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Comfort. Sometimes it’s the best thing you can give to a friend or family member with cancer. You can put a care package together on your own or grab a few friends to contribute.
People who are going through chemo and other treatments have new needs and restrictions. To choose the right gifts, it helps to know what they’re experiencing. Our recommendations for care packages come with a reason for each.
Help pass the time with a selection of magazines, books, or puzzle books like crosswords or Sudoku. Keep things light with coloring books and a bright selection of colored pens. Many people find that drawing repetitive patterns with a process like Zentangle to be meditative and peaceful.
Substitute an Audible subscription for a print book. Audiobooks bring back the delightful feeling of being read to, while letting the listener rest and relax. Or consider a subscription to a music streaming service, such as Spotify, accompanied with song suggestions for a mellow playlist.
Warm them up with a cozy sweater, soft scarf or warm hat. Choose a microwavable heat wrap to take the chill off, or throw in an afghan or lap blanket. To keep their toes toasty, consider a gift of fun socks or fuzzy slippers.
Tuck in products that ease discomfort. Your local pharmacist can point you to specially formulated lozenges, mouth spray, mouthwash, toothpaste and gels for mouth sores. Hard candy and gum can help, too. Products with ginger, such as ginger tea, ginger ale, or ginger candy work to relieve nausea and increase saliva production. Make sure they contain real ginger as opposed to artificial flavoring.
Pamper the person you love with neck pillows, unscented lotion and lip balms. Steer clear of fragrances, nail polish and other spa products for now. The same goes for flowers and massage certificates. Save them for a celebratory gift when treatment has ended.
Avoid gifts of food, wine and alcohol. People’s tastes and dietary requirements change during chemo, so it’s safer to stay with gift certificates to grocery and specialty stores and restaurants. If you want to include a treat, stick to simple nibbles like crackers or pretzels.
When it comes to packaging your gifts, you have lots of alternatives – from baskets and boxes to functional containers like bowls and buckets. If you’re interested in an eco-friendly alternative, our own LaNette Faaborg has a recyclable gift-basket business! Check it out at BasketCase or talk with LaNette.