When your friend or family member gets diagnosed with cancer, it’s difficult to know what to do. The best way to support someone with cancer is to continue being there for them in the best way you know how. You could write them an inspirational letter, organize a meal train, or distract them with entertaining stories. And of course, one thing that’s always appreciated during difficult times is a gift.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Practical or Useful Gifts for Him
- Care Package Ideas for Male Cancer Patients
- Gifts for Men Going Through Chemo or Radiation
- Gifts for a Dad With Cancer
Gifts can be indulgent luxury items, or they can be eminently practical. They can be lavish and expensive, or they can be small impulse purchases. Ultimately, your gift should just show that your loved one was on your mind. It should be something you pick out to improve their lives in some small way, even if it’s just to make them smile.
Not sure what gifts are appropriate to buy for the male cancer patient in your life? Read on for ideas and inspiration.
Practical or Useful Gifts for Him
When people start undergoing cancer treatments, things they once did easily can become out of reach. Things like preparing food or cleaning the house become major undertakings when you’re sick from cancer treatments.
Here, we share some gifts for cancer patients that are both functional and thoughtful.
1. Professional house cleaning service
When people are going through cancer treatments, it’s extra important that they live in a clean space. People with compromised immune systems need to live in sanitary places.
An uncluttered environment is also soothing for someone going through taxing treatments. Hiring a cleaning service can help relieve the patient and their family of the burden of intensive housekeeping.
2. Grocery gift card
People with cancer often have spotty or inconsistent appetites. This depends on the treatment they’re going through.
A grocery gift card is general enough that it will allow the patient to pick out what foods sound appealing to them even when they’re nauseated. If they have kids or a spouse, a grocery gift card can also ease financial pressures on the family. Can't make it to the store? Try sending an eGift card to places like Whole Foods, Safeway, or another nearby grocery store.
3. Tablet or e-reader
When you’re recovering from cancer, you have a lot of downtime. You may be sitting in a treatment center for hours getting infusions. You may be resting at home because your body is weak from treatments. Either way, you need something to keep your mind active and engaged.
A tablet or e-reader (Amazon's Kindle is pretty popular) makes a great gift for cancer patients. They can read, listen to audiobooks, or play puzzle games to keep their hands busy and their mind engaged.
Care Package Ideas for Male Cancer Patients
Many pre-assembled care packages have a distinctly feminine bend. It’s easy to find a gift basket with floral bath and body products geared towards women. When making a care package for a man, you often have to think outside the box and get creative. Here, we brainstorm some ideas for custom care packages for male cancer patients.
4. Comfortable clothing care package
Women seem to have endless options available when it comes to comfy loungewear. Men don’t always have many options on hand.
Put together a cozy gift basket with a plush robe and soft socks or comfy Ugg slippers. Round it out with a few pairs of soft and comfortable pajamas. Your loved one will feel like they’re wrapped up in a warm hug from you whenever they wear them.
5. Snack package
Cancer patients often have hit-or-miss appetites. But they need to keep up their strength. Put together snacks for cancer patients that might settle their stomachs and help them pack on some needed pounds.
Ginger candies and saltines are great for soothing upset stomachs. Foods like trail mix provide a high-calorie count for relatively little food. Include some favorite foods to stimulate their cravings.
If you don't have time to put something together, send them a pre-selected assortment of favorite snacks to their door.
6. Crafty care package
Does your loved one enjoy having something to keep their hands and brain busy? Put together a care package with crafts and puzzles.
Things you might wrap up include:
- Adult coloring books and colored pencils (because sometimes it’s fun to make beautiful swear words, we like The Swear Word Coloring Book)
- Wood carving or whittling kit
- Crossword and sudoku puzzles
- Cross-stitch kit
Package them up in a cool tote bag so your patient can bring these activities to treatments or store them near their couch nest.
Gifts for Men Going Through Chemo or Radiation
Chemotherapy can be incredibly difficult for cancer patients. Some patients have said that chemo treatment is worse than cancer itself. If your friend or family member is going through chemotherapy, he is likely enduring a lot of misery.
You can put together a chemo care package for the male cancer patient in your life to help ease their discomfort. Read on for more ideas.
7. Soft fuzzy blanket
When cancer patients go in for chemo or other treatments, they may have to sit for hours in chilly hospital rooms.
Give your loved one a warm fuzzy blanket to keep in their car. They can bring it with them to their treatments and feel cozy and comforted.
We like this cozy throw blanket from Amazon.
8. Mini spa basket
Going through cancer treatment is really physically uncomfortable. Self-care is important. Put together a special care package for the male cancer patient in your life. He’ll enjoy getting a chance to spoil himself. Products to include are:
- Unscented lotion and lip balm to soothe dry, chapped skin
- Fragrance-free body wash to help patients get clean without being overwhelmed by aromas
- Bag Balm to treat hand-foot syndrome that often accompanies chemo
9. Massage gift certificate
Is your loved one open to alternative methods of treating pain and discomfort? If so, consider setting them up with a gift certificate for a massage.
Massages can help people deal with the anxiety that accompanies cancer and chemo. It can also mitigate some side effects of treatment, including pain and nausea. Just have the patient check-in with their doctor first and make sure massage is recommended for their type of cancer.
Gifts for a Dad With Cancer
Dads can be tricky to shop for on occasions like birthdays or Father’s Day. It can be even trickier if your dad has been diagnosed with cancer. Dads often put on a stoic face to protect other family members during challenging times.
Take some time to write down a positive message and give it to your dad along with one of these gifts. He’ll appreciate the time you took to pick out something special. Your positive words will also lift his spirits.
10. Journals or sketchbooks and pens
Sometimes men from older generations have a hard time expressing themselves. Communication doesn’t always come easy, especially during emotionally fraught times. If your dad is going through cancer treatment, he may need an emotional outlet.
If he is a natural storyteller, encourage him to start keeping a journal, like this simple, blank hard cover journal. He can revisit old memories or document his experiences during treatment. If he’s more visual, a sketchbook, like this set of two,may help him process his feelings.
11. Streaming services and tech support
If your dad will be laying low at home to recuperate, you’ll want to make sure he has plenty to occupy his time. If your dad has been watching the same pile of DVDs over and over since the nineties, bring him into the modern era.
Get a Roku or Smart TV and set up an assortment of streaming channels. Then help him create watchlists and learn how to navigate each app. He’ll be blown away at all the new movies and shows at his fingertips.
12. Quality time
Sometimes the best present is simply your presence. Take time to be with your dad while he’s undergoing treatment.
Drive him to his appointments. Hang out on the couch and marathon TV shows. Talk about old family memories. Spending time with your dad is a gift that won’t cost you anything. But it will be priceless to him.
Cheer Up Male Cancer Patients With These Thoughtful Gift Ideas
If there’s a man in your life who is fighting cancer, there are so many ways to help them. You can offer practical support. You can spoil and indulge them to help them feel better. You can provide a listening ear when they need to vent.
You shouldn’t just support your friend in one way. Pay attention to all the little ways you can make their days a little better. The best way to do that? Pick them up a sweet gift. Knowing that they were on your mind, if even for a moment, will mean a great deal to them.