Gift giving to friends or family in midst of illness

The holiday shopping season is officially upon us, and shopping for the perfect gift for friends and loved ones is top of mind. While it may be easy to shop for a best friend, mom or sister, some may wonder about the best approach for gift giving when it comes to a friend or family member who is in the midst of cancer treatment.

Based on employee and patient insight, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has created a helpful list of gift ideas most suited for cancer patients. These gifts are not only thoughtful, but are intended to help cancer patients in their time of need. I’d be happy to connect you with an expert from CTCA to elaborate on gift giving around the holidays, and other “cancer etiquette” issues that may come up this time of year. If you're interested, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Top Gift Ideas:

•        “Merry” Maid house cleaning or car detail serviceCancer patients often don't have the time or energy to take care of day-to-day chores, let alone clean an entire house or car. Hiring a maid or getting a car detailed is a helpful way to alleviate an everyday stress.

•        Digital magazine subscription or gift card for Kindle books: Cancer patients spend many hours receiving infusions, waiting to meet with doctors or relaxing between appointments. A digital magazine subscription or a gift card for a Kindle book ensures the patient will have enjoyable reading while they wait.

•        Membership to local gym/YMCAIt is important for cancer patients to stay physically fit to help manage their symptoms. A yearlong membership to a local gym provides an easy way to incorporate light exercise into a routine.

•        Music, cooking, crafting lessons/classes: Cancer patients often want to take their mind off treatment and diagnosis, so a fun class offers the chance to learn something new while offering a diversion from illness. 

•        Gift Certificate for a Manicure/Pedicure:  Women going through cancer may not feel particularly beautiful because of the way chemotherapy and radiation has affected their hair and skin. A special morning or afternoon at the salon or spa for a manicure and/or pedicure can be a relaxing escape.

•        Ticket to Comedy Show/Movie Night:  Laughter can be the best medicine, and that sentiment can certainly apply to cancer patients.  Laughter can help cancer patients feel better about themselves and the world around them. More, it can be a natural diversion from a patient's treatment, as laughing for a few minutes can help a patient feel better for hours.

•        Soft Cotton Pajamas: It's important that cancer patients get the right amount of sleep so they are alert and healthy enough for treatment. To assist in a good night's sleep, soft cotton pajamas can help a patient relax and the all-cotton material can be great for perspiration, especially if hot flashes are a side effect of treatment.

•        A Special Home-Cooked Meal: A healthy diet is an essential ingredient for any cancer patient. By eating right with a healthy balance of nutrients, cancer patients are able to stay strong enough for treatment. This holiday season, treat a cancer patient to a delicious home-cooked meal. Just be sure to incorporate healthy foods—such as fruits and veggies—into the menu. 


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