Gifts for Chemo Patients
Going through Chemotherapy can be daunting, horrible and actually quite terrifying. I was sent some really thoughtful gifts during my chemotherapy. Even something small items such as my favourite chocolate bar really made a difference. It made me smile on my darkess days when I was worrying about my cancer or when I was feeling rotten.
Some gifts even made me cry but not in a sad way more of a happy feeling that made me realise people were thinking about me and even though they could not take the side effects of chemotherapy away they wanted to help by cheering me up and it meant the world to me.
It can be hard to know what to get someone going through something such as chemotherapy or any other illness or treatment. What I would say is getting something personal means so much.
If you follow them on facebook see what they are posting about and see if you can get any ideas from that my friends saw that I kept craving sweets and chocolates and made sure I was stocked up.
Also one day I tried to win a bear at the fair and couldn’t so two friends sent me one. It was thoughtful things like this that really cheered me up when having chemotherapy which is one of the hardest things I have had to go through so its not often I was smiling.
I will always remember the first time I was going through chemotherapy and I was moaning on Facebook that I was craving chocolate, or really wanted a pizza and even the fact I was missing alcohol and a old school friend sent me a food package.
It was a shopping delivery from a supermarket and it included all the things I had been craving or what I was missing during treatment and couldn’t wait to have one it was all over. It will always stick in my mind and this was over 5 years ago, this person is now one of my best friends and it was this small act of kindness that brought us together after nearly 17 years of not seeing each other since we left school. So Leanne if you are reading this and you better had be reading all my articles (Haha) then I want to you know how special that gift was to me and thanks for being there.
Anyway enough about my cancer journey here are some great gift ideas for someone going through cancer no matter what stage they are at. Dont forget people when their treatment is over as this is also the time that they will still need to know people are thinking of them.
A supermarket delivery
This has to be at the top of the list as it was my first gift and just meant so much. Gone are the days of sending expensive hampers of things that you cant personally choose and jars that will just get shoved to the back of the cupboard now you can make it really personal.
Dont get me wrong there are also some great packages you can send people which I will get onto in a minute but really think about the person you are sending a gift to, what do you know they like and a few clicks online and you can have it delivered. Supermarkets are great, the are excellent value and sell nearly everything. You could send some fresh fruit and veg, some ready meals or even some toiletries the list is endless.
A selection of Sweet Treats
Myself and a lot of the girls I talk to with Breast Cancer really craved sugar during chemotherapy. I personally love chocolate and just wanted to eat it all the time. I had boxes sent from Hotel Chocolat, sweets from Moonpig, one friend send me a selection of chocolate bars which I really enjoyed and meant I could dig in whenever I was having a sugar crave which was nearly all of the time.
People’s skin can really take a hit during chemotherapy, it is important to keep well moisturised and I got through a tonne of it during treatment. It was lovely to receive a gift that I could use there and then during treatment and something that was going to ease the uncomfort of having dry peeling skin.
One of my favorite moisturisers was Udderly smooth, the girls I was going through treatment with were raving about it and when I got some I could see why as it was non greasy, wasn’t perfumed as some smells can turn peoples stomachs during treatment and it came in a large pot I could get a big dollop out of and plop it on my head to cool me down. Love this stuff I would highly recommend.
Although there are also some other great products on the market, you could even ask them what there favourite is and send them some.
I attended a look good feel better workshop and I got a goody bag to take home. One of the products the cleanser really freshened up my face. I will now use this product all of the time. Skin can become sensitive so bear this in mind, this is probably why I love this cleanser as it just felt so gentle on my face when I was breaking out in sores from the treatment.
Some of my favourite products I have recently discovered are Jennifer Young which are designed with Chemotherapy in mind and Angela Langford Skin Oil which is the best thing ever and really helped my skin whether it was dry, breaking out or sore. I never knew how my skin was going to behave from treatment to treatment but these were great and I highly recommend even though they might seem pricey they last a long time.
Also something that might affect people during chemotherapy is the sense of smell. I could not stand anything with Rose in as it really turnt my stomach and as I lost the nose hairs my sense of smell was heightened so I didnt like anything with too much perfumes. These products by Pure Anada with no scent would be perfect for someone who is experiencing this.
Books CDS and DVDS
Having chemotherapy can be a boring time I had to sit there for 7 hours at a time and to have anything to make the time pass quicker was great. First time round I could not concentrate to read a book or watch a film but loved listening to music, The second time I had to have chemotherapy I was really into reading books. I had a kindle but I didnt want to read that I wanted a proper old school paper book and I got through loads. I ended up getting them from charity shops for 50p so it doesnt have to cost loads of even pass on a great book you have read that you think they will also enjoy.
If people are ill during chemotherapy they might have to spend days in bed or at least in the house and what better way to keep occupied when you are ill than to watch some films. Even if you dont have any money to buy a gift you could take some DVDs round or even ask if they would like to watch a film with you, sometimes it is nice to have company but dont be offended if they are not feeling up to it as sometimes I didnt want to see anyone, one friend posted a DVD through my letter box when I was feeling unwell and I also thought that was lovely.
Audiobooks were great I didnt have the attention span sometimes to watch a film but I couldn’t sleep so to listen to a audiobook at night when the insomnia kicked in helped a lot.
Coloring books are not just for children but have been proven to be therapeutic for adults. I have a friend that loves adult colouring books and finds it very calming. It can also help with hand coordination.
I personally lost the ability of hand co ordination during chemotherapy which can sound a bit strange to people but the drugs can cause shaking hands, tenderness and even loss of feeling so to do something such as colouring can help with these symptoms.
Another great new hobby I discovered during chemo was Diamante Art. It was simple and actually quite therapeutic sticking little diamantes to make a picture a bit like painting by numbers which I tried next.
Painting by numbers
I love creating things but I dont have the artistic flair to design things so painting by numbers is great for me. I remember doing it when I was a child but you can actually get complicated pictures which make it great for adults as well.
I couldn’t clean I didnt have the energy to stand up never mind getting the hoover out. After a couple of weeks I was getting depressed as the house looked a mess.
I got a cleaner to come in and it not only made the house look nicer but it made me mentally feel better as I wasn’t sitting in mess. You can get vouchers for cleaners or you can offer to pop round and do a bit.
But be sensitive to peoples feelings some people might not appreciate this and find it intrusive. I had some friends offer to come round and clean and I declined as I was embarrassed at the mess.
A cooked meal
I wish someone would have brought me a cooked meal. I was on steroids so hungry all the time but I didnt have the energy to cook. It also turned my stomach the thought of cooking but I still wanted to eat. I had friends that had meals delivered and it was all I wanted so just think if you are making a casserole do extra and deliver it to someone having chemo.
A hug or a listening ear
This is a free gift and can mean so much to someone who is feeling low.
Something important to do during chemotherapy is to have plenty of rest. A candle can make a relaxing atmosphere whether its used in the bathroom during a long soak or in the bedroom with a nice aromatherapy candle.
Something for the house
Finding a gift for someone having chemotherapy can be difficult they might not be eating or drinking so food and drink is out of the question they may not be into hobbies or crafts but since they are going to be spending time at home resting then a great gift is something for the house.
One of my favourite websites is Melody Maison they have affordable Shabby Chic French style furniture from little trinkets to larger items making it a great site to find a gift. I am redesigning my kitchen, bedroom and living room and would love to get everything on this site. I chose a new clock and glass jar which look great in a woodland themed living room.
I didnt receive many flowers but I know a lot of people who did and they said it felt as though someone had already died especially if they received lilies as they are considered funeral flowers. Although this wouldn’t bother me as lilies are my favourite but be careful if someone is traditional or maybe superstitious.
Obviously some people love flowers and would love to receive some but other options are plants they last longer and can even be panted in their garden so its a forever gift.
When I was on strong chemotherapy I suffered from a fizzy tummy it felt like a thousand refreshers dissolving in my stomach and the only thing that stopped it was something fizz like lemonade. But I didnt like anything too sweet. I craved a Soda stream like I always wanted when I was a kid and this meant I could make my fizzy drinks to my liking.