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Gifts For Cancer Patients
rachael67 posted:
Suggestions For Gifts/Helping Cancer Patients

(A recent post reminded me of how so many of us and those who love us have floundered when it comes to what we can do to help a patient. Therefore, assembling a list in our "Tips" seemed a good idea. I have tried to select items for both men and women patients. Please….feel free to add to this!)


A Journal (to record the "journey")
Inspirational and Humor Books
One Large, Very Soft Teddy Bear
Assorted Herbal Teas
Cute Nightie/PJs
Bags Of Assorted Hard Candies
A Beautiful Box ~ Inside Place A Special Poem From You
A Soft Blanket Or Throw
Funny DVDs
A Notebook With Pockets And Several Pens/Pencils
A Calendar Organizer
Gift Certificates For Pizza (And Other Delivered Foods)
Gift Cards For Book Stores
Bath Items
Tape Recorder For Appointments ~ To Help With Recall
A Small Photo Album Filled With Special Photos of Friends and Family
Magazine Subscription
Thick Socks For Winter
Body Lotions (Might Want Fragrance Free)
A Silk Scarf
Crossword Puzzles
Hats And Head Scarves
Jigsaw Puzzles
Something Fresh-Baked
Any Equipment That Might Ease Recovery (cane, couch-side table, etc.)


THIRDLY: REASSURE! ALL Emotions Are Normal;
The Patient IS NOT The Illness!

A Booklet of "Promissory Notes" To Do As Needed
Arrange A Schedule With Friends/Family/Co-workers To Bring A Meal
When Going Shopping Call To See If You Can Pick-Up Anything
Surprise With A Favorite Food
Pick Up Books From The Library
Change Bed Linens/Freshen Bedroom
Send Little Notes Via Snail Mail For Encouragement (In today's world of email,
something that is delivered by a real mailman can be quite special!)
Baby Sit During Treatments/Appointments
Taxi Children Places
Take Kids Out To Give The Patient Some Down-time
Offer To Clean The House, Do Laundry
Mow The Lawn
Shovel The Sidewalk
Weed The Garden
Wash The Car
Walk The Dog
A Box Of "Mental RX" (This might be filled with donations by friends and family
…jokes, notes, thoughts, quotes, cartoons, etc. Have the sender sign it so
that the patient realizes how many folks care. An Emotional "One-A-Day
Vitamin"~ Refill as needed!)
When The Season Is Right ~ Plant a Little Tree, A Reminder of Life!
Accompany Your Friend To Appointments, Etc.
Happily "Surprise" With Visits At Chemo
If Patient Is Up To It, Offer A Drive, Lunch, A Movie

(One Caveat: Be very selective in books, movies, CDs, etc…Some can be very emotionally draining and that is not what the patient needs!

A Second Caveat: While being thrust into the world of cancer, it always nice to be reminded that there really is a "normal" world surrounding you, and that soon you will rejoin the ranks. "Escaping" with good friends and happy discussions can be a real shot in the arm…and that one doesn't require a needle!!)

There is no "Right" thing…..JUST BE A FRIEND!

Blessings all.

Always listen for what is in the silence and see what is invisible...That's where miracles hide, and it can make all the difference!
Was this Helpful?
2 of 2 found this helpful
jenna291 responded:
Fabulous suggestions! As I have said in a previous post, some friends would call saying what can I do, and sometimes you just don't know what to say!!!! People who just did things for me - oh, how it was appreciated!
I have friends who have been diagnosed in the last few years going thru chemo, I have sent meals over. I find with a family, even if you don't want to eat, there are still other people in the house. When you are the person who does most of the cooking and shopping, suddenly no one knows what to do!!!

Food and gift cards were the best gifts, and also I must add flowers! I received many bouquets either delivered by a florist or in person from people, and it being winter, they certainly cheered up my house!

Your suggestions are all wonderful. Thank you for putting the lists together.

judyfams replied to jenna291's response:
Thanks for such a super, inclusive list. It can be used for anybody who has had surgery or is sick - not just for cancer patients!
You are wonderful to take the time to put it all together for us!
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to judyfams's response:
WOW! A great list and could be applied for anyone going through a trying time.

What I've found is that you can't just say "what can I do?" and wait for a family to give you a task. Just jump in there and do it.

Thanks Rachel!

ima_believer responded:
Love your list. I did just send my sister an IPOD shuffle, loaded with 65 songs of her favorite genre. She was so excited. She had never used one, never thought she would use it. Now, her daughter helped her learn how, and she will go into her bedroom and turn it on, and turn off her thoughts, focusing on the wonders of the music. She is planning to use it today for her first chemo treatment, and absolutely was thrilled.

Now, I will review your list and see what I can do to help make her fight easier. Thanks!
GGrandmaJan replied to ima_believer's response:
Great idea,

When I was going thru chemo last summer my son gave me his old I-Pod. Showed me how to load my favorite CD's on it plus gave me gift cards to ITunes. It was the best present ever. I took it to all my appts and it really really relieved the stress. I still use it everyday now when waiting for call back with results from different tests.

She is going to LOVE it and thank you for showing you care. Great Idea. One of the things I was told how to relieve stress was Music Therapy. Of course there is also Retail Therapy which I am using this week. LOL.

You are a wonderful Sis to think of how to do things when you live so far away. That is never easy.

Good luck to both of you. Sending good healing thoughts.

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