10 Funny, Uplifting Gift Ideas for Cancer Patients

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There’s an old saying that laughter is the best medicine, and there’s actually a lot of truth to that. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which make the body feel good and even relieve pain. It helps you relieve physical tension and stress. It has been shown to decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells. While laughter isn’t enough to cure what ails you, it certainly helps. 

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So when someone you know is battling a disease like cancer, it’s important to expose them to the humorous side to life. Funny messages for a cancer patient can lift their spirits, which in turn helps promote healing. Humorous or uplifting gifts can have a similar effect.

Here, we share some of our favorite funny or lighthearted gifts for cancer patients.     

Funny Gifts for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer is a startlingly prevalent disease. Approximately one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during the course of her life. While breast cancer is rarer in men, they can also be afflicted with the disease. There are also nonbinary people who must fight breast cancer.

Thanks to fundraising and awareness campaigns, the mortality rate for this type of cancer has dropped. Awareness campaigns have also made it possible to find funny gifts for breast cancer patients. Here are some of our favorites:  

1. Cartoons about living with breast cancer

Cartoons are some of the earliest forms of humor we are exposed to as humor. They can deal with complicated and emotional topics like living with cancer.

Miriam Engleberg’s book Cancer made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics is one example. It shows how someone can use humor to cope with a life-altering diagnosis. When Engelberg was diagnosed with breast cancer, she used her passion for drawing as a way to deal with the trauma and document her experience. Books like these can cheer up the cancer patient in your life.      

2. Funny cancer shirts

People living with illnesses like cancer often use their clothing to make a statement. Many people wear shirts with inspirational slogans like “Stronger Than Cancer” or “Cancer Warrior.” But people also use shirts to poke fun at cancer. One funny shirt for breast cancer patients says “Cancer Touched My Boob, So I Kicked Its A**”.

Another one that reads “Fierce, Fabulous, Flat” is geared towards people who have had mastectomies. Another great shirt for someone who has had (or is facing) a mastectomy reads “Boob Voyage: Thanks for the Mammaries.” Shirts like this can minimize some of the seriousness of living with this illness.  

3. Entertaining cards

Gifts don’t always have to be something physical. Just sending someone a nice card can really lift their spirits. You can also include humorous elements in this card.

There is a slew of greeting cards available in stores and online meant to uplift cancer patients. Many of them are quite funny. One favorite reads, “I’m Sorry Your Boobs Tried to Kill You.” Getting a card like this can help break the ice by starting out with a life. Then you can write a message inside that continues the humor, is heartfelt, or combines both tones. Sometimes your words can be a true gift.  

4. Funny gender-bending bathing suit

A lot of women who undergo breast cancer treatment deal with body issues. This is especially prevalent in people who have had mastectomies. It can be traumatizing to lose a part of your body, especially one tied to your gender identity. Many cancer patients struggle with putting on a bathing suit after losing their breasts.

There are one-piece bathing suits that are screen printed to look like a stereotypical man’s body. This includes a flat chest, abs, and lots of body hair. For someone who has a sense of humor about the changes their body has gone through, this bathing suit can be a great gift.  

5. Superhero t-shirt

Sometimes people need to be reminded that they are a fighter. If a woman in your life is going through treatment for breast cancer, you can let her know she’s a warrior by getting her a costume fit for a superhero.

T-shirts that feature strong characters like Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, or Supergirl can help breast cancer patients feel invincible.  

» MORE: How do you host a virtual funeral? Start here

 

Funny Gifts for Other Cancer Patients

Awareness campaigns have made it so that breast cancer patients get a lot of attention. But there are over 100 types of cancer that exist. There are always practical gifts like chemo care packages for cancer patients. But funny and lighthearted gifts can also make a big difference. Here are some humorous gifts for patients with any type of cancer.   

6. Swear word coloring book

When you’re going through cancer treatments, you have a lot of downtime. There’s the time you spend in treatment getting infusions. Then you also need lots of rest, as chemo and other treatments can be hard on your body. Arts and crafts can be a great way to pass the time.

Adult coloring books can be really soothing, and they don’t require you to have any particular artistic skills. There are several adult coloring books on the market that feature ornately designed swear words. These can be really entertaining for cancer patients who often feel like swearing on bad days. It can be fun to engage in a meditative activity like this that is unexpectedly built around off-color language.    

7. Funny books about living with cancer

There are so many books on the market written by cancer survivors. Some are inspirational. Some are raw and unflinching. And some are deeply funny. Firsthand experiences of surviving cancer can be really motivational for cancer patients.

Funny books can show that it’s okay to find humor in a really dark time. Here are a few titles to start with:

  • Cancer Schmancer by Fran Drescher
  • Not Now … I’m Having a No Hair Day: Humor & Healing for People with Cancer by Christine Clifford 
  • Cancer on Five Dollars a Day: How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life by Robert Schimmel
  • Cancer Is a Bitch: Or, I’d Rather Be Having a Midlife Crisis by Gail Konop Baker 
  • Shrinkage: Manhood, Marriage, and the Tumor That Tried to Kill Me by Bryan Bishop

These books — and many others — can brighten a cancer patient’s day and improve their outlook on what they’re going through. 

8. Funny hats or headwraps

Cancer treatment can take a major toll on the body. One of the most visible side effects is hair loss. People who undergo chemo may lose the hair on their heads, along with their eyebrows and eyelashes. A lot of people opt to cover up this hair loss with hats and scarves.

Sometimes they do this to detract attention from their hair loss. But sometimes if it’s just to protect sensitive skin from sun exposure. In the case of the latter, they may welcome a hat or head wrap with a comical message on it.

Some examples of this are:

  • I’m Too Sexy For My Hair 
  • My Hairstylist Is My Oncologist
  • I’m Having a No Hair Day
  • Bald is the New Blonde

Hats and head wraps with messages like these can make for a humorous and uplifting gift. 

9. Funny coffee mugs

Coffee mugs in general are a great way to express your personality. Many people have favorite coffee mugs with silly and sassy sayings. There are many mugs available that talk about the experience of having cancer in a fun and funny way.

Here are some entertaining slogans you might be able to find on a coffee mug for a cancer patient:

  • Please Be Nice To Me: I Have Chemo Bran Brian Brainn Thinky Thing
  • I’m Hoping Radiation Will Give Me Superpowers
  • Dear Cancer, You Picked The Wrong One
  • Cancer is a Jerk

Not every cancer patient will be able to actually drink coffee - the smell of it can be intense for someone who is going through cancer treatment. But even if they can only sip coffee out of it, a mug like this will make the cancer patient in your life smile.   

10. Cancer novelty socks

When you’re fighting cancer, it’s important to have comfort items to help you feel better. This can include things like comfortable pajamas and warm fuzzy blankets. Socks are another great thing to have. Warm socks, as a result, are a bit of a necessity.

There are plenty of novelty socks that reference people fighting cancer. Many fun ones have messages that are hidden unless you’re looking at the bottom of someone’s feet. A particular favorite includes socks that say “If You Can Read This” on one foot and “I’m Kicking Cancer’s A**” on the other. It’s a fun hidden message to lift someone’s spirits.   

Lifting a Cancer Patient’s Spirits With Funny Gifts

A study in Norway indicated that people with a good sense of humor live longer than those who don’t. It even showed that cancer patients who laughed a lot had a tendency to live longer.

Getting a funny gift for a cancer patient won’t just lift someone’s spirits. It may actually improve their odds of survival or quality of life.  


Sources

  1. “U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics.” Breastcancer.org, Breastcancer.org, 25 June 2020, www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics.  
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