The words “you have cancer” change you and your loved ones forever. We know. We have been there.
But we also know that a prayer, words of encouragement or a small gift can make them feel better!
So, if you are thinking of giving a care package to someone going through chemotherapy, read on.
A person undergoing chemotherapy faces many challenges, both physically and mentally. Chemotherapy can be a long and challenging process. Receiving gifts that bring comfort, ease side effects, and provide distractions from treatment, may help make the process a little easier.
Here is a list of some of the best gifts to include in a chemotherapy care package:
- Lip balm: Keeps lips moisturized during cold treatments while easing chapped or cracked lips.
- Hand cream: Chemotherapy treatment can cause the skin to become dry and itchy. Having a soothing hand cream may help keep skin hydrated and soft.
- Gentle conditioning shampoo: Cancer patients tend to have hair loss. The scalp can also become itchy and sensitive to brushing, combing, and washing, as the hair falls out. A gentle shampoo and conditioner may help someone feel more comfortable.
- Comfortable headwear: At least 65% of patients undergoing chemotherapy lose their hair temporarily. A nice headwear may help them keep cozy and comfortable throughout treatment and beyond.
- Easy open-close accessible shirts: Feeling beautiful, helps patients feel better. Clothing that provides quick, yet discreet access to their chest during treatment, makes infusion sessions easier, whether they have a central line or a port. Beautiful and functional shirts, also help caregivers access their picc line easily, while helping patients dress and undress with ease.
- Fleece-lined socks: Chemotherapy can make some individuals more sensitive to cold. Feeling warm will help them feel comfortable.
- Fleece sweatpants: Comfy sweatpants are key to making them feel warm and comfortable during extended periods of treatment.
- Box of flavored tea (ginger tea): Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause nausea and vomiting. Ginger in teas helps soothe nausea and give comfort.
- Sugar free hare candy: Hard candy, such as lemon drops or mints, may help remove the unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth from chemotherapy.
- Headphones: Wireless or plug in headphones are a great gift for someone during chemotherapy. Most treatments patients to listen to music, meditations, or audiobooks.
- Pocket puzzle book: Giving a patient a puzzle to pass the time while they receive treatment can be a good distraction from treatment.
- Coloring books with positive affirmations: There are several options of books with positive messages. “You Are Stronger Than You Think: Cancer Sucks Coloring Book” is an example, that includes positive affirmations that empowers patients during these difficult times.
- Mandala: Chemotherapy treatments can take up to several hours, depending on the types of drugs that healthcare professionals administer to patients. Mandalas are a great gift idea to pass the time and get distracted.
- Magazines and books: Oftentimes while undergoing treatment and going to and from doctors' appointments there is a lot of time to sit and wait. Skimming or reading magazines, helps patients focus attention on other topics.
- Journal: Having a place to express thoughts and feelings or write down any questions one may have for doctors and nurses may also be helpful throughout a patient's journey.
Don´t forget…. feeling loved and supported is the most important thing during this period. Adding personalized items or handwritten notes or messages can also encourage and support people through this challenging time.