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8 practical and meaningful gifts for the cancer patient in your life

  • 11.30.2017

The holiday season is upon us and that means the gift-buying season has also arrived. Choosing gifts for friends and family can be a challenge — Will it fit? Will they use it? Will they like it? Those challenges can be magnified when buying a gift for someone undergoing cancer treatment.

We researched gift ideas from a number of cancer support websites, including, and came up with this list:

1. Treatment Journals

Journals designed to help patients and caregivers navigate the overwhelming world of cancer treatment can be very useful. Plan appointments, track medication reactions, diet, activity levels and emotions as your treatment progresses.  

  • CanPlan is a one-of-a-kind planner designed specifically for cancer patients and their caregivers. It provides daily reminders, guidelines for positive living, and much more.
  • Cancer Planner journals help you keep you track of your treatments, doctor's appointments, and general busy life. 

2. Books

We wrote a whole blog on this, and our list includes cancer-specific selections that are inspirational, humorous, practical and comforting. Choose the one you think your loved ones most needs right now. And don’t forget audiobooks. If reading is too tiring, the patient has poor eyesight or if they simply enjoy hearing a book, an audiobook is a great way to go. Choose one from the cancer-specific list or go with one from’s user-generated list of the best audiobooks.

3. Video entertainment

If your patient is physically tired from treatment, watching a show can be more relaxing than reading. Whether you go with a classic holiday DVD or a streaming subscription like Netflix or Amazon Prime, you can find something that meets the needs and tastes of your personal cancer warrior.

4. Practical clothing they’ll actually like

These clothing options are specifically designed for those dealing with cancer treatments and the accompanying ports, sensitive skin, reconstruction challenges and frequent medical exams.

  • CureWear: These products allow patients to keep their clothes on while providing nurses and doctors the access they need to administer medicine.
  • AnaOno: Lingerie and apparel for women who've had a mastectomy, breast reconstruction or breast surgery, including bras for breast cancer, radiation wear and recovery wear.
  • Care + Wear: These covers help eliminate some of the challenges of having a PICC line by making it easier to securely cover the line without having to worry about exposure to outside agents or low-quality materials.
  • Headbands of Hope: The high quality, stylish headbands range in price from $14.85 for a simple floral design to $200 for one studded with Swarovski crystals. To make it even better, for every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to fund childhood cancer research.
  • Cancerbeglammed: This women’s fashion site offers everything from designer hospital gowns and wigs to pjs and post-op panties, all in the name of “recovering in style.”

5. Amazon cancer gift baskets

Leave it to Amazon to put together cancer gift baskets, designed to enhance comfort during chemotherapy. A thoughtful and practical gift for someone starting treatment.

6. Cleaning service

Who doesn’t enjoy a freshly cleaned house, particularly those whose time or energy are being used to fight a disease? Talk to your local cleaning company about why you’re hiring them and you may even get a discount.

7. Meal delivery

If you cannot make and deliver nutritious, home-cooked meals that require little to no preparation to eat, you can always hire someone else to do it. New meal delivery plans typically require some assembly, so they may work for some patients, but not for others. A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant with a delivery service is another option.

RELATED: The Value Of Getting Good Nutrition During Cancer Treatment

8. Your time

When people are dealing with cancer, they can become isolated. Sometimes patients feel too tired and overwhelmed to reach out to friends, sometimes friends feel awkward and don’t know how to interact with the newly ill. Your time, attention and love is perhaps the most meaningful and healing thing you can offer the cancer patient in your life. Spend time sharing a meal, taking a walk, watching a movie or simply visiting and you’ll be helping them heal.

RELATED: Friends Of Cancer Patients Can & Should Play A Supporting Role

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