After being diagnosed with cancer I received many thoughtful cards, warm messages, and lovely gifts. This outpouring of love helped me know I wasn’t alone and that my friends and family cared deeply. Apart from warming my heart, some of the gifts were actually quite helpful in my daily struggles.
Here are the 5 gifts I most appreciated while going through treatment:
1) Aromatherapy set with essential oil blends: Certain odours can become major nausea triggers during treatment so I would bring an essential oil, usually peppermint, to my daily radiation treatments to avoid odorous triggers and to calm my chemo-induced nausea.
2) A colouring book and box of pencil crayons: While I never used any of the colouring books myself, my mom and my husband took turns colouring a page or two during my treatments or in the quiet evenings at home. Colouring became a calming distraction for my precious support team.
3) Cash: Ok, I know this sounds ridiculously over the top but I received some money from my amazing colleagues. They had pulled together some funds and donated them to me to supplement my lost income, to pay for hospital parking, and to just help me out. It wasn’t an obscene amount of money but it was more than generous and I am so grateful for their generosity.
4) Chemical-free makeup: Whether you lose your hair (which I didn’t) or just look sick you don’t exactly feel beautiful when you are going through treatment. I received an all-natural, chemical-free mascara and lipstick. The mascara was dark brown so I used it for my eyes and eyebrows and I could throw on some lipstick when I was feeling up for fun. It was a kind gift that reassured me I was still a young woman, still a human.
5) Organic lollipops: One of my husband’s colleagues dropped off a basket of junk food and goodies that included a bundle of organic fruit juice lollipops. Surprisingly, these little suckers were the best part of the whole basket! They helped me fight nausea by providing a gentle taste sensation without having to eat anything. I kept these in my purse and never left the house without them.
Hopefully these gifts give you some ideas on how to support the cancer fighters in your life. The gift doesn’t have to be big or expensive to be meaningful. Of course you don’t need to give a gift at all. Just do something to show you care.