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Things for my mum with cancer

(19 Posts)
feellikezerobucks Sat 03-Oct-20 19:16:56

Wasn't sure where to post this....

Found out yesterday my beautiful mum (56) has breast cancer.
She will have the full breast removed (and reconstructed) then chemo or radiotherapy ASAP (covid dependent!)

Anyway, she lives over 6 hours away and due to family commitments/covid restrictions I won't see her until after the surgery/treatment. My mum also likes to be left alone when ill, and as she's the one going through this I have to respect her wishes. She lives with her partner who adores her so I know she is in very safe hands but I wanted to send her a care package for after treatment but not sure what to send....

So far I thought;
- Satin button up pjs (thought this would be soft against her skin)
- Lip balm/moisturiser (thought her lips might go dry during chemo/radiotherapy)
- Hand cream (as above, invade her hands get sore during treatment)
- a book (any recommendations greatly appreciated!)

Would these things be suitable and can anyone recommend anything else?
I'm not sure if treatment will make her nauseous, and I don't want to seem shallow sending her beauty things.....

Anyway, any suggestions would be great!!!

OP’s posts: |
BumbleNova Sat 03-Oct-20 19:24:50

What about something like a kindle? She can load it with books she would like?

My mum lived in soft bamboo hats after she lost her hair but I appreciate it's a bit difficult to give as a gift.

If be careful with skincare as the skin changes a lot with chemo. Something very bland but soothing, my mum liked the avene range ( you can get it at boots).

Lovely pyjamas or some " loungewear" is a great idea. My mum really appreciated a heated blanket. Lovely and cosy to lie under when recuperating. You can get them from Amazon.

bobisbored Sat 03-Oct-20 19:27:39

Sorry to hear about your mum. My mum felt the cold when she had her chemo so I bought her a lovely soft wrap to keep her warm. She found she could only use Sanex zero shower gel as anything else irritated her skin. How about a subscription for flower deliveries?

LucyLastik Sat 03-Oct-20 19:28:48

I bought my mum a breastfeeding pillow as they had to go in under her armpit and she found sleeping awkward and painful. The pillow allows her to position herself a bit more comfortably and was a godsend after the surgery,

It's utterly shit finding out that your mum has cancer. My mum lives 3 hours away and it was so hard not being able to be near her as she went through her treatment. It's been a year now and although she is cancer free the fear of hearing those words is still there. Wishing you and your mum all the best.

LiveFromHome Sat 03-Oct-20 19:31:14

A lovely cashmere wrap, John Lewis used to do a 'travel scarf/wrap", have a look for one of those. A cashmere beanie hat or turban and some queazy pops. In fact, there's lots of nice stuff on this website.

Fivemoreminutes1 Sat 03-Oct-20 19:54:03

Herbal or caffeine free tea
Eye mask
Neck pillow
Crossword and sudoku books
Twinings Cold Infuse bags
Epsom bath salts
Message beans
Gin Gins Candy

bcccc Sat 03-Oct-20 19:59:47

I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I wish you and your mum all the best.
Maybe fluffy socks, a soft blanket or candle? Unless like you say she's feeling nauseous.

Trailing1 Sat 03-Oct-20 20:06:25

When my aunt was having chemotherapy we brought her a lovely warm, fleece dressing gown/bed jacket as she was saying that she was always feeling very cold as a side effect of her treatment. She really liked it. I'm sorry your mum is going through this.

Stuffofawesome Sat 03-Oct-20 20:07:59

Ideas here. Hope she feels better soon

CherryPavlova Sat 03-Oct-20 20:28:25

The things I didn’t need were endless sympathy and an aura of tragedy. I wanted to get on with living and working. She sounds like she doesn’t want to sit around in bed either.

Good presents were the practical things.
A seatbelt tension adjuster and pad to allow me to drive shortly after surgery.
Nice makeup.
A kindle or iPad for chemo sessions.
A soft front fastening bra for post surgery. A vest with built in support for radiotherapy times when skin can feel sunburnt.
Loose tops and t shirts that were easy on and off.
An eye pad with space to open your eyes to allow sleep in hospital.
Noise cancelling headphones for hospital and chemo sessions.
A swimming costume with cups for when wound was healed.
A good mug and decent t bags for hospital.

Has she decided re cold cap or hair loss yet? If she wants to not appear as a cancer victim, has she thought about getting a wig to match her current hair or having her hair dyed and cut to match her wig? If hair loss is her thing, then she’ll need warm hats for winter.

Eyeliner tattoo is something I wish I’d had done prior to losing them.
Dark nail varnish can sometimes prevent nail damage and loss if having Taxotere.

CherryPavlova Sat 03-Oct-20 20:29:26

Beer. Wine tasted too metallic. Lager served cold was a very welcome sense of normality.

Graphista Sat 03-Oct-20 21:00:03

Op I'm so so sorry about your mum, wishing her a speedy and full recovery and you peace of mind as soon as possible

I've nursed a lot of ladies with breast cancer.

Cotton tends to be better than satin as it washes better if stuff gets spilled on it or small blood stains but you're right on button up, they can have trouble raising their arms without pain especially if there's any lymph node surgery/treatment.

A long warm cardigan with 3/4 length loose sleeves (or 2 or 3 actually) is something she'll find very handy to warm her up but still allow easy access for IV

If she normally wears tops and doesn't have many shirts/blouses then maybe a few of those

Lip balm/moisturiser - yes but unscented no fancy scents or colourings as these can irritate

Hand cream - yes especially at the moment! I've found neutrogena Norwegian formula the best (use it myself - I have ocd and wash my hands a LOT)

A kindle is a great idea! Very easy for her to pop in her bag and means she can access not only books but also magazines which can be easier to read if concentration isn't the best or she's tired - a LONG charger lead so she can easily plug it in if the battery gets low.

Scarves - everyone thinks head warming with hair loss but if she's had longish hair till now she may well feel the chill on the back of her neck! They're a bit more versatile than hats too though of course you can do hats too. One of my patients deliberately sought out the most colourful, and aimed to have one for every potential outfit and occasion.

Good headphones - for tuning out the ward!

The things I didn’t need were endless sympathy and an aura of tragedy.

Yes I think that's generally true for most patients, if something in your life (or dcs or whoever) happens that's funny or entertaining "save it" for when you're talking to her.

A cheery upbeat approach is usually most helpful.

feellikezerobucks Wed 07-Oct-20 17:34:12

Thank you all so much for the advice and kind wishes. I have a shopping list for Friday to put together a nice care package 👍🏻

I spoke to her properly about it yesterday and understand abit more, but everything's so up in the air given Covid and Scotland's restrictions.
I also told her I won't mention it unless she does as she has to lead how she wants to deal with it .

Thank you again, you've shown much kindness x

OP’s posts: |
SunniCameHomeWithAVengeance Wed 07-Oct-20 19:50:38

My best wishes to your mum @feellikezerobucks.

When my mum had her treatment she got a cup that had wide straw attached. It was a thermos type one. She used it when she would be feeling weak and tomato soup from it. I'll see if I can find out what type it is.
Also a few extra pairs of cotton, non bleached or dyed knickers and some tena pads.

Impatientwino Wed 07-Oct-20 20:06:34

If she has an iPad and enjoys watches things - I bought my mum an ibeanie from amazon so when she was too tired she didn't have to hold it up. Can put on her lap or on a bed. She got lots of people asking where it was from and what a good idea it was whenever she was at the hospital.

She got cold easily sitting around (something she was not used to being a busy bee!) so we bought her a really warm fleecy blanket but one that was machine washable.

Her feet got cold and her heels got sore so fleecy socks and moisturiser helped a lot.

I'm sorry this is happening, it's the absolute pits finding out your mum is ill thanks

Impatientwino Wed 07-Oct-20 20:07:40

Oh yes and a long phone charger cable!

lambo88 Wed 07-Oct-20 20:12:15

My moms been through the same Hun...hope everthing goes well for her xxx

CherryPavlova Wed 07-Oct-20 20:16:30


My best wishes to your mum *@feellikezerobucks*.

When my mum had her treatment she got a cup that had wide straw attached. It was a thermos type one. She used it when she would be feeling weak and tomato soup from it. I'll see if I can find out what type it is.
Also a few extra pairs of cotton, non bleached or dyed knickers and some tena pads.

Really curious as to why an otherwise healthy middle aged woman with breast cancer might want non bleached cotton knickers and Tena pads?

SoddingWeddings Wed 07-Oct-20 20:16:40

I bought one of these for my friend who has just started chemotherapy for breast cancer.

The products are beautiful, and it's a lovely organisation.

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