Knowing what to get someone, especially someone with cancer, can be a challenging and oftentimes, daunting task. Our desire is to find the perfect balance between something unique, thoughtful, meaningful, yet practical. Easier said than done, right? We know the perfect gift is definitely not another bunch of flowers…but, what is it?
Receiving a cancer diagnosis or starting a new treatment regimen can be overwhelming and scary. It is a time filled with a great deal of uncertainty and a sea of emotions.
We want to love our people in a meaningful way yet sometimes it is hard to know just what to say or do. Sometimes we need to think outside the box because some of our usual go-to gifts (like comfort food, smell good lotions and flowers) may not be appropriate, comforting or palatable for loved ones going through cancer treatments.
Everyone’s cancer treatments vary as do their individual responses to the treatments. It is definitely not a “one size fits all approach.” Before giving a gift to a cancer patient, please consider food and drug allergies, medication interactions and other potentially hazardous materials that could cause a negative response or reaction. When in doubt, ask a loved one or someone close to the person, if there is something in question regarding the gift you have in mind to give. Remember…cancer changes lives and also brings with it new limitations, different sensitivities and aversions. Gifts that might have once been pleasing and enjoyable, may not bring about the same feelings after a cancer diagnosis. Be sensitive to these changes but don’t let it stand in your way of loving someone through gift giving!
To help you find the perfect gift that is not another bunch of flowers, I have put together a helpful guide to give you some super thoughtful, yet comforting and creative gift options to consider for your loved one!
Comfort Gifts for Cancer Patients That Are Not Another Bunch of Flowers
Chanasya Hope and Faith Prayer Inspirational Message Gift Throw Blanket – Posivite Energy Love Comfort Caring Soft Cozy Thoughtful Uplifting Healing Gift for Best Friend Women Men – Blue Throw Blanket
This super soft, uber comfty blanket is perfect for the home or treatment center. It comes in several different colors and is covered with inspiring messages and powerful words of encouragement! Perfect gift for cancer patients or caregivers for any occasion.
Headache Hat – The Original Wearable Ice Pack for Migraine Headaches and Tension Relief – Regular Size
My mom had glioblastoma brain cancer so frequent headaches came with the territory. I wish that I had known about this headache hat during her journey. I have since heard from other brain cancer friends that this hat has been a saving grace during times of debilitating headaches, head and neck pain. This design is very versatile and allows for cooling effects to be felt on different areas where pain may be experienced. The hat materials are both soft and flexible and lends itself to a very comfortable, soothing fit.
BCOZZY Chin Supporting Patented Travel Pillow – Prevents The Head from Falling Forward in Any Sitting Position, Providing Comfort and Support for The Neck and Head. Adult Size
This chin supporting travel pillow is the perfect gift idea for travel or for long cancer treatment appointments and hospital stays. This design supports both the head and neck and can allow for more secure comfort while napping or sitting for long periods of time.
Inspirational Athletic Running Socks | Women’s Woven Low Cut | Inspirational Slogans | Over 25 Styles
I love and absolutely adore these socks! I think they are so cute and would make for both a thoughtful and practical gift for someone you love that has cancer or is caring for someone who does! There are over 25 different styles and colors. The encouraging messages are perfect reminders for the tough days!
TENS Unit and EMS Combination Muscle Stimulator with 2 Channels, 12 Modes for Pain Management for Back, Neck, Arms, Legs, Abs, and Muscle
I recently had the opportunity to try out this device and I was sold within the first minute of putting it on my body! This is an easy to use, non-invasive device that helps support the body by relieving minor muscular aches and pains. It is portable and small enough to take it with you wherever you go and can be used on many different parts of the body. If you have never tried this, I highly suggest you get one for yourself and someone you love. Your body will definitely thank you! For less than the price of a massage, you can stimulate your muscles and manage pain from the comfort of your own home.
The Breast & Chest Buddy – Seatbelt Cushion for Open Heart Surgery and Chest Reconstruction Sites – Solid Gray with Heart
Travel can often be difficult and uncomfortable for cancer patients or anyone that you know that has had trauma, a surgical procedure (open heart surgery), or a device (such as a port) inserted. This seatbelt cushion is versatile and can be moved around to accommodate the person’s needs. This simple cushion would be a very practical and thoughtful gift for any occasion. It can certainly make long distance and shorter trips much more comfortable and more enjoyable.
Gifts to Support Sleep and Comfort for Cancer Patients
YnM Weighted Blanket (15 lbs, 48”x72”, Twin Size) for People Weigh Around 140lbs | 2.0 Cool Heavy Blanket | 100% Cotton Material with Glass Beads, Dark Grey
When my husband brought this weighted blanket home for my mom during the last few months of her life, it was probably one of the BEST gifts she ever received. Every time she used this blanket, it was like she was getting hugged. The weight provided gentle pressure and comfort which helped her relax and rest well. Our entire family has fallen in the love with this blanket and all of it’s many benefits!. There are different sizes and weights of the blanket so you can accommodate the special needs of each individual.
Sunbeam Heated Blanket | Microplush, 10 Heat Settings, Mushroom, Queen
When my mom was going through cancer treatments, her temperatures fluctuated dramatically, sometimes for no rhyme or reason. Having a dual control heated blanket was the best of both worlds. She could turn it on and off based on how she was feeling but when she went through her cold spells, she didn’t have to worry about my dad getting overheated and uncomfortable.
Dreamegg D1 Sound Machine – White Noise Machine with Baby Night Light for Sleeping, High Fidelity Sounds, Timer & Memory Feature, Sound.
This sound machine has become a favorite in our home. When my mom was under hospice care, we used this to provide her with white noise and soothing sounds for more restful sleep. This particular machine also has a gentle light which is very beneficial for night time care. This sound machine has many different features and can benefit the individual and their home in many ways. My husband and I and our daughter sleeps with it every single night. Hard to imagine what sleep was like before we got this machine.
FimiTech Wake Up Light, Alarm Clock 7 Colored Sunrise Simulation and Sunset Fading, Dual Alarm Clock with 7 Natural Sound and FM Radio for Kids Adults Bedroom
A more gradual and natural way to fall asleep and to greet the next day! I love the idea behind this alarm clock with the benefits of light therapy. Functional for both adults and children. Great gift for better sleep and safety for night time waking.
Mavogel Silk Sleep Eye Mask – Removeable Soothing Eye Pillow, Cold Therapy for Headache/Migraine Relief/Sinus Pain/Puffy Dry Eyes, Cooling
This is an awesome eye mask that gives you 2 for 1 benefits. Not only will this silky smooth eye mask block out unwanted light and external stimuli but you are also able to use it as cold therapy to support your body during times of discomfort from a migraine, sinus headache or other treatment effects. Incredible gift that helps promote more restful sleep and relieves tension and stress.
Personal Care Gift Ideas for Cancer Patients
Puracy Organic Hand & Body Lotion, Fragrance Free All Day Natural Moisturizer, 12 Ounce
Cancer treatments can be hard on the entire body, especially the skin. This fragrance free, organic hand and body lotion is a great “thinking of you” gift but one that will also help support the integrity of their skin which is so important during treatment. When choosing lotion for a cancer patient, please pay close attention to the ingredient list and be sure not to choose something with strong fragrances. Many patients because very sensitive or even develop an aversion to certain scents.
Babyganics Hand Sanitizing 75 Individual Packet Wipes (Pack of 2)
Obviously hand hygiene is a critical element in supporting a healthy immune system. When patients are going through cancer treatments, their immune systems are compromised so it is very important to do whatever possible to keep hands and surfaces free of germs. These alcohol free hand sanitizing wipes are perfect for children or adults and are super convenient to carry around wherever you go. Cancer patients spend a lot of time in hospitals, doctor offices and treatment centers, they can never have enough tools in their tool belt to ward off germs! These hand wipes are also made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances or dyes, which makes me love them even more!
2 Sets Bamboo Travel Utensils Bamboo Cutlery Flatware Set Include Reusable Bamboo Fork, Knife, Spoon, Chopsticks, Straw, Cleaning Brush (Blue, Green)
This is one of those things that I so wish I had known about when my mom was going through cancer treatments. Due to chemotherapy and other cancer related treatments, my mom’s taste buds had a fit and turned on her many times. Eating used to be something my Mom really enjoyed until different medications changed her oral environment, giving her awful after tastes and a metallic taste in her mouth. I have heard this complaint from many cancer patients. It really compromises quality of life when you can no longer enjoy your food. These bamboo utensils will probably not solve the problem, however it may make the experience of eating a little more enjoyable. When my mom was living, we often used plastic silverware which cut down on the intensity of the metallic taste she would get in her mouth. But I love these travel reusable bamboo sets. What an awesome gift!
Contigo Purity Glass Water Bottle with Petal Sleeve, 20oz, Scuba
We all know how important hydration is for cancer patients going through treatment. A glass water bottle is a thoughtful and practical gift. This bottle has no plastic parts, is BPA free and can go in the dish washer.
USDA Organic Lip Balm by Sky Organics – 6 Pack Assorted Flavors –- With Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E. Best Lip Butter Chapstick
This organic chapstick set is an adorable gift for cancer patients and one that can be used daily. Perfect for the car or treatment bag, to keep lips healthy and moisturized. This gift set comes with six different flavors, is non-toxic and doesn’t have a bunch of artificial ingredients and chemicals, which I LOVE!
Ginger People Original Ginger Chews 3oz Bag
As we all know, cancer treatments are notorious for disrupting the entire system and often leaving the patient feeling nauseous. These ginger chews are made from real ginger and do not contain artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Easy to carry around and have on hand in a treatment bag, purse or car.
Entertainment Gifts for Cancer Patients
iPad Pillow & Tablet Stand – Securely Holds Any Size Tablet, eReader or Book Upto 12.9 inches, Hands Free Comfort at Any Angle on Any Surface – Pink Stars, by iBeani
This is an awesome gift idea and one that I want to put on my own Christmas list! This pillow and tablet stand is perfect for long treatment days and hospital stays. It allows the patient or caregiver to be hands free while having a stable support for their electronic device. This unique product allows patients and caregivers to be entertained without the inconvenience of having to physically hold their device.
LapGear Designer Lap Desk with Phone Holder and Device Ledge – Aqua Trellis – Fits up to 15.6 Inch Laptops – Style No. 45422
This lap desk is convenient to travel with and makes the perfect gift for the cancer patient or the caregiver that enjoys keeping their mind active during long stents of sitting and waiting. This lap desk allows the individual to work, write, solve puzzles or play on technology while being supported by a comfortable, stable, flat surface. Perfect for the hospital bed, treatment chair or waiting areas. This design also comes with a designated area to put your cell phone.
COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Deep Bass Wireless Headphones Over Ear, Comfortable Protein Earpads, 30 Hours Playtime for Travel/Work, Black
These noise cancelling headphones come in several fun colors and are super versatile! Your loved one can certainly use these to meet all their entertainment needs such as listening to music, audiobooks or movies. However, they can also be used to control noise coming from the external environment. Due to my mom’s brain cancer, she became hypersensitive to noise. Certain pitched noises were actually seizure triggers for her. These noise cancelling headphones could help protect an individual from getting overstimulated by surrounding noises.
Brain Games – Relax and Solve: Sudoku
My mom LOVED Sudoku. She solved these puzzles for entertainment but she also used them as a form of personal brain “therapy” and mental stimulation. She could do Sudoko puzzles for hours! This is a great gift for both cancer patients and caregivers to pass the time.
Funster Activity Book for Adults – Word Search, Sudoku, Crosswords: 100+ Large-Print Easy Puzzles
This puzzle book has over 100, large print puzzles to keep the mind entertained. This is a thoughtful gift for the cancer patient or caregiver and is a fun alternative to watching T.V. or being on technology.
Color The Psalms: Inspired To Grace: Christian Coloring Books: A Scripture Coloring Book for Adults & Teens (Bible Verse Coloring)
There is something so relaxing and inviting about coloring! This beautiful coloring book was inspired by the book of Psalms and is the perfect faith filled gift of encouragement and inspiration! Make sure you pair this coloring book with a presharpened pack of color pencils or watercolors!
Crayola Colored Pencils, Pre-Sharpened, Adult Coloring, 50 Count
Book Gifts for Cancer Patients
Life Is Messy (God Is Good): Gratitude Journal
This is a beautiful gift to give to anyone on your gift giving list but particularly for individuals going through a difficult time. The pages of this journal are filled with writing prompts and beautifully decorated spaces for someone’s personal thoughts, feelings or ideas.
There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love
This book is a personal favorite of mine and one that I can read over and over again. When someone we love is going through a difficult time, it is often challenging to find the right things to say or to do. As humans, we tend to make a lot of mistakes and we say A LOT of dumb things! Most of the time, not on purpose. But nonetheless, our words end up becoming more harmful than they are helpful. This book is a must read and can be great for patients, caregivers and the friends that are supporting them. When walking through cancer, empathy is a gift and we definitely need more of it!
Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close
This is a beautiful devotional book written by Lysa Terkeurst and is perfect for anyone facing painful circumstances or hardship. There are over 100 powerful devotions with scriptures, personal stories and prayer that can support someone emotionally and spiritually as they walk through the trenches. Embraced will be an uplifting blessing and soothing comfort to your loved one’s spirit.
The Book of Comforts: Genuine Encouragement for Hard Times
This amazing gift was sent to me by a friend soon after my mom passed away. The pages of this book are beautifully designed and chock full of scriptural truth and real life encouragement. I love this book so much that I have gifted it to several people over the last several months who are facing a variety of life challenges! It is a daily comfort!
Prayers to Share: 100 Encouraging Notes for Tough Times & Tough People
This is a beautiful and thoughtful gift for anyone going through a difficult time. This is a great idea for anyone that wants to say something helpful and meaningful yet doesn’t feel like they have the “right” words to share. This book has 100 tear out prayers that contain both scripture and quotes to inspire, encourage and comfort anyone going through difficult times.
Gifts for Cancer Patients That Don’t Cost a Dime
A Hand Written Note and Not Another Bunch of Flowers
This is a very personal and incredibly thoughtful gesture that anyone going through a trying time can appreciate. Sometimes a hand written note is even more special (and more appreciated) than a store bought card. Often times, store bought cards contain overused, even insensitive platitudes that can bring more harm than good to a hurting individual.
Consider writing a note to someone you love and just telling them what they mean to you and remind them that you are there for them. If you feel comfortable, maybe include a hand written prayer with your note. As someone who has been on both the giving and receiving end of hand written communications, I can assure you that this heartfelt outreach is guaranteed to bring a smile to that person’s face and overwhelm their heart with love, joy and gratitude! There is nothing like a hand written note!
Gift of Your Presence
Sometimes the most valuable gift you can give someone is the gift of your presence. Showing up for someone that you love who is hurting may be difficult and even uncomfortable; however, it is a priceless gift and act of love. You will never know how much someone’s time and attention means until you are on the receiving end of it. Thoughtful gifts are wonderful and always appreciated but the gift of someone’s time is a treasure.
For more gift ideas that are not another bunch of flowers, for Caregivers, check out this guide I have put together to help make your gift giving easier and more meaningful this year!
I pray these gift ideas for cancer patients have been helpful and you now have some creative, yet thoughtful and practical gift ideas as you approach the holiday season. Whatever you choose to do, always keep the individual’s personality and preferences at the forefront of your mind. You will be blessed as you find ways to best honor them and their individual cancer journeys.
Thanks for sharing these ideas! It’s great to know of ways that would bless those going through cancer. Will save your post for future ideas! Thanks!
LeRyiah Arant says
Thank you for checking it out! I pray it will help you be a blessing to someone who really needs it!