Unfortunately, one of the most effective therapies in fighting some cancers is chemotherapy. While we are thankful when these chemicals kill all the cancer cells in our loved one’s bodies, we have all seen the savage effects this form of therapy has on cancer patients.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Care Package Ideas for Your Mom or Dad
- Care Package Ideas for a Close Friend or Relative
- Care Package Ideas for an Acquaintance or Colleague
- Chemo Care Package Ideas for a Child
- Where Can You Purchase Pre-Made Care Packages for a Loved One Going Through Chemo?
- Where Can You Find Free Chemotherapy Care Packages for a Loved One?
What do you give to someone who is undergoing chemotherapy? The most important thing is to offer your support. Visit, text, and call periodically. Off your help. If you are searching for gift ideas to include in a chemo care package, here are some to consider.
Care Package Ideas for Your Mom or Dad
It’s hard watching your mom or dad suffer from an illness, especially cancer. The parent who always seemed larger than life may become smaller and weaker. You may find yourself longing for the times when your mom used to yell at you for leaving socks all over the house. You may wish to feel your dad’s strong arms as he wraps you in a bear hug once again.
If your mom or dad is undergoing chemotherapy, it's time for you to step up and give back to the people who gave you so much. Here are some ideas on how you can help. Consider purchasing a gift basket with comfort items that you know they would enjoy. Also, include gift certificates for some of the following services.
1. Cleaning service
Even the most mundane activity is strenuous when you are wiped out from chemotherapy treatments. That’s why you should hire a cleaning service for your parents if one of them is fighting the disease.
If you live nearby, you could consider cleaning the house yourself. Keep in mind that strong smells from some cleaning products may make your parent feel nauseous, so you may need to find unscented products to use until those side effects subside.
2. Laundry service
Hauling loads of laundry up and down flights of stairs is sometimes a Herculean task even when you are feeling your best. If one of your parents is undergoing chemotherapy treatments, hire a laundry service to take care of washing clothing, towels, and sheets.
Make sure your parents have several sets of sheets to use while the others are being cleaned.
Your ill parent may not feel like eating much when undergoing chemotherapy treatments, but others in the household will still need to keep up their strength. Make sure the fridge is stocked with the family favorites or buy gift cards for restaurants that deliver to make meals go smoothly during this difficult time.
If you are creating a care package for your parents, don’t forget to include snacks and candy items that the healthy parent also enjoys. He or she will also be spending long hours in waiting rooms, and they would enjoy a treat too.
4. Tablet or laptop
Make sure your loved one has a lot of entertainment options while going through chemo treatments. Purchase a tablet or laptop for your mom or dad to use at the hospital or home. Download games or other entertainment options to give your parent something to do while sitting in waiting rooms or recovering at home.
5. Digital frame
Your mom or dad needs to know that they have a team of people supporting them during their fight against cancer. Fill a digital frame with images of family members and close friends who would be there in a moment’s notice to offer assistance.
Care Package Ideas for a Close Friend or Relative
It’s hard to know what to do or what to say when someone close to you has cancer. You want to help, but at the same time, you don’t want to get in the way. Why not gift your friend or relative with one of these items?
6. Audiobook subscription
Reading may be exhausting for someone undergoing chemotherapy. Why not purchase a subscription to an audiobook service for your loved one? The long hours at the treatment centers will go quickly when the patient has a gripping story in which to get lost.
Are you not sure how to present such a service in a chemo care package? Create a gift certificate with the log-in and password and attach it to a new set of earbuds.
7. Streaming TV subscription
Maybe your friend doesn’t have the stamina to listen to a long audiobook, but he or she can watch reruns of their favorite sitcoms from the past. Purchase a subscription to a streaming TV service, so your friend doesn’t have to watch the community TV at the chemo center.
Even the healthiest people would feel ill watching live daytime TV, so make sure your close friend has other entertainment options.
8. Comfortable clothing
Soft, comfortable clothing is a must for people going through chemo. Since chemo causes people to lose weight, you may consider purchasing more forgiving clothing should a weight fluctuation occur. Purchase items that your friend would feel comfortable wearing in public.
9. Hats or scarves
Your friend or relative may lose hair as a result of chemotherapy. Consider purchasing soft hats or scarves for this eventuality. Even if hair loss doesn’t happen, your friend or family member can use the items to stay warm while in cold waiting rooms.
Care Package Ideas for an Acquaintance or Colleague
Perhaps you feel inspired to purchase an item for an acquaintance or colleague with cancer. Maybe you know this person has little support, and you would like to send a small token to say that you are thinking of him or her. Here are some ideas on what to give to someone you don’t know well.
10. Tote bag
A person undergoing chemotherapy will have to carry items back and forth from home to the treatment center. Purchase a zippered tote bag that is large enough to carry a small blanket and tablet. A side pocket for a water bottle would be a nice feature as well.
11. Soft socks
Chemotherapy patients are always cold. Purchase soft, warm socks for the patient to enjoy while receiving treatment or while at home in bed. You may consider buying socks with grips on the bottom to keep the patient safe while walking around the house.
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When patients are recovering from the effects of chemo, they spend a lot of time at home. Robes are comforting articles to wear during those long hours. Consider purchasing matching PJs as well.
13. Water bottle
It’s essential to stay hydrated while undergoing chemotherapy. Encourage your friend to drink water by buying a fun, brightly-colored water bottle. Purchase one that is easy to clean and sanitize.
Purchase luxurious lotions to comfort a patient’s dry skin. You may need to find products that are scent-free if the cancer patient is experiencing nausea from the therapy.
A chemo patient may not have enough stamina to read War and Peace while undergoing chemotherapy, but he or she may like some old Far Side books or ones with uplifting short stories. Purchase light-hearted reading options for someone to casually enjoy while they are undergoing treatment.
16. Candy, gum, or chocolates
Hard candies, especially those containing ginger, can help reduce nausea. Treat your friends with their favorite items from a candy shop. Doesn’t eating chocolate make you feel good? It may work on your friend as well.
17. Meditation app
It’s crucial to pay positive when undergoing cancer treatments. Encourage your friend to take time each day to listen to their inner thoughts and release good messages into the atmosphere. There are many meditation apps available to encourage this helpful, daily activity.
18. Gas cards
A cancer diagnosis can be financially devastating. Assist your acquaintance with mundane purchases by including gift cards for gas stations near you.
Hot tea is comforting to many people undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Not only does it warm the body, but it may also reduce nausea. Purchase a sampler pack of tea bags or some loose-leaf tea with an infuser. Ginger, peppermint, and chamomile are especially comforting to those who feel ill.
Chemo Care Package Ideas for a Child
Children are also sometimes the recipients of chemo care packages. Some of the items previously listed would also be appropriate for a child’s chemo care package, but here are some ideas suited specifically for children.
20. Masks with fun designs
Patients fighting cancer have a weakened immune system and often need an extra layer of protection against germs and viruses. Protect the child in your life by purchasing or making masks with fun designs.
21. Stuffed animal
Teddy bears are comfort items, and this little one will need a lot of comfort while going through chemo.
22. Activity books
Do you remember life before cell phones and tablets? Kids entertained themselves with coloring books, dot to dots, sticker books, and paper dolls. Gift a variety of activity books to a child who will be spending a lot of time in bed or at the doctor’s office.
23. Travel games
Purchase age-appropriate travel games for the youngster going through chemo.
24. Rubik’s Cube
It’s time to pass this puzzle to the next generation, so they can become as frustrated as we were during the 1970s and 80s.
25. Peg games
You might have to convince the young person that wooden peg games are fun because they usually don’t look visually appealing. However, these are great, simple games that help pass the time.
26. Children’s books
A variety of children’s books are available that try to explain cancer and chemotherapy. Don’t forget to throw in a few fun reads as well.
27. Cancer awareness bracelets
Give the child a pack of appropriate cancer awareness bracelets that they can distribute to others. You might consider having the bracelets personalized with the child’s name.
Check with the child’s parents to see what snacks would be appropriate for the child.
If you know that the child likes to draw or write, consider giving them a journal or doodle pad to help them keep busy as they wait for the medicine to work. You might also want to consider purchasing a journal with writing or drawing prompts to get them started.
30. Mad Libs
Mad Libs are silly word games that require two people to play. One person asks another to provide them with specific types of words to fill in a story. Kids love the silly story that results from the activity.
31. Craft supplies
Is the child into creating bracelets out of embroidery floss or parachute cord? Do they make barrettes out of ribbons? Buy the instructions and materials of the craft du jour.
32. Dry-erase board
Dry-erase boards can be used to play hangman or tic-tac-toe. Don’t forget to buy many odor-free markers in a variety of colors to accompany the gift.
Where Can You Purchase Pre-Made Care Packages for a Loved One Going Through Chemo?
If you don’t have the time to create your own care package for a friend or family member going through chemo, or you want the care package to look professionally done, here are some companies or websites that can help you.
Many small business owners who create care packages market their products through Etsy. Some packages are designed to encourage your loved one, while others are filled with items the patient might find useful during a chemo session. There are cancer care packages for women, men, and children, and some are targeted to patients with a specific type of cancer.
Spoonful of Comfort doesn’t have a care package specifically labeled for cancer patients, so the company may not show up when you search online. However, they offer many care packages that would be perfect for a cancer patient, including the Spoonful of Sunshine box or the one labeled Thinking of You. You can also send soups if the other packages don’t appeal to you.
It’s not often that a company name doubles as a command. However, this company specializes in creating care packages for cancer patients, and they have bundles for many different types of cancer. We love their package names: Sorta Queasy, Little Queasy, and Big Queasy. You can even purchase a care package for a loved one packed in a Kate Spade bag.
Cancer Care Parcel’s Ultimate Chemotherapy Care Package is designed by people who had experience with chemotherapy. They have specialized packages for those who are especially nauseous during or after treatments and parcels for kids.
We especially like that Cancer Care Parcel offers a package for an often overlooked group: teens with cancer. Cancer Care Parcel offers support items for the family of the patient as well.
Cancer Care Parcel’s website has a lot of content to assist cancer patients, family members of patients, and friends of cancer patients who aren’t sure how to help.
Where Can You Find Free Chemotherapy Care Packages for a Loved One?
The cancer community is full of helpful individuals, often who have experienced cancer themselves or as a caregiver for a patient. We have found several charities that offer resources for cancer patients and their care teams.
A cancer patient doesn’t need an endless supply of throw blankets and ginger candy, but they probably would appreciate someone cleaning their bathrooms and doing a load of laundry. Check out this organization that helps cancer patients keep a sanitized house while going through treatments.
2Live2Cure’s mission is to improve the daily lives of those living with cancer. Each patient who registers will receive one cancer care kit. Consider purchasing some of their products to support this worthy cause.
Request a free care package with Phil’s Friends. Either the patient can request the bundle, or someone else within their circle of friends can order one for them. Phil’s Friends’ mission statement is “to provide Christ-centered support and hope to those affected by cancer.”
Kits to Heart was founded by Sonia Su, who is described as a “three-time cancer alumna.” During one of her hospital stays, she was given a care package from a former patient. This inspired Su to start her own charity after she recovered.
Radiant Hope is another Christian-based organization that offers care packages and prayers to cancer patients. They also organize volunteers to deliver water bottles with essential goods to hospital treatment rooms.
This organization was founded by a woman who received a care package during her cancer battle. She decided to pay it forward by offering uplifting encouragement to others going through the same thing.
YANA stands for “you are not alone.” This organization offers care packages to cancer patients, including a handmade fleece blanket, a handmade cap, and a personal note of encouragement. The organization is entirely lead by volunteers and will help you plan corporate events or team-building volunteer opportunities.
Helping Your Loved One Through Chemo
Purchasing items for a person going through chemotherapy is a beautiful thing to do, and we need more nice people in the world. Be the person who sends sympathy messages and gifts. Offer sincere condolences when people are suffering.
Buy comfort items for people who are suffering and reach out to others in need. Our world would be a better place if we all tried to help those facing troubling times.