A cancer diagnosis is life-altering. Help show your support for friends and family members by giving them a gift to lift their spirits. Cancer patients, and chemo patients in particular, have many items they need to purchase in order to be comfortable, so we’ve included lots of practical gift ideas that will make their lives easier. We’ve also included some whimsical and fun gifts to take their mind off things. Read on to get inspired and find a great gift for the cancer patient in your life.
Need a gift for someone who beat the odds by beating cancer? Head on over to our guide to the best gifts for cancer survivors, and we’ll recommend some great gift ideas. You may also want to check out our guide to the best gifts for breast cancer survivors.
1. Unisex Chest Port Zipper Chemo Shirts
This clever shirt is designed to give caregivers easy access to a chemo chest port. There are zippers on both sides, and the shirt is tagless, to avoid even the slightest chance of discomfort. These shirts are super soft, and available in a few different colors. For someone going through chemo, this is a must-have. The manufacturers recommend ordering a size up if you’re in between sizes, in order to ensure a loose, comfortable fit.
Price: $11.00 – $32.99, depending on size and color selected
2. Flowers of the Month Subscription From BloomsyBox (3 Months)
Little surprises mean a lot when you’re going through cancer treatment. For anyone who appreciates the natural beauty of flowers, a bouquet is a thoughtful “get well soon” gift. But why get one of something when three of something is so much better? This three month subscription from BloomsyBox is an ideal gift for anyone being treated at home, in a hospital, or in hospice care. Each month, a new flower is featured, and a new arrangement arrives in a sleek white gift box. You can include a free personal message with each shipment to help boost their spirits. Please note, flowers typically arrive between the 18th-23rd, but special delivery options are available.
3. Nixplay Seed 7-Inch WiFi Digital Photo Frame
People have the best chance of healing when they are surrounded by people that care about them. A digital photo frame goes a long way towards brightening a hospital room or other impersonal medical facility. Fill it with pics of their friends and family to help them stay strong, even during the darkest days. This photo frame comes in multiple fun colors, and up to 10GB of images. Nixplay Seed turns on when you enter the room to display the most recent photos, thanks to motion sensor technology. All in all, this is a great gift idea for anyone who loves looking at old photographs.
Price: $99.99 (9 percent off MSRP)
4. Acupressure Anti Nausea Bracelets
One of the worst side effects of chemo is nausea. And while drugs like Emend and Zofran can help cancer patients power through the worst of the symptoms, these drugs also have some undesirable side effects. Some cancer patients find acupressure wrist bands to be helpful in combating nausea. The idea behind these bracelets is that a small bead presses gently against a pressure point in the wrist, relieving nausea naturally. You may have seen a similar product, Sea-Bands, being used by cancer patients, migraine sufferers, or pregnant women. These upscale bracelets are a step above Sea-Bands, at least from a design perspective. There are three different sizes, so you can get a custom, close fit. We think a cancer patient needs to see beautiful things, and wear beautiful things, which is why we recommend these more expensive acupressure bracelets over something like a Sea-Band. However, if you’re on a budget, Sea-Bands work just as effectively.
Price: $23.95 (8 percent off MSRP)
5. BlankieGram Healing Thoughts Blanket
Help your friend or family member stay positive with this “healing thoughts” blanket. Measuring 50 inches by 60 inches, this blanket is covered in uplifting messages like “warm hugs” and “healing energy”. We also like the cheerful color, which adds some personality to a hospital home or home care area. But best of all is the company’s generous ethos. For every blanket bought, the company donates one blanket to someone in need.
6. Hope Anchors the Soul Pendant
This handmade pendant is an inspirational gift for a cancer patient. The pendant reads “Hope Anchors the Soul”, and measures about one inch. The pendant is made from stainless steel, while the chain is made from a zinc alloy. An anchor charm and blue bead charm give this necklace a nautical feel, which may appeal to sailors, beach bums, or anyone who likes to vacation near the sea.
7. CINEMOOD Storyteller: 3-in-1 Standalone Media Projector
When you’re getting cancer treatment, you’re often so weak that all you can really do is sit back and watch TV or movies. This standalone media projector is small enough to be portable, but provides a screen image of up to 150 inches. Cancer patients can project a movie on the wall or ceiling of their hospital room, or in their bedroom at home. With silent finless cooling, a pre-loaded library of digital content, and a special Youtube video player, this is a great gift for anyone who loves watching movies. Why deal with the stress and hassle of moving a TV into a cancer patient’s bedroom when you can provide them with this portable, lightweight projector instead?
8. EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem
Flowers fade. This little ecosystem won’t, at least not anytime soon. Give this enclosed ecosystem as a gift, and you give a cancer patient their own private nature show. This handblown glass bubble features shrimp, algae, and microorganisms in salt water. Because the EcoSphere contains everything it needs to be self-sufficient, you never have to feed the creatures inside, or change the water. Just make sure the pod is kept at a steady temperature between 65 and 80 F, and that it is near a light source (natural or artificial). The shrimp consume the algae and micro-organisms, while the micro-organisms break down waste made by the shrimp. The whole EcoSphere is beautifully balanced. This little gift can be placed on the nightstand next to the patient’s bed, and it gives the patient something interesting to look at during the day.
9. ‘The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer’
Many cancer patients feel empowered when they start to educate themselves about the disease. This Pulitzer-winning book is a must-read for anyone who is suffering from cancer, or anyone who cares for a cancer patient. This “biography” of cancer traces the history of the disease, from the earliest days of human history to modern times. Historical anecdotes include the tale of the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave may have removed the queen’s breast as an early form of mastectomy. The development of radiation and chemotherapy are also chronicled.
Shopping for someone who is less interested in history? Another must-read book about cancer you could consider is When Breath Becomes Air, a memoir of a doctor’s struggle with his own terminal cancer diagnosis.
Price: $14.40 for a paperback copy (20 percent off MSRP)
10. Giant 47-Inch Teddy Bear
It is heartbreaking when a child is diagnosed with cancer. Help comfort a young cancer patient with an over-sized teddy bear. Around the same height as a four foot child, this big bear is the perfect bedtime companion for a kid in need of comfort. Looking for a gift for a tween or teen who was diagnosed with cancer? They might be too old for a teddy bear, so consider something like the wildly popular cancer romance The Fault in Our Stars.