Take Charge

7 Thoughtful Gifts for Cancer Patients and Caregivers

November 25, 2019

Map Wrapping Gift

By Sarah Garcia

Setting out to find just the right gift for a friend or family member can be a challenge. It can be even more difficult if that person is undergoing treatment for cancer or taking care of someone who is. We asked our social media followers for their gift recommendations — here is what they offered up. 

1. A Meal Service or Gift Cards
Traveling to and from home for cancer treatments can be time consuming and tiring for both the patient and caregiver. A meal service, gift card to their favorite restaurant, or homecooked meal will take away the burden of having to grocery shop and cook.

2. A Massage
Whether going through active treatment or recovery, many cancer patients can benefit from massage. It can minimize pain by reducing muscle tension, as well as improve emotional well-being by reducing stress and anxiety.

2. Time Off
If your friend or family member has kids, offer to babysit or take them out for a fun day. Otherwise, offer to take care of everyday tasks and errands so they can spend some time alone, doing whatever they’d like.

3. A Clean (or Organized) Home
While undergoing treatment, Sophia V. said her friends paid for a house cleaner to come in. “Even though I’m a private person, it’s something I really needed. Having fresh clean sheets on my bed when I was sick was the best gift!”

4. Comfortable Clothing
During treatment, patients may have extended hospital stays or recovery time at home. Comfortable clothing like lounge wear or a pajama set is a practical gift. Janeen S. said following a double mastectomy, her favorite gift was snap-front cotton robes with pockets. “They were cool and the drain cords could fit through between the snaps, and the drain bulbs could go in the pockets.”

5. A Care Basket
A basket full of hand-picked items, both for entertainment and comfort, can be a meaningful and appreciated gift. Some ideas include blankets, hand sanitizer or lotion, their favorite candies or snacks, and books or magazines. Carol C. said when she was in treatment, her coworkers created a “sunshine box” and everything in it was yellow. “It certainly cheered me up!”

7. The Same Gift You’d Get Them Otherwise
Sometimes those who are going through treatment just wish to be treated the same way they were before cancer. The best gift may be one that’s not related to their treatment or the fact that they are facing cancer.