Are you planning to visit a friend or a loved one with cancer but don’t know what to take with you?
This happens to everyone so don’t worry. We have listed the best gift ideas for someone in the hospital with cancer.
Usually, flowers and chocolates are a person’s first choice when visiting someone who is sick. While this may be a sweet gesture, it isn’t the best idea for cancer patients. This is because flowers are highly likely to carry germs and bugs which may be harmful to someone who has just gone through treatment or surgery. See, your friend or your loved one’s immune system is probably weaker. Besides, many wards are now banning flowers.
On the other hand, chocolates are a nice thought. However, most cancer patients have dietary restrictions where sugar or dairy may not be allowed and meals are prepared strictly for them. So why risk it, right?
That said, there are many gifts that you can give to someone with cancer. Whether she’s about to have surgery, recovering from it, or in need to stay overnight, here are the best gifts you can give your friend or loved one.
10 Gift Ideas for Someone in the Hospital with Cancer
Comfortable and Functional Clothes
It can be challenging for breast cancer patients to find clothing that can work with their port or clothes that are specially designed to meet their post-surgical needs. If these circumstances apply to your friend, it’ll be great to give her a piece of comfortable and functional clothing.
You can try looking for chemo shirts on Amazon or you can check out Care + Wear. But if you prefer, you can also buy her an inspirational t-shirt instead.
If your friend is allowed to wear other clothes aside from her hospital gown, a nice pair of button-up pajamas would be a great treat. It’ll feel nicer to wear and since it’s a button-up, it’s easy to put on and off. You can check out these affordable long sleeve pajamas by Texere.
With a comfortable pair of slip-on slippers, she can quickly put it on and off and move around without hassle. Plus, it’s safer for her to walk with some slippers on rather than just wearing socks. If you’re going to look for one, these knitted slippers with memory foam is a great deal.
The hospital is not very homey as it can feel cold and unfamiliar. With a fuzzy blanket, you may help your friend’s stay at the hospital feel warm and cozy. You may even add a note and say: “Here’s some warmth for the times I’m not with you.”
If you’ve tried staying at the hospital, you know that it can get boring and dull pretty fast. Here’s where games can get pretty handy. Does your friend love to play a deck of cards? How about mind games and puzzles like sudoku or crossword puzzles? These are quiet games she can do on her own to pass the time.
Magazines, Books, or Adult Coloring Books
Like games, these kinds of gifts can help get her mind off things. They can also help her relax and make her stay at the hospital a little more bearable. If you don’t want to give her something plain and ordinary, you can also get her a swear word coloring book for adults.
With a good pair of headphones such as the BMANI-VEAT00L Bluetooth headset, your friend or loved one can enjoy her music without disturbing the other patients in the area. This will be great during treatments and at home too.
Unscented Lotions and Lip Balm
Some of the side effects of chemotherapy are dry skin and dry lips. You can help soothe this with lotions and lip balm that are gentle on the skin. Just make sure it’s unscented. If it helps, here’s Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.
Fuzzy socks feel great on the feet. And anything that can give her comfort is always a nice idea for a gift. You can try plain plush socks or something funnier like these “Cancer Sucks” socks.
A sleep mask can help your friend relax and doze off better while at the hospital.
What Not to Give to a Cancer Patient in the Hospital
Other than flowers and chocolates, there are other things you should avoid giving to a cancer patient. They are:
- Fragrances, perfumes, and scented items: Chemotherapy can change one’s sense of smell. Thus, what you think smells good can be too strong and unbearable for a cancer patient. It may even increase her nausea.
- Sweets and candy: Again, this is due to the dietary restrictions. But aside from that, chemo also affects the tastebuds and can cause mouth sores. So it might be difficult for a cancer patient to eat certain kinds of foods.
- Balloons: Since balloons are made with rubber or latex, it can trigger a patient’s allergic reactions. Moreover, some balloons are not allowed in the hospital because they can interfere with their medical equipment.
- Sad books and movies: Since your friend or loved one is already going through so much, the last thing she’d want is to be sad and depressed. Instead, choose funny and light-hearted stories that can give her some hope or make her feel better.
- “Get well soon” cards: This may not apply for everyone as there are some who would love to receive this kind of card. See, the phrase “Get well soon” can sometimes remind cancer patients that they still have a long way to go. Remember, she’s going to face months and years of treatment and surgeries to beat cancer.
Unique Gifts to Give
Aside from the gifts mentioned above, you can also give your friend or loved one a subscription to Netflix. With it, she can watch all the movies and TV series she wants during her sessions. She may even use it at home and share it with her kids. You can also try giving her a gift card for iTunes so she could download her music and podcasts. All these and other inspirational gifts are great for helping her past the time while at the hospital.
Furthermore, you can arrange for professional services to clean her house. This will give her one less thing to worry about when she gets home.