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Looking for ideas for a Care Package for chemo

(15 Posts)
janaus Mon 19-Sep-16 11:18:03

My cousin has just had surgery to remove breast cancer.

She now has 6 months of chemo ahead of her.

I am far away. Looking for ideas to make up a care package of things that might help and be useful.

gingeroots Mon 19-Sep-16 11:39:07

Everyone is so different ,it's hard to know what to recommend .

From personal experience I'd steer clear of smellies ,especially any favourite ones as for ever after that smell is associated with chemo .

Knitting ? Colouring in books ? things that are distracting but not needing too much concentration .

What I liked best was receiving flowers through the post - a lovely surprise .
Maybe a voucher for a massage /manicure ?

You could also ask over on this thread

mintyneb Mon 19-Sep-16 11:53:10

Would agree with ginger, definitely no smellies, smells create very strong memories

Your cousin could have some dreadful days but hopefully at least one week in every 3 she could be feeling quite normal and up for even working or going out.

Maybe a subscription to a monthly magazine (if you know of any she might like), box sets, colouring books?

Gentle exercise is good to help you through cancer treatment so if she's anywhere near national trust properties, maybe tickets or a voucher so she could have a nice stroll on one of her good days?

As ginger says though, everyone reacts differently. I worked during my 'good' weeks when I had chemo but felt truly dreadful in the week immediately after treatment.

I'm about to start chemo again so give me a month or so and I might be able to give you some more ideas!

imnervous Mon 19-Sep-16 12:02:17

I know it's not the same (As he's a child!) but my 7 year old is currently having chemotherapy.

He likes to take his own fleece blanket to the hospital, much cosier than NHS ones!

He gets dry lips as he often doesn't drink much due to nausea so Vaseline is helpful

Colouring stuff?

Jigsaw puzzle?

janaus Mon 19-Sep-16 12:05:26

Thank you minty. Wishing you all the best.
She has mentioned a metallic taste? Is that normal? Any sweets might help?
Love the colouring book idea too.
Wondering about a wheat heat pack?

imnervous Mon 19-Sep-16 12:07:01

Metallic taste is pretty normal I think sad. DS quite likes sour sweets for that reason

imnervous Mon 19-Sep-16 12:07:54

Heat pack sounds lovely.

Slipper socks?


janaus Mon 19-Sep-16 12:16:46

Best wishes to your son, Nervous.

Cakescakescakes Mon 19-Sep-16 12:18:55

Not a massage voucher etc as most practitioners won't treat someone who is undergoing chemo.

JeffersonCrisp Mon 19-Sep-16 12:25:12

No to smellies as your sense of smell and taste buds go haywire ( I remember crying because I couldn't go in the kitchen as something smelled 'bad' and was making me heave - turned out to the soil in a plant someone bought me!)

Last chemo I craved mints, this chemo I'm all about the jelly babies and Werthers.

I have a friend who occasionally sends me a 'care package' containing a couple of magazines, a few small packs of sweets and chocolate sachets along with a 'sending hugs' card - I really appreciate the thought and effort.

gingeroots Mon 19-Sep-16 12:25:55

I was keen on liquorice allsorts when I was having chemo .

imnervous hugs to you and your little one .That's so hard ,I was so grateful throughout my dx and treatment that it was me and not a loved one going through it . But I honestly didn't find it so dreadful .

minty sorry to hear you're going through it all again ,wishing you strength.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Mon 19-Sep-16 12:29:59

From personal experience I'd steer clear of smellies ,especially any favourite ones as for ever after that smell is associated with chemo

Completely agree.

Whilst having chemo for my second lot of cancer my lovely DH bought me my favourite perfume, body lotion etc.

I now can't wear it. It takes me straight back to those dark times.

BadGrandma Mon 19-Sep-16 15:22:56

I'd echo the advice about being careful about smellies smile It's difficult if you're far away...
Things I wished someone had given me, or was pleased when they did:
On chemo day, fruit pastilles to hide the nasty metallic taste and crystallised ginger to ward off the nausea. Lots.
Lovely food the week before chemo day - for a fortnight after I couldn't taste anything at all.
Phone calls and visits with loads of silly gossip and conversation about anything except cancer.
Someone to take DH out and remind him about normal life, it was bloody hard on him.
Silly hats are handy - nothing too fancy, but if all your hair's gone it can be damn cold and wigs are itchy things. Obviously only if you know what she likes...
If she has a wig, a voucher to get it cut to suit her might be welcome...

I was glad of books sometimes, but I couldn't always face reading.

A small parcel of random stuff is usually cheering to be honest, but make sure that sweeties or anything with a strong smell is well sealed.

Jjacobb Mon 19-Sep-16 15:34:45

The best chemo bag I got had

Nail varnish
Hand cream
Chocolate -several different types-
A doodle colouring book and pens
Lip gloss
Fruit sweets
A shawl

I loved it.

BumbleNova Mon 19-Sep-16 15:40:31

I found this just at the right time. I've just found out my mum has cancer. she starts chemo in a couple of weeks. getting a care package for her feels like a small corner to grab on to when everything has been turned upside down. good tip on not strong smelling things, I was going to get her her favourite bath oil but that sounds like it might be a bad plan.

I know she is trying the ice cap thing, so I dont want to buy her anything to do with loosing her hair yet.

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