It is natural to want to comfort and take at least just a little off the burden that patients battling cancer feel. The difficult period of being diagnosed with this insidious disease and then going through the grueling treatment process could wear down even the most stoic individuals.
In these trying moments, the support shown from family members, friends, and loved ones could prove to be indispensable.
Many people, however, struggle to find the right way to express their own feelings of care towards the cancer patient.
After all, they too have to come to terms and internalize the situation in order to be prepared to help their loved ones to the best of their capacity.
Although there is never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach as every cancer patient is a unique individual with a different set of circumstances, an excellent first step in showing empathy and care is to pick up appropriate gifts for cancer patients.
While choosing the specific gifts to include in the care package, however, make sure to follow these essential tips to avoid creating more troubles for the already suffering patient.
1. Ensure The Gifts are Safe
When determining the contents of the care package, check their ingredients and remove any that could interfere with the therapy or treatment of the cancer patient or cause any adverse side effects.
You can consult the medical personnel or shop from a specialized store that can guarantee the safety of their products.
Do not forget to discuss this topic with the recipient of the gifts, as well. If they personally notice that a particular smell or a type of food is making them nauseous during treatment, you would like to know and avoid that.
2. Consider The Stage and Treatment
You must pick gifts that are appropriate for the current treatment and be mindful of the patient’s cancer stage.
After all, it may be highly inconsiderate to include a “get well soon” card in a care package intended for a loved one with a terminal diagnosis.
Keep in mind that even gifts that have been warmly received early on in the treatment could now be inappropriate.
Different treatments have different side effects, while a new therapy could have a vastly different impact on the body and disposition of the patient.
3. Don’t Hyperfocus On Expensive Gifts
While your initial impulse might be to immediately pick up the most expensive choices, as usually a high price is interpreted as a sign of a higher quality product.
However, you can probably find far better options at more reasonable prices after doing a bit of research.
Furthermore, when buying pre-made care packages, check the retail prices of their contents.
Sometimes, you may be charged a premium just for having the different items compiled in a signal package.
4. Buy Individually Packaged Items
The convenience of having multiple smaller packages of a specific item, especially when it comes to food and snacks, cannot be overstated.
Cancer patients often lose their appetite or become hungry at different times during the day. Having just one big package could often lead to the food becoming stale or going bad if it is not finished in a short amount of time.
You can also cut different fruits and vegetables and package them in several smaller containers that can be easily transported or stored.
5. Intangible Gifts May Be the Most Important
It is entirely possible that the best gift you can give a loved one suffering from cancer is a portion of your time. This can take numerous different forms.
Do not forget that the disease does not define the cancer patient. They still have interests and activities they would like to do. Even if going out on shopping trips may not be possible due to health concerns, consider organizing a quiet stay-in dinner.
Watch a relaxing movie or simply talk over food about a variety of topics that are not related to the disease.
Alternatively, you may volunteer to help with a specific house chore or daily activity. As the treatment progresses, the cancer patient may start to struggle when performing different everyday actions.
Lifting heavier objects, shopping for food, vacuuming, etc., could turn into exhausting and intimidating challenges. Helping with one or two will lessen the pressure on the patient and show how deeply you value them and that they can always rely on you.
Above all, the gifts or care packages you choose should be thoughtful and aligned with the recipient’s personality. Include useful items they may need during the long hours in the hospital and during therapy.
However, don’t forget to also add a personalized message or an object that could evoke a warm, pleasant, funny, and happy memory.
Sometimes, bringing a smile and lifting their mood a bit could be more precious than any expensive item.