Someone you love has cancer. You may have no idea what to say or do.
They are facing chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, biologic or immune therapy. Or, all the above.
You want to help. Here are some awesome, inexpensive ways you can.
Gifts that Help the Family
Treatment is just as stressful on the people who live with the patient as it is on the patient.
1. Prepare a meal. Frozen casseroles are great because the family can heat and eat as needed.
2. Arrange for a housekeeper through a charitable organization such as Cleaning for a Reason.
Gifts that Help Ease Nausea and Dry Mouth
Nausea is probably the most common side effect of chemotherapy. Dry mouth and mouth sores, often painful, are also common side effects of many chemo drugs. These gifts help nausea, and dry mouth:
3. Peppermint – peppermint essential oil, peppermint tea, peppermint candy.
4. Ginger – ginger syrup, ginger chews, crystallized ginger, ginger tea, ginger essential oil. I find ginger honey crystals dissolved in warm water quite soothing.
5. Throat Drops
6. Biotene Mouth Spray
Gifts that Ease Pain and Discomfort
Another common side effect of chemo is Peripheral Neuropathy, nerve damage that causes pain, tingling, numbness, especially in the feet and hands. Dry skin, lips, and eyes are also common. Chemo patients are often cold.
7. Foot Massage – a wooden massage roller is nice, too.
8. Epsom Salt
9. Pain Relief rubs or patches
10. Essential Oil Blends for pain or relaxation
11. Lip Balm
12. Hand Lotion
13. Eye Drops
14. Warm fuzzy slipper socks. They are like a hug for your feet.
Gifts for Taboo Side Effects
There are also some side effect from chemotherapy that the patient is not comfortable sharing. For example: constipation, diarrhea, and hair loss.
15. Hats and head scarves to keep the head warm.
16. Dried fruit like prunes and dates to ease constipation.
17. Moist Flushable Cleansing Wipes – dry toilette paper can be irritating.
18. Travel Tissue Packs – because nose hairs fall out, too.
Even the smallest gesture is appreciated by someone going through cancer treatment. It is an exhausting and emotional experience.
A huge note of thanks to my friend Stephanne Davenport. She dropped of two delicious meals, plus a bag full of useful goodies, after my most recent chemo treatment. #FluffyKitty approved.