. Would it kill you to be nice to me?”. All tempting options.

Please forward any and all suggestions for making my dream chemo shirt a reality. Likewise, feel free to post pics of your best cancer chic ensembles. You and me? We’re too sexy for this cancer shit.


One comment

  1. You are an amazing writer, honey. I’m SOOOOO sorry this is happening to you. I love your observations and your description of being half in the sick world and half in the healthy world. You really could make a book out of your blog if you were interested in doing so. Fine suggestion, right?! I’m sure you’d much rather just be healthy … have none of these experiences … and forget the book. But, I can see how you must be helping lots and lots of people with your insights, wisdom and courage! I don’t know if Liz told you, but I had cancer … in the butt, actually. (Not very glamorous, I know.) Cancer hardly ever IS! 🙂 Thankfully, the tumor was removed with surgery and I don’t need chemo. (So far, anyway.) They’re checking it every year. So far, so good. Knock wood. My thoughts are going out to you! You are boldly making lemonade out of your crummy lemons. Inspiring. Truly.
    – Lisa

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