Wondering What to Give a Cancer Patient?

and things to avoid.

You know the saying, “You never know until you are there.” Well, I am there, and I have many friends who have been wonderful in cheering me up and on. But many have said that they didn’t know what I wanted or needed.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It is about 30% (or 1 in 3) of all new female cancers each year. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2022 are: About 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. About 51,400 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will be diagnosed. About 43,250 women will die from breast cancer.

Cancer patients have a wide variety of physical and emotional needs. You’ll want to find products to make recovery a little easier or simply find items that bring comfort and peace. Remember that certain things are prohibited during treatment and others should be avoided because they may trigger negative reactions.

A small gift basket can include:

  1. Unscented lotions and lip balms. Dry skin and lips are a side effect of chemotherapy, so lotions and chapsticks are a great choice as long as they are unscented.

  2. Comfortable, cozy socks. The wilder, the better. If your friend likes dogs, find socks with puppies. Sunshine and happy socks always work.

  3. A gift certificate to their favorite grocery store that delivers. That way they can buy healthy, nutritious foods.

  4. A restaurant gift certificate for delivery. Most cancer patients are confined to the home due to a comprised immune system and all those nasty germs floating around. A restaurant meal maybe just what is needed.

  5. A colorful, fluffy blanket. Even as an adult, I carry my blanket to all treatments. It isn’t just for warmth; it is for comfort.

  6. Coffee or favorite sodas. When talking to the person, slip in a question or two about what they can eat or drink. Sometimes they cannot eat certain foods because of their digestion issues. However, if they can drink coffee, a cute mug with a few pods of coffee with brighten the day. I know.

  7. A good, light-hearted novel, a funny movie, a new CD, a magazine subscription, or an audio book subscription. It will offer your friend or loved one a brief mental and emotional escape from their diagnosis and treatment.

  8. A personalized, hand-written note or a hand-made gift. Sometimes gifts that cost nothing at all are the most precious to a patient. A text is great, but a card is so much more.

  9. Journals, inspirational books, coloring journals. Don’t go overboard on these, but a nice journal and colored pens can help pass the day or time waiting at appointments.

  10. Water tumbles/ cups. Drinking water is a must for cancer patients. Choose a colorful tumbler, their favorite team, or have one personalized.

Things to Avoid:

  1. Perfumes or scented toiletries. Radiation and chemotherapy alter sense of smell.

  2. Candy or sweets because most are on a strict diet.

  3. Live flowers or balloons. Too much emotion involved.

  4. Anything sad or depressing.

“Don’t look back. You’re not going that way”
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