My 85-year-old grandfather was just diagnosed with cancer. When I first heard the news, I accepted it as his fate. This is the way my dear grandfather is going to die. He’s too old and frail to battle this disease, or any combative treatment like chemotherapy. But Papa, as we call him, wasn’t going to give up. He decided to fight, and has endured chemotherapy for the last couple of months. At first, the treatment and his outlook seemed positive. “I feel fine,” he assured me. This really helped my heart knowing that chemo wasn’t taking a toll on him, but as the treatment is progressing, his reaction to it has gotten worse. He is not fairing very well, and I just don’t know what to do for him.
Many of us will deal with this in our life- either being a victim of cancer or trying to encourage a loved one, friend or co-worker battling this disease. And we will all wonder, what can we do. Do you need anything? Is there something I can buy to make you feel better?
It’s not like buying a present for a birthday. What do you give a person for comfort that is suffering? Especially, when they are 80+ and don’t need anything. My first instinct is buy him food, treats that I know he’d enjoy. But many believe that diet is a contributing factor to cancer, so foods are a tricky gift.
Here we take a look whats cool as gifts that you could give a cancer patient:
1) Warm Socks and Throws
Patients can sit in a chemo chair, in cold, sterile hospitals, for hours while receiving treatment. Providing a comfy throw or socks can help them feel warm and comfortable.
Chemo can be a drag, it’s much better with a movie or music.
3) iTunes or Amazon Gift Cards
For purchasing those movies, eBooks and music.
4) Teas & Crystallized Ginger
Chemo patients become nauseous. Teas and crystallized ginger can help combat nausea.
5) Satin Pillowcase and Sleep Cap
This is to help with hair loss that often accompanies chemo therapy. Satin pillows are much more gentle on hair, and help to prevent fragile hair strands from falling out.
6) Hand Sanitizer
Germs are your arch-nemesis when going through treatment. Not only should you give the patient this, use some on yourself to keep from spreading your germs.
7) Pet-Sitting Services
To avoid germs, cancer patients must often avoid their pets. Offering to watch their pets while they’re going through chemo can be a great help.
8) Massage Gift Cards
Nothing more relaxing than a massage. And if the patient is too ill to travel, hire a therapist to come to the house.
9) Air Purifiers
To help cleanse the air in the patient’s home.
Lozenges can help combat sore mouth that some patients deal with during treatment.
11) Maid Services
If the patient lives alone, their illness may prevent them from adequately caring for their home. Having a maid come in could really help.
12) Cannabis Club Gift Cards
Yes, these do exist. And if the patient wants to use marijuana to combat symptoms, then getting them a gift card to their local cannabis shop can actually be a very helpful gift.
13) Make A Wish
Ask your loved if there is anything they really want to do- travel, meet someone, etc. See if you can make that dream come true.
14) Donating To The Cause
There are some many charities that benefit cancer patients, treatment and research. Supporting these organizations is a great way to show just how much you care. Wear a pink ribbon, walk, run, and donate funds. One of my favorite cancer-related charities to support is Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. One of my dear friends, and fellow blogger Tatjana, helps to raise funds for cancer research. Donate as little as $5 today!
15) Your Time
This one may seem obvious, but we often avoid people when they are sick. It’s not because we don’t want to be bothered; it’s because it breaks our heart to see someone you care about hurting. Avoid the instinct to be absent, give them your time.
I just recently dropped off a gift basket for my grandfather. The basket included fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, fresh, cold pressed juice from Whole Foods, and tea with ginger.
While picking out an appropriate gift for someone with cancer, we must also be sure to avoid gifts that can be harmful. Food is the main one– although food is comforting, the wrong foods can be discourage healthy cell production within the body. Avoid giving cancer patients sugary, high fat, and processed foods. Unfortunately, this means a lot of comfort foods are out.