14 Thoughtful Gifts for Loved Ones Battling Cancer

friend with cancer
iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

The holidays can be especially tough on our friends and family members who are battling a serious illness like cancer. Despite the festive mood of the season, they are often dogged with lethargy, aches, pains, nausea, and so much more. That can definitely dampen the spirits. So it's especially important to show them some extra special care, especially when it comes to gift-giving.
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Here are 14 great gift ideas for a loved one with cancer:

  1. Watch the kids. If she has children, offer to take them for a weekend so she can enjoy a little guilt-free peace and quiet.
  2. Decorate her house. Bring some much needed holiday cheer into her home. Put up garlands, wreaths, and festive centerpieces. A little spirit goes a long way.
  3. Tummy-friendly snacks. To combat nausea, often a side effect of treatment, put together a gift basket of treats that won't upset her stomach. Crackers, apples, bananas, nuts, low fat chicken broth, mint tea, sparkling water, and products with ginger.
  4. Cleaning service. This is a gift every woman can appreciate. But splurge a little and spring for a maid once a week for a month.
  5. Cozy, cashmere blanket. A lot of patients experience sudden chills. A nice, warm, luxurious throw will do the trick.
  6. The perfect planner. Staying organized is critical but not always easy. She can keep a log of appointments, records, medications, and phone numbers in a chic organizer like the 3-Piece Cancer Planner ($62.99, breastcancerplanner.com).
  7. Movie night. Is there any more fun than a movie night with friends? Whether it's chick flicks or mysteries, let her pick five of her favorites, pop some popcorn, sit back, and relax.
  8. Laptop. Help her stay connected to the world. This is perfect for those times when she doesn't feel up to getting out of bed. She can check email, tweet, shop, journal, binge watch a good series, or just peruse her favorite reading from a nice, comfy spot.
  9. E-reader. Stock it with her favorite magazines and she can take it to all of her appointments.
  10. Week of delicious meals. No one wants to cook when they are not feeling well. Volunteer to bring dinner for the family every day for one week.
  11. An ear. Just be there to listen to her. There is something so cathartic and healing about being able to get your feelings out. Don't comment or judge, just let her go off about anything that is on her mind.
  12. Cute accessories. Losing your hair is incredibly traumatizing. Help her stock up on things that will help her feel beautiful and chic, like silk scars, lovely hats, gorgeous earrings, etc.
  13. Alternative treatments. Some patients say reiki massage and acupuncture can help with pain management, relaxation, and soothe an upset stomach.
  14. Gadgets to make life easier. Treatment can leave you feeling weak. Fill her stocking with products that make everyday tasks easier, like a jar opener ($9.99, oxo.com) and long zipper pulls ($4.77, amazon.com).
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