CaringBridge Staff | 11.23.21
When a loved one is going through chemo, you want to do anything you can to make them feel better. You can show support in a lot of different ways, but one good place to start could be with a thoughtful care package. An assortment of their favorite or most helpful goodies is sure to bring a smile to their face.
We asked our community to share some of the favorite items they’ve given or received in a gift basket while going through chemo. Check out all their wonderful ideas:
1. A Handwritten Note
A handwritten note has a place in every care package. You can write a personal note, or get a whole group to share their well wishes.
If you’re looking for a place to start, here are some tips on writing a get well soon card.
“[Give] notes and cards with supporting words.”
2. Foods that Help with Nausea
Gift your loved one a food or drink that can help combat any nausea they may be experiencing. Consult this list to see what foods and drinks help with nausea. One idea is to gift a pack of herbal tea. Peppermint and ginger can help with nausea, plus a cup of tea can provide a calm, soothing warmth.
“Dark chocolate always worked for me as well as assorted crackers for nausea.”
3. Meals & Restaurant Gift Cards
Include a gift card to their favorite restaurant for when they get a craving. You can also consider making some prepared meals and dropping them off at your loved one’s home. Time spent in hospitals or clinics likely means fewer home-cooked meals, so that can be quite a thoughtful gesture.
“Get them a [gift card] for the days they want their pizza.”
“My best gift was a cooler filled with prepared meals. So thoughtful.”
High-quality lip balm and lotions are a helpful and considerate gift that can help with your loved one’s dry skin and lips. Opt for unscented options, as chemotherapy can increase sensitivity to smells.
“Hand cream their hands get very dry, numbing mouth rinse for sores in their mouth, body lotion for overall dry skin.”
5. Cozy Items for Sleep
Chemo patients may experience trouble sleeping due to changes in their sleep schedule brought on by treatment and medications. A thoughtful gift could include items that encourage sleep to come a little easier.
This could include things like:
- Sleeping masks
- Satin pillowcases
- Neck pillows
- Weighted blanket
- Fuzzy socks/slippers
- Bath soaks
- Diffuser and essential oils
- Heating pads
6. Water Bottle
Having a water bottle on hand can help your loved one stay hydrated. A high-quality water bottle, (perhaps with a fun design) is a practical and helpful gift that will likely get a lot of use.
The hours can get long during chemo treatments. Your loved one might appreciate some new options to keep themselves entertained.
Find out what subscriptions they already have and purchase something new. This could include subscriptions for: streaming services, audiobooks, music, or online games. Consider what your loved one would enjoy the most and brainstorm from there.
In addition to the more technological forms of entertainment, consider going back to the basics and buying your loved one some physical games. This could include card games, cribbage, board games, word games, trivia. Pick out something you can play together, whether virtually or during an in-person visit.
Scratchy or irritating fabric is no good for someone going through chemo. You can consider adding very soft, comfortable clothing options as part of your gift basket. A few options could include:
- Sweaters and sweatshirts
- Non-slip socks
- Comfy sweatpants
- Head wraps/scarves
Books have a unique way of helping hours slip by. Consider including a book you think they might enjoy in your care package. This may be a novel or book of poems, or something more active, like a coloring book or journal.
“Word searches, crosswords, Suduko puzzle books, coloring books, crayons, markers, pens, journals, notebooks.”
Speaking of journals, you might consider starting a CaringBridge for your loved one. CaringBridge offers a free online journal that your loved one can use to keep friends and family updated on their health, and receive messages of love and support back.
Start a CaringBridge Site
When you’re going through a health journey, you have a lot on your plate. CaringBridge replaces the time-consuming task of sharing your health news over and over. It’s a free, easy to use online journal for sharing health information with your family and friends.
Have More Care Package Ideas?
If you’ve given or received a care package that made you smile, what items were included? Please feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comments below.