Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cancery Gifts for Cancery Friends

Partway through chemo my office sent me a big basket of chocolate bars. It was well-meaning. However, I had been on a health kick long enough by that point that I had gotten down to my ideal BMI, chocolate was rarely part of my diet, and I was feeling really proud of how well I was taking care of myself (all things considered). Unfortunately chocolate is a bit of an addiction for me and the basket of temptation was too much to resist, particularly since my energy levels were nil. If you are trying to figure out what to get a friend who is going through cancer treatment, have a look at my suggested gift items.

First check out the freebies that are available. They will cost you nothing but mean so much. If your friend is newly diagnosed, consider sending them a copy of Cancer is a Word, Not a Sentence by Dr. Robert Buckman. Dr. Buckman had an amazing ability to understand the emotional turmoil that patients experience and combines that understanding with a straightforward explanation of cancer and cancer treatment in this book.



  • True Lemon / True Lime is great for mixing with water to mask taste changes.

  • Spectro Fragrance Free Cleanser or any other scent free face wash will help with any sensitivities to scents.

  • Likewise Linacare Face Cream or any other scent free facial moisturizer is also helpful.

  • Unscented Soap, particularly a gentle and moisturizing soap, is helpful - keep in mind that chemo can dry out the skin.

  • Unscented Body Cream or Lotion or Kukui Nut Oil to help combat chemo-induced skin dryness makes a useful gift.

  • Unscented Shampoo and Conditioner, particularly the Nature Clean Pure-Sensitive line, is more appreciated than you would think. I continued to shampoo and condition my scalp through chemotherapy - it gave me a sense of normalcy during showers.

  • Microwavable Heating Pads are soothing for sore arms after having an IV and caustic drugs pumped through your veins.

  • Manuka Honey Drops can be soothing for mouth sores - a common side effect of various chemotherapy drugs and stress in general.

  • Gin Gins are helpful for nausea and taste changes.

  • A crocheted Sock Monkey Hat or any other crocheted or knitted hat makes a nice gift. But sock monkeys are especially cool.

  • Frozen Prepared Food. Lots.


  • Kukui Nut Oil Soap or any other very gentle and moisturizing soap is good for cleansing sensitive irradiated skin.

  • Linacare Body Cream or Glaxal Base cream or lotion helps to delay skin breakdown due to radiation exposure.

  • Pure Aloe Vera Gel is soothing and safe to use.

  • As seen on TV Genie Bras or Ahh Bras - although they aren't cotton there will come a point during treatment where their non binding nature is more beneficial than their man made fibre content is harmful

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