Gift Ideas for a Friend With Cancer

home made holiday gifts - cook for your life

When a friend or loved one has cancer during the holidays it can be tough to know what to give them as a gift. It’s hard to find a balance between acting like nothing is wrong and sending them a scarf or leaning into their current state and sending them a get well teddy bear. Luckily, there are some “in-betweener” gifts that can speak to both needs and hopefully hit the right tone.

Personalized Gift Certificates (you make and they cash in):

  1. Good for movies and masks date night. We wear masks to the movies to stay safe from germs and watch a great movie, which you are allowed to fall asleep during because I paid for it.
  2. Give them 100(000) “I am about to fall asleep, even though I love you and what you are saying is interesting” cards to hand out when they need to either hit the hay or just be alone.
  3. Good for 10 house cleanings.
  4. Good for 10 full days of wig wearing. Everyone wears a wig. You all look crazy. You look great. No one looks sick. Or for the most daring, a head shave!
  5. Give them a menu with things you can make. They can choose from the menu, making the idea of food less daunting. Include things like banana blended with ice, homemade chicken broth, and white rice on the menu along with other more substantial items for when they are feeling better.
  6. Make cookies. It’s the holidays. Everyone deserves cookies.

Things you can purchase:

  1. The Cook for Your Life Cookbook, filled with delicious recipes for all stages of cancer treatment and recovery. This is the perfect gift to help any cancer patient cope with the symptoms, side effects, and special diets that come along with cancer treatment.
  2. A subscription to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or any other streaming network. Fatigue or chemo brain can really wear someone out. The gift of endless good entertainment is priceless.
  3. A certificate for massages or other soothing treatments they’d be interested in.
  4. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, personalize gaming devices, magazine subscriptions, newspaper subscriptions.  Anything to make the long hospital days a little less boring.
  5. Radiation care pack with Aquafor and pure Aloe vera gel, and some small bag /pocket-sized containers to carry it to radiation appointments. It will really help their dry skin, cracked lips, or radiation sores.
  6. Donate to a charity in their name.
  7. Different types of fun straws. Bendy, twisty, straight forward, princess, action hero, long, short, maybe even a beer helmet that you can put water and electrolyte drinks in – these all make drinking easier and more fun.
  8. An e-book gift card — good for those coming out of chemo or who are starting radiation.
  9. A fun knitted hat or cool cap to keep a bald head cozy.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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