Our Top 5 Cancer Gift Ideas For Chemo Patients
by Ben Ratkey | Sep 16, 2019 | Friend & Family Resources, Gift Giving |
From the instant we learn that someone we know or care about has been diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that comes to mind is a desire to help them. We want to do something, anything for them, and most of all, to let them know that they arent going to fight this battle on their own. If youre thinking about gift ideas for cancer patients, or you want to make the treatment process easier for someone, weve come up with some fabulous and practical gift ideas for chemo patients.
Hair Pieces To Wear With Hats And Scarves
Some women like to wear a hair piece under a hat or scarf to get the look of hair without having to wear a full wig. Hair pieces tend to be cooler, more lightweight, easier to take care of, and more affordable than wigs. They are available in a variety of colors and lengths and in straight or curly styles. Here are a few options to consider:
- A halo hair piece, worn under a hat or scarf, gives the appearance of hair around the back and sides of the head and sometimes includes bangs as well. Unlike a full wig, it is open at the top to keep you cool.
- A baseball cap with hair permanently attached is an easy option because its ready to wear and doesnt require any styling.
- Bangs can be attached to your scarf, turban, or hat with peel-and-stick Velcro strips.
- A hair headband has a ponytail or bangs attached and is worn under a hat or scarf.
This page was developed with contributions from the following experts:
Nicki Serquinia, founder and owner of Hats, Scarves & More
Melissa Hutchison, American Cancer Society patient navigator at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA
Gift Ideas For Breast Cancer Patients
About the Author: I found a lump in my breast the month after my 24th birthday. As I was about to go in for my lumpectomy/biopsy that I pushed so hard for, I was once again assured that I’d feel “better” once it was gone and that they were sure it was benign since I was young, healthy, very low risk and had minimal family history… Turns out I had Stage 2 Breast Cancer – with invasion of the lymph nodes, diagnosed 10/2/2017. Terrified, but determined to fight as hard as possible, I underwent an eight-hour bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstructive surgery 2 months later, six months of Chemotherapy including Cytoxan, Adriamycin and Taxol, 33 rounds of Radiation, and am taking Tamoxifen daily & having Lupron injections monthly for 5-10 years to prevent recurrence. I will be 1-year cancer-free in September.
Also Check: Can A Biopsy Tell Stage Of Cancer
What Should You Consider Before Buying A Cancer Gift
You have to be mindful when buying something and put extra thought into ensuring you dont wrap up anything that could be detrimental to their health, or anything that could upset them. Really think over every purchase and do your research on whether its appropriate. There are plenty of sources of information out there, including advice from medics and cancer patients themselves, and plenty on this website. Its good to read these, as it will give you a better and more rounded idea of what to get and what not to get.
Cancer Patient Gift Ideas That Maximise Wellbeing
Reusable water bottles
Cancer therapies can make people very thirsty, and hydration is a very important part of recovering from any illness. In addition, getting up regularly for glasses of water may not be an issue for someone whos in good health, but having plenty of water nearby at all times is useful for someone who may not have high energy levels. So a fancy water bottle could be welcome.
These can help offset nausea caused by cancer therapies.
Items like fidget spinners, stress balls and other stress-relief trinkets arent just for kids. Having something to fix their hands-on can help alleviate a great deal of anxiety.
A good book
Theres nothing like the gift of a good book help them escape into another world for a little while with a thought-provoking or engaging read thats guaranteed to bring them joy.
A good quality lip balm can help to prevent discomfort from chapped lips, a common side effect of some therapies including chemo. Opt for unscented and unflavoured options where possible.
Creams and Lotions
Skin can also become dried out by therapies such as chemo or radiotherapy. So, unscented, hydrating creams and lotions can be a good gift too. Theyll prevent dryness, soreness, flaking and other issues.
Herbal teas that are delicious and may help combat therapy side effects like tiredness and nausea include mint, ginger and lavender teas.
Foot rollers and mini-massagers
Read Also: What Is Adjuvant Therapy For Breast Cancer
What Is The Stage And/or Treatment
In order to be as mindful as possible, you need to be aware of the stage of your friends cancer as well as the therapies that they are having – if theyre having therapies at all. If your friend has decided not to have therapy/treatment, or if they have a terminal diagnosis, for example, you really shouldnt purchase anything that says something along the lines of get well soon, for example
Different treatments can also have different side effects, which can make often popular gifts, such as flowers or chocolates, inappropriate. And therapies can have different impacts at different stages too – so a gift that may be appropriate early on in treatment might not be any good later on down the line and vice versa. So, make sure you genuinely understand what they are facing and do plenty of research into what kind of gifts can help and what kind of gifts should absolutely be avoided.
A Monthly Gift Subscription Of Food
Help her recover from her surgery by giving her a Fruit, Cheese and Nuts Delight Fruit Basket. Even better is a monthly subscription of a High Protein Fitness Healthy Snack Box! Many women who undergo single or double mastectomies also have to take chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. The best breast cancer gift is something she can rely on regularly, not a one-time wonder.
Another monthly subscription idea is a TheraBox Self Care Subscription Box filled with wellness products.
Id choose a monthly food gift subscription because nourishment is extremely important after breast cancer surgery. However, many women dont have an appetite or want to eat after a mastectomy. Surgery patients are often on heavy narcotics for pain management, which causes constipation and discomfort. Thats why theyre encouraged to increase fluid intake and eat high fiber foods such as prunes and bran. A great monthly gift subscription would be an assortment of high-fiber fruit and bran muffins from a local bakery, restaurant, or your own kitchen.
Also Check: What Are Common Treatments For Breast Cancer
The Gift Of Yoga For Breast Cancer Survivors
The Yoga for Cancer: A Guide to Managing Side Effects, Boosting Immunity, and Improving Recovery for Cancer Survivors is very different from regular yoga books. The authors have a gentle approach, offer modifications, and speak directly to breast cancer survivors. This gift will help women cope with the painful emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis.
If she had a lymph node dissection, oncologists and surgeons encourage no exercise until after her first post-operative visit. This is one of those breast cancer gifts that help her look toward the future, for when shes strong and healthier.
Nice Things You Can Do For Someone With Cancer
Background: WhatNext.com is an online support network developed in partnership with the American Cancer Society that helps help cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers gain firsthand insight into living with cancer and connect with others facing a similar diagnosis. Members of WhatNext.com are sometimes referred to as “WhatNexters.”
Having cancer is hard and it is hard to keep up. With cancer treatments and care plans, everyday things like cooking and cleaning can fall through the cracks. Often times people will not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean it is not wanted or needed.
We recently asked WhatNexters to share the most meaningful acts of kindness they received from family, friends, neighbors, and strangers while they were going through treatment. If you are searching for ways you can support your friend or loved one, below are 23 great ideas from patients and survivors themselves to help inspire you!
1. Take Over Everyday Chores and House Work
“My daughter who lives a 1/2 hour away works full time in a different city than either of us and who also has 3 young children, she came to my house everyday after work when I was going through treatment. She would do the simple things that I couldn’t do, put out the trash, clean the litter box and feed the animals, and bring in the newspaper and mail.” – liznparadise
2. Do Yard Work
3. Attend Doctor Visits or Cancer Treatments
Also Check: What Is Invasive Breast Cancer Mean
The Gift Of Natural Healing For Post
The Chefs INSPIRATIONS 3 Core Infusion Water Pitcher hits that sweet spot between practical and inspirational! It infuses water with healthy, natural fresh fruit and vegetables. Its a great way to enjoy a sweet drink without added sugar. These natural fruit infusers are so easy to use, too. She wont have to blend, chop or even peel the fruit.
After surgery , patients are constipated. What do you give a woman recovering from a double mastectomy? The gift of regular bowel movements doesnt sound beautiful, but believe me it is a gift to be regular in that one way after breast cancer surgery.
Oncologists recommend that mastectomy patients and post-operative breast cancer survivors drink eight to 10 glasses of water and non-caffeinated beverages every day. This helps clean her system after mastectomy surgery and so do fresh fruits, vegetables, and lower fat foods.
Gifts For Cancer Patients
Looking for gifts for cancer patients? Look no further! Outside of being asked about the symptoms I experienced prior to being diagnosed with colon cancer, the second-most common question I get is, “What are some good gift ideas for cancer patients?”
I love getting this question because it means there are caring friends and family who want to support a loved one facing cancer. Support is essential to a cancer patient. Seriouslythe fact you care enough to ask about finding a meaningful gift will help them feel loved.
So what is a good, meaningful gift? There are lots! Below are 50 gift ideas that you could give individually OR bundle into a care package. Whatever you decide to do, I’m sure it will be great!
Read Also: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Not Your Grandmother’s Mastectomy Bra
When Theresa McLeod started fitting mastectomy bras in the 1970s, there were three bras and two breast forms. Today, in the boutique she manages at the Evelyn Lauder Breast Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, McLeod stocks a running inventory of about 3,500 bras in 30 to 40 styles. They range in sizes from 32A and AA up to 52DD. “You can really get anything you want,” McLeod tells WebMD. “Within the last three to five years, options have really expanded. You can get microfibers, V-cut bras, lace appliques, and a huge selection of seamless styles.”
Kate Rubien, manager of Underneath It All, the boutique at the Clinical Cancer Center at New York University Cancer Institute, agrees. “Not long ago, we were excited to get black,” she says. “Now we have all kinds of colors — one bra comes in mint green, blue, burgundy, and pink. We stock some bras that look just like expensive Wacoal bras.”
Mastectomy bras still look a bit different than regular bras. Because they include pockets for breast prostheses, they often cover much more of the breast than do regular bras. But you can also ask to have a pocket sewn into your own bra to accommodate a breast form. The department store Nordstrom will do this to any bra they sell, or you can ask at the hospital where you’re being treated.
Gift Ideas That Provide Entertainment
Books, a Kindle, or magazines
A good book, magazine, or kindle could be a nice gift. It will provide them with a distraction and something to do. If you are buying a book, try to choose something positive and uplifting. Chances are the person youre gifting to doesnt need anything sad in their life right now. Or splurge on a stack of your their favorite magazines so they can peruse fashion spreads, read new recipes or catch up on their favorite celebrity gossip.
Often, when people are stressed, they will want to listen to music. A spare set of headphones means they can listen to music without hassling anyone else. There are even sleep headphones and noise-canceling headphones to help provide some peace and quiet for relaxation.
A tablet is compact all-around entertainment. Useful for hospital stays and convalescing.
Colouring is a peaceful and relaxing activity that doesnt require too much thought or effort. Just remember to pack some colouring pencils with the book too!
Puzzle books – sudoku, crosswords, word searches the options are endless. But they can, again, provide a simple and enjoyable form of entertainment that isnt too physically demanding.
Video games can be a good stress-relieving, fun activity to take their mind off things.
You could help fight boredom with a fun board game or card game.
Also Check: Tubular Cancer Breast
Run Errands Pick Up Kids Walk The Dogs Schedule A Cleaning Service
This is probably the most practical gift out there for chemo or mastectomy patients. Its basically helping with LIFE which is whats really needed at the end of the day. If you have a good friend or family member going through a hard time, they might appreciate you taking care of these tasks more than anything else. Cleaning for a Reason is a non-profit that gives the gift of free house cleaning to women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. To this day theyve served almost 42,000 women and donated $14,000,000 in house cleanings! If that doesnt give you ALL the feels, I dont know what does.
Breast Cancer Wardrobe Guide 101
Our good friend and overall lady boss, Christie Mangir, shares her ultimate wardrobe list for prepping for breast cancer treatments, surgeries and other related procedures. She is the ultimate fighter and has made it her professional and personal mission to give back to the breast cancer community.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, I knew that a lot of things in my life would change during treatment. What I didnt expect to drastically change was my wardrobe – that came as a surprise. Ive learned that each stage of treatment comes with different comfort and wardrobe challenges for cancer patients. When we have SO many other important details and logistics to consider, like medications, side effects, and appointments, the last thing we need to be stressed about is what were going to wear.
So as we kick off the new year, heres my wardrobe survival checklist for the common treatments and surgeries we you may be facing with breast cancer:
Also Check: Estrogen Induced Breast Cancer
Genuinely Helpful Gifts To Get Someone Going Through Chemotherapy
Cancer can be terrifying, exhausting, and isolatingand so can chemotherapy. So, if you have a loved one who is going through chemo, its understandable that youd want to do everything you can to help them through the process. While simply being there is crucial, you may be searching for other ways to help, from running their errands to buying them somethinganythingthat will make life easier right now.
When you’re going through this, the support and little gestures from your friends and family really do mean the world to you, Tatei Montejo, a London-based life coach who has ovarian cancer, tells SELF. Susan Rafte, a breast cancer survivor and volunteer at MD Anderson Cancer Center, agrees. Theres so much going on in a patients world that its nice to let them know youre thinking of them, she tells SELF.
Of course, everyone is different and you know your loved one best. That said, if youre looking for something practical, people who have been through chemo and those with work with chemo patients swear these are great options:
Food Or Meal Delivery Service
UberEats, Postmates, or your local food delivery service is a godsend for those going through treatment and recovering from surgery. Give a gift certificate or send food straight to their door. Sun Basket and Blue Apron are good options for meal-delivery services as well . Another idea for in-towners is organizing a meal train, a free meal calendar set up amongst family or friends who are close by.
Also Check: What Is Hr Positive Breast Cancer
Gifts For Someone With Cancer: Encourage Their Faith
32. New Bible
A Bible can be a really special gift for somone with cancer, especially if you put a handwritten note on the inside cover. Another idea is to highlight Bible verses about hope and healing.
33. Worship songs
It’s not as easy to gift music these days, but you can always get your friend a gift card to a streaming music service like Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music or Pandora . Or, if you are looking for a quick, free way to encourage them with music, send texts with links to YouTube videos with inspirational and encouraging songs.
Sometimes patients need short, quick things to read that will inspire them and boost their faith. There’s a devotional for everything these daysmen, women, cancer patients, caregivers, dog lovers, chocolate lovers and more. One great devotional to consider is The Waiting Room and if it’s Christmastime, check out my devotional, Unexpected.