F*&k Cancer, that is one thing we can all truly agree on. If you or anyone you know has gone through cancer you understand how incredibly challenging and exhausting it can be, both mentally and physically. The person fighting cancer is not the only person to be struggling either, as everyone who cares for and knows them from friends, to family to caregivers are all dealing with it too, whether that’s feeling helpless, frustrated, upset or a myriad of other emotions. Dealing with cancer is one serious beast for everyone involved.
The good news is that with continued advances in medicine having cancer is not necessarily an end game. There is often light at the tunnel even if during treatment things are incredibly challenging. So, in a lot of cases, it is not just about supporting in the moment but helping to keep things optimistic for the future and the good times that will roll once the person is back to full health. Of course, this is not always the case. Helping someone with terminal cancer is a difficult task, but your love, support, and kindness have an incredible impact on people’s outlook and can help make the end of their life much more enjoyable and peaceful.
Providing support and helping with your loved ones’ emotional and physical comfort can be the hardest for people who are not there, and with the globalization of the world, this is a reality that many of us have to deal with.
If you cannot be there in person, nothing beats taking the time to call and be in good contact, but if you want to also send a gift you should. Let’s face it, receiving a surprise in the mail still has that feeling of excitement and is sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face! Filling your package with useful and thoughtful things will also be a nice little reminder as they use your gifts from day-to-day that you are thinking of them.
Knowing what to include can be difficult, so we have put together a handy guide for chemotherapy care package inspiration below. Of course, you know your loved one best so always include the fun silly things that will help remind them of the good times and good times ahead! But, we have outlined some additional small gifts to add to your gift basket that express love and support, whilst also including more practical items that can help patients keep their minds occupied during chemotherapy treatments or hospital visits.
Chemotherapy Care Package Ideas
It can be difficult to think of a gift for someone undergoing such pain and trauma during their chemo treatments, as whatever you give it just does not seem enough. The items listed below are thoughtful gift ideas to give to a loved one undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments to brighten their day a little bit!
Warm Blankets, Socks, and Comfy Slippers
Everyone loves a pair of warm socks and comfy slippers! For the recipient of your chemotherapy care package, these items can make them feel a bit more comfortable in a hospital environment. One of the side effects of cancer and its treatment is rapid weight loss. This can lead to sufferers feeling cold more often. A warm blanket, cozy socks, and comfy slippers can help to provide relief from hospital air-con or general cold spells.
If you are good at knitting, making any of these items by hand would provide a touching personal contribution to the care package.
Moisturizers and Lip Balm
Lip balms and moisturizers will be great for soothing the dry skin that chemotherapy patients often have following their cancer treatment. Choose gentle moisturizers that have been specifically formulated for sensitive skin and try to stay away from any harsh chemicals - if you are unsure about ingredients, check with a doctor first. This gift can help to alleviate the discomfort of tight and dry skin and nourish their lips for a glowing smile. Chemotherapy can also heighten the sense of smell for some people so finding a more mild smelling or neutral option can be a good idea too.
A great gift to include is headwear. Many people lose their hair when going through chemotherapy treatment, so gifting headwear such as hats and colorful scarves can protect the scalp from too much sun exposure and also help the head to stay warm during chillier times.
Losing hair can also have a devastating impact on the patient's self-esteem, especially for women. Having an array of nice headwear can help a little bit with this. Of course, the best way to help with the self-esteem issue is to talk it through and be there to support.
Snacks, Decaffeinated and Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Filling your gift basket with some of the recipient's favorite snacks can be a really nice touch but make sure you know how their food and drink tastes have changed during chemo to ensure that what you send is something they are currently enjoying to eat and drink.
Some people can feel nausea during treatment, so you should also think about gifting drinks or dry food items that can help to soothe feelings of nausea. Including a fun water bottle to help encourage hydration and some herbal teas can be a wonderful idea to include in your care packages. Peppermint tea and ginger tea are especially good at calming a nauseous stomach.
You will want to stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as these beverages will further disturb their central nervous system.
Quick Ready To Eat Meals
Ready-to-eat meals are the perfect gift to include in a care package if the patient is at home. If they are based at home, they are likely to be resting for most of the day, and preparing nutritious food is unlikely to be a priority. As a result, quick and healthy ready meals can provide the recipient with a well-balanced meal without exhausting themselves with a long cooking or prep time.
Proper Good provides healthy ready-to-eat 90-second meals with clean ingredients and no added sugar. These meal pouches are perfect for someone who does not have the time or the energy to cook an entire meal from scratch. Zero preparation is required to make these meals as they just need to be heated in a microwave for under 2 minutes. There is a range of flavor options and these are suitable for most dietary requirements, from keto, plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free! The broth-based soups include vital antioxidants and vitamins to replenish the body.
Board games can be a fun experience for both a patient as well as a visiting friend or family member. These games can encourage patients to focus their minds elsewhere for a while, and simply enjoy spending time with family and friends.
In the hospital environment, patients may be able to play these board games with each other, creating a bonding experience. If they are not allowed to mix with other patients, think about including some puzzle books like word searches or sudoku. This will help to pass the time.
Personal Handwritten Letters
The best way to show your love and support is by writing a personal letter to the recipient. Within this letter, you can express your admiration of the person and remind them of how inspiring and strong they are. You can even reference the other gifts that you have included in your care package and explain their uses. This can help to add clarity to any less obvious gifts, as well as inform the patients on the best time to use some of the items. For example, you may want to say that herbal tea can help with nausea.
Hospital stays can be long and boring, especially if you are on your own. Providing some form of entertainment in your care package will ensure that the patients have something to do! Mindful activities, such as coloring books, are available for both adults and children alike, so this is a good option for those who become stressed or nervous quite easily. Books will also make a great addition to your care package, as they are great at heightening a reader's imagination. If you can afford a more lavish gift, such as an iPad and high-quality headphones, it can help make watching movies and browsing the internet much easier while away from home and having treatment.
Infusions are a common part of cancer treatment, and patients undergoing this treatment will understand the frustration of finding the right clothing to wear. Infusions are placed on the chest area, and for some women, constantly pulling down your top may feel embarrassing or undignified. Including an infusion-accessible top will ensure that doctors can access the infusion area without causing much fuss, for a more subtle infusion process.
Lotion and Bath Products
Bath products and lotions can help cancer patients to feel more relaxed in their own skin, and be a great tool for de-stressing their minds and bodies. You will want to choose hypoallergenic and unscented lotions or bath products to ensure that there are no harsh chemicals present in the ingredients.
Additionally, you can provide the whole pamper kit for an at-home spa day! Think about including essential oils, such as lavender, to help induce a good night's sleep whilst calming the mind. For those sending their care package to a cancer patient in the hospital, a satin or silk eye mask can help to block out any harsh hospital lighting without causing irritation to the skin or eyes.
You can always ask before you send a care package if there are any essentials that the person needs or would like to have with them. If the patient has children, you can offer to help look after them by dropping them off at school or minding them whilst the patient is in hospital. You can also make a great difference for the family of a cancer patient by doing their grocery shop for them or dropping off frozen or ready-made meals. Some people may just want a person that they can talk to, cancer-related or not, to help clear their minds.
Other Ways to Help
There are some extra steps and measures you can take for your loved ones to show that you care for them and that you are always there for them. Being diagnosed with cancer is as debilitating mentally as it is physically, so having a loving support group is essential. To offer this support, you will want to make sure that you are as informed about the illness as possible to prevent accidentally making any misjudged comments that could have a negative effect on your loved ones' morale.
Research About Loved One’s Treatment
To really support your loved one, make sure you have a good understanding of their treatment process. This can prevent the patient from having to constantly talk about their condition, which may feel repetitive or uncomfortable for the sufferer. Understanding the treatment, as well as its possible side effects, can help you be more prepared in terms of reassuring others, planning for the next steps, and finding items to reduce the discomfort of any side effects.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Subscriptions
This can keep you updated on more positive aspects of cancer research, as signing up to cancer-orientated newsletters will let you know of any milestones reached as well as the latest developments surrounding cancer treatments.
You can also purchase subscriptions for television streaming devices or popular magazines to gift as part of your care package!
Helping your loved ones envision their road to recovery and life in the future can really help keep them in good spirits. Be sure to sign up for anything that can help with this excitement for the future and even follow people who have successfully beaten cancer and got out the other side, as it all helps create a positive environment to talk about and overcome cancer.
In summary, making a care package for a loved one experiencing cancer treatments is an incredibly thoughtful and kind thing to do. It seems that whilst a patient is healing, other aspects of their life seem to halt. This can be frustrating for the patient, so having your support will help provide a desired sense of normalcy. The main things to make sure your loved one is able to do are sleep well, relax comfortably, and eat healthily. Being able to do these will ensure that their mind and body is on the right track.
Proper Good is dedicated to providing healthy food pouches that are as delicious as they are convenient! The meals contain a wealth of proteins and vegetables all carefully combined to make a flavorful meal. These nutritiously balanced meals are ready in just 90 seconds, and have a shelf life of over 8 months, making them a handy staple in a hospital or home.