Beautiful boxes with pretty bows, shiny ribbons and fancy wrapping paper – everyone loves a treat during the holidays. But how do you decide what to put inside those packages when the person you’re gifting is in treatment for breast cancer? Here are seven gift ideas that are sure to be a hit:
Skin can take a beating during cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation, and over-the-counter medicine can leave skin itchy and dry. Fragrance-free, organic lotions make great gifts because fragrances can be off-putting for people in cancer treatment, and chemicals in products that aren’t organic can react with meds.
Thank You Cards
Old-fashioned stationery has mostly gone out of style, but cancer patients often receive thoughtful gifts and cards during their illness and want to reciprocate. A box of pretty stationery or thank you cards, with stamps, is a thoughtful gift for people too sick to shop the aisles of a retail store or to stand in line at the post office.
Cancer patients need help with a laundry list of tasks but are often reluctant to ask for help. Bring a meal, wash a car, care for children, or run some errands. Taking on these small chores can be a the most meaningful gift of all.
Losing hair to chemotherapy is a brutal side story to the cancer experience. Earrings make a great gift because they really show up when hair is in short supply. If curls can’t dangle, earrings can.
Scarves and hats
Soft colorful fabrics and stylish hats can help patients stay warm and feel pretty throughout their journey with cancer.
Quiet Time Enhancements
During long hours of treatment and recovery, cancer patients can find themselves with time to fill and nothing to do. If they’re accustomed to staying busy, they might feel lost when they are physically, mentally, or emotionally unable to do activities that used to provide meaning and purpose in life. Supplies for needle crafts and art projects make great gifts to fill this void. Books, magazines, and puzzles are excellent options, too.
During the holidays, people like to share culinary treats, but cancer treatment can make tastes and tolerances change. Beautifully wrapped baskets of crackers, sparkling non-alcoholic beverages, candied ginger and hard candies can make cancer patients feel like they’re part of the celebration, too. Save treats with pungent smells or strong flavors for another time.
Ask any breast cancer patient what she wants for Christmas, and she’ll probably say that she doesn’t want to be any trouble, that she has everything she needs or that she just wants her old life back. But during treatment, these simple gift ideas could make her season merrier and you’ll feel good about giving them, too.
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