Being diagnosed with and undergoing treatment for cancer is one of the most challenging obstacles life can throw at you. Searching for the best gifts for our loved ones who are receiving cancer treatment can feel extremely complicated, despite our best intentions. We know that we want to support our loved one in any way we can, but can be hard to know the best way to do this.
So, to help you out, we’ve pulled together eight of our community’s favorite gifts for cancer patients. Ranging from practical to sentimental, each thoughtful gift will let your loved ones with cancer know how much you care.
There are endless other places in the world that you would rather be than sitting in a waiting room at a hospital. Add in the fact that hospitals are notoriously drafty places, and the experience can be downright brutal. Keep your loved one warm and comforted with a high-quality blanket that is travel-friendly. Based on her personal experience, Amanda Morrissey tells us that having a high quality blanket and your own pillow that doesn’t smell like the hospital is a must if you want your loved one to feel at home.
2. Daily Medication Planner
We know firsthand the struggles of trying to plan a trip while undergoing treatment. A medication planner, like our brand-new Mighty MedPlanner can help keep medications organized and easily accessible, perfect for taking on-the-go. More often than not, patients need to leave suddenly for the hospital and having all medical needs in one place is essential for the patient or his/her loved one to grab and go.
Our Friend in the Fight, Sandra, is a Type 2 Diabetic and Breast Cancer Survivor. The Mighty MedPlanner is helping her to keep everything organized as she works to define her new normal. “Too many times we have been away from home and stopped to eat but I don’t have my test kit, or pills or just something,” Sandra says. “Now everything fits in this small case without getting crushed, lost or falling out of my purse. This held EVERYTHING plus a weeks worth of my medication.” Empowering your loved ones to organize and take control of their medication management can be a huge help on the journey to recovery!
3. Sturdy Bag
It’s easy to forget things when you’re juggling appointments, work, and everything else that is thrown at you in one day. A well-organized bag is essential to keeping everything together, including medications, in one place. The Mighty Pack was designed for patients, by patients to hold both personal and medical items that patients need in their daily lives. Tote bags that have plenty of pockets and storage are a lightweight alternative to a backpack and the perfect choice for stashing books, medications, and personal items.
4. Good Reads (and Listens)
A good book – either a hard copy or an audiobook – can make time go by faster during wait times, hospital stays, and treatments. Whether it’s a childhood favorite, a modern classic, or a book that helped you through your own personal struggles, a thoughtful book can make a world of difference for your loved one. Not a bookworm? An adult coloring book is a meditative way to pass the time and keep one’s mind off of stressors.
5. Portable Games
Sitting around in waiting rooms and during treatments can be mind-numbingly boring, but board games are a great way to break up the time. One of our recent Mighty Mentors participants, Jarrod, loves to play games with his family and friends during chemo. Look for games that are portable and easy to travel with – a simple book of crossword puzzles or Sudoku is a classic and safe choice.
6. The Mighty Wrap
Some chemotherapy drugs can make patients feel cold, which makes hospitals feel even colder. A cozy jacket is a practical gift for any patient, which is why we designed The Mighty Wrap in super comfortable, fashion-forward material. Its handy pockets are perfect for carrying medical supplies and medications, and we’ve found that The Mighty Wrap is especially popular with post-mastectomy breast cancer patients who are looking for a garment to hold their drain.
Elise, our Friend in the Fight from Newport RI, can speak to this. She said the Mighty Wrap was a perfect gift for her ahead of her lumpectomy. “In preparation for a lumpectomy a friend gave me this wrap. I loved the fabric, cut and drape of the wrap before my surgery, and post-surgery it was a great way to give me a beautiful shape with roomy coverage over my bandages.”
Getting your thoughts and feelings out on paper can be cathartic and help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. Since stress can have a detrimental impact on health, journaling can be especially important for patients who are being treated for chemotherapy. There are plenty of different options available, ranging from beautiful hardcover notebooks to guided gratitude journals.
This can be a good gift for anyone in the midst of serious treatment, even if they aren’t experiencing chemotherapy. Writing about my treatment and illness journey has helped me process and come to terms with the experience, and has also helped me realize how much progress I have made over time.
8. A Day of Rest
In the midst of chemotherapy, even the smallest things can be incredibly challenging. As Shelby wrote when she shared her story with Mighty Well, “I was so dependent on everyone around me. What is so simple to people, such as walking to the bathroom or taking a shower, was impossible for me.” Taking one thing off of someone’s plate, no matter how small it may seem, can make a big difference.
A gift certificate for a massage, facial, or acupuncture appointment can help a friend or family member destress. If you live far away, gifting a cleaning service, dog walker, or grocery deliveries can reduce the stress on days when they’re exceptionally busy or not feeling well.