Celebrating the End of Radiation Therapy: 20+ Ideas

Updated

Celebrating the end of radiation therapy is a fantastic milestone. It was likely a long and difficult road for you and your loved ones. Letting yourself take the time to remember the hard days behind you and the prospect of happier ones ahead is vital to your healing.

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Picking the perfect party or gift idea to show how much you care about your loved one shouldn’t be stressful. You should have as much fun planning the party or gift as you do partaking in it. Below, we’ve provided plenty of ideas for either a party or a gift for your loved one.

Party Ideas to Celebrate the End of Radiation Therapy

No matter how old your loved one is, you should plan a party that will help them feel like their best self — it should be lighthearted and even silly. Often, it’s the experiences that make us feel as carefree or as childlike as possible that are the most special. 

While surprise celebrations and gifts are always fun, consider whether or not the loved one you’re honoring would like to participate in planning as a bonus to the experience.

When planning your party or experience, you should also keep the energy levels of your loved one in mind, as well as if he or she has any limitations. Spending a long day in the hot sun or getting in too much physical activity all at once may not be feasible just yet. You should pace yourselves — you’ve been through a lot. 

1. A trip to the zoo

A trip to the zoo is one of those experiences that can be fun for you and your loved ones of all ages. If you have a smaller group that you’re inviting, this may be a great option. It can be a good way to get everyone out of the house for a safe, small adventure. 

2. A backyard barbecue

If you have a more extensive guest list or you’re unsure if your loved one is ready for an event on the town just yet, a backyard barbecue can be a great option.

You can plan a menu filled with your loved one’s favorite foods, enjoy time outside, and enjoy one another’s company without the added stress of upcoming treatments. 

3. A sunrise or sunset picnic

A sunrise or sunset picnic somewhere special can be a symbolic and intimate way of celebrating your loved one. That said, it can also be loud and lively. Sunrises and sunsets can represent both beginnings and endings. 

4. An aquarium trip

An aquarium trip can be a fun way to take your loved one’s mind off of things in a cool, indoor environment. As opposed to some other options, it’s a relaxing way to get out of the house.

5. A drive-in movie or movie marathon

Having a drive-in or movie marathon can remind your loved one of simpler times. Consider showing old movies or just a collection of your loved one’s favorites. If you’re unable to set up an actual drive-in or visit one, you can likely rent a screen and a projector and have your own somewhere around your home or neighborhood. 

6. A garden or tea party

To “class up” an outdoor (or even indoor) event, you can incorporate a garden or tea time theme. This is easy to accomplish with a few flower arrangements, hors d’oeuvres, music, and attire. This is definitely more relaxed and lowkey than some other party ideas, though, so it may just depend on your family!

7. A “field day”

If your loved one is younger or loves sporting events, you can plan a mini field day for them. Even if he or she isn’t the one going the hardest in the activities, it will likely be just as entertaining to watch other guests get into it. You can also incorporate some lower-impact activities to blow off steam, such as water balloon or water gun fights.

8. A private night out

Renting out a room in a nice restaurant or bar could be a great, safe way to bring your loved ones together to celebrate.

You all can coordinate themed outfits or simply take it up a few notches from sweats (if you’re tired of them yet). Consider renting a limo to take you to the event for an extra special touch. 

9. A party bus

Similar to the idea above, renting a party bus or luxury vehicle to take your loved ones around town could be exactly what you all need. It’s not so much about having a destination, though you all could plan a food or drink tour along your route if you choose.

It’s more so about relaxing, listening to music, and unwinding together in a way you probably haven’t in a long time. 

10. An anti-roast

Rather than having a traditional roast, consider having one where your friends and family gather to share good things about your loved one. You can still format it in a similar way with a throne for your guest of honor and a mic for the “roasters.”

Your loved one will likely appreciate some light jabs and jokes, too, since they probably have a great sense of humor if you’re considering this option. You may be interested in these positive messages for cancer patients.

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Gift Ideas for Celebrating the End of Radiation Therapy

Perhaps you think that your loved one would appreciate a gift rather than a party. It may make more sense to have a party at a later date instead, for example. Getting a gift for them in the meantime is another great way of showing how much you care. You may also be interested in these ideas for small gifts for friends

11. A new pet

Getting your loved one a new pet to care for—and keep them company—can be a great idea. Consider your loved one’s energy levels, budget, and other factors before making a decision about what type of companion would be best. Animals of all shapes and sizes have a natural ability to help heal us, no matter what we were going through.   

12. A spa experience

Pampering and self-care are essential, no matter what you’re going through. While it’s likely that your loved one had a specialized care regimen during therapy, that may look a bit different now that they are healing. 

Do your best to consult with their care professionals, or even a specialist, to help them get their skin and hair back to their former glory. A specialist can likely recommend new products or services that will help your loved one regain confidence.

13. Walking shoes or workout gear

If your loved one was a fitness enthusiast before or during therapy, they’re probably ready to get back to their favorite activities sooner than later.

Perhaps a new pair of supportive, comfortable shoes or home workout gear would be the perfect gift. You can even look into taking your loved one to a yoga studio or a local gym for more guided workouts. 

14. Cooking or baking supplies

As your loved one recovers from radiation, they will likely regain an appetite for the foods they missed. If they love working in the kitchen, consider getting them new supplies, recipe books, small appliances, or even lessons.

You may also consider getting them a meal subscription service to help limit trips to the grocery store and take some of the work out of meal planning.    

15. A memory book

You and your loved ones have been through a lot. Even if some of these memories are less than pleasant, they’re still important because they’ve brought you to where you are now. 

A DIY memory book could be a great way to highlight the most significant moments you all have been through. Though digital memories are nice, they’re just not the same as something printed and tangible. This will likely be a keepsake your loved one will cherish forever. 

16. A tattoo

A tattoo may not be the most orthodox gift, but people often get them to mark significant lessons or experiences in their life. If it’s your loved one’s first tattoo, consider getting one with them to make it even more meaningful between the two of you.  

17. An engraved piece of jewelry

Jewelry and similar keepsakes are often the perfect way to mark a significant date or experience. Consider getting something classic, like your loved one’s initials, or you can even consider getting the date of their last treatment engraved instead. 

18. A weekend getaway

A road trip to a nearby city or even a remote locale could be the perfect gift for your loved one. Rental services like Airbnb make it possible to make your experience as custom, private, and unique as possible.

Planning a small trip like this is also likely more cost-effective and doable right now versus an elaborate vacation, and you can make just as many great memories. 

19. Home entertainment

Even though your loved one will likely be regaining their energy levels and getting out more, they will likely still need some quality time at home.

Consider getting your loved one new speakers, a turntable, a new TV, or some other entertainment system to spend some quality time on the mend with. 

20. Lessons in a new skill

Has your loved one always wanted to learn Spanish? Wanted to try his or her hand at pottery? Consider getting your loved one lessons to learn a new skill. Your loved one will have more time to spend doing things they enjoy, not traveling or sitting in treatments. 

Always Celebrate the Wins

Having a loved one with cancer can be draining for everyone involved. No matter how significant this round of radiation was in the long-term scope of your loved one’s care journey, it doesn’t make it any less worthy of celebration. It’s important to always focus on the positives and the small wins.

You and your loved ones should do everything you can to keep the good energy going. Not only can your family continue to benefit from it, but other families in similar situations can, too. 

If you're looking for more ways to support a loved one living with cancer, read our guides on what to write on a last day of chemotherapy sign and how to support someone going through chemotherapy.

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