As a two time breast cancer thriver, I’m constantly asked about the best items to get someone who was just recently diagnosed and going through surgery or treatment. Yes, flowers are wonderful and brighten up the home but there are other useful items that I have listed below if you are looking for something different.
I’m compiling this list from my own experience (was really grateful for gas cards!) plus I enlisted the advice of a Breast Cancer support group I belong to on Facebook.
The top item that patients and former patients found most useful and enjoyable was a fluffy, warm blanket or quilt. Breast Cancer patients have to sit in doctor’s offices sometime for hours, especially if they’re undergoing Chemotherapy.
Also useful are:
- Head covers, caps or scarves
- Cute, warm button-down pajamas (most patients can’t lift their arms over their heads)
- Slippers or socks (maybe ones infused with aloe Vera)
- Eye masks
- A soft pillow or mastectomy pillow to help them sleep
- Relaxation CD, journal
- Books, word searches, puzzles magazines, DVDs
- Organic lotions, soaps, deodorants and other beauty supplies
Those are some ideas to make patients more comfortable after surgery or when going through treatment. However, there are other aspects of life that are greatly affected. Those are financials and family life.
Gift cards for everyday activities are most appreciated. Gas, Grocery, Coffee shop
Amazon gift cards (or other big online stores) are helpful so patients can purchase their own medical needs without having to leave the house.
Also, when a patient is going through treatment, sometimes they just need a chance to relax and unwind. Gift cards for a massage, acupuncture and yoga are good ideas.
Many of the women I spoke to found the most generous and helpful gifts are those that make things easier on their family. Offer to pick-up or drop-off someone’s kids to school or activities. Offer to babysit, walk their dog, and/or clean their house.
One of the hardest parts about going through treatment to fight Breast Cancer or any illness, is the possibility of loneliness. After the initial shock of the announcement wears off, people go on living their lives like they did before, but the person diagnosed has a whole new normal to figure out.
That’s why sometimes the best gift you can give someone is the gift of your companionship and love.
Stop by and check on a friend that’s healing, take them out for a cup of coffee, write a heartfelt note or send an encouraging text message or you could keep them company during treatment.
There are so many ways to help a loved one battling an illness.
Just remember this, we don’t want your pity or sorrow... we want your love and support (and many times just someone to take our mind off things and make us laugh)