Hi, My friend has just been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and has just started chemo. My friends and I all want to help her through as best we can, and heard about a company that sends a 'hug in a box' - a monthly box of goodies to cheer her up. We decided to do our own. So, I'm after ideas of what sort of things to include - we'll put in some of her personal favourites, but I was hoping for some ideas of things which may specifically be useful to her going through chemotherapy. All ideas gratefully received. Thanks!
Tiny ginger biscuits in little packets to help with the nausea. I think they are branded as morning sickness biscuits. Lip balm is always handy and soft tissues as you can end up with a permanent drippy nose (not glamerous) . That dry eye spray can be quite soothing when you get sore eyes and cuticle oil is good as your nails get very weak and flakey.
Something to help with relaxing and getting to sleep, eg lavender wheat pillow, hot chocolate etc. The steroid they give you alongside the chemo winds you up and makes it really hard to sleep.
Indulgent facial stuff, moisturiser, cleanser or whatever. I found it weird that having no hair exposed so much more of my face, and I did feel better when I treated myself to new, more expensive products and my skin was really glowing.
Boiled sweets. The oral thrush was one of the worst side effects of chemo for me and they helped take the disgusting taste away. I practically lived on them for a while!
Good books. You do sit around in the chemo room for hours each time.
I am on chemo at the moment (2nd time round) so am getting an expert. I would suggest: Nice water jug and glass Nice water bottle for taking out eg Bobble bottle (you need to drink loads and it really does help) Hand cream Haribos Ginger biscuits Anything good for finger nails as they can darken/split/fall off. I used nail polish all the time - dark colours best. Suggest she finds out about a "look good, feel better" course (Google for nearest) where she will have a nice make up session and come home with a large bag of beauty products from major manufacturers. As well as bandanas, Buffs and the Seasalt equivalent are good informal head coverings if she loses her hair.
Thank you so much everyone. Loads of good ideas that will keep these boxes going for a good few months. I know that, sadly, a lot of you are speaking from experience - I hope that you are well and cancer-free very soon. X
A good non alcohol mouthwash for mouth sores. If no hair a sleeping hat or silk pillowcase (normal pillowcases hurt your scalp). Relaxing music if she feels ill and can't read. I think it's a lovely idea xx
We wrapped individual gifts and did it as a lucky dip for each of her 15 chemo sessions. It meant she had something to look forward to each week.
A belt... Weight loss or weight gain is in unwelcome side effect.
A scarf, chemo patients often feel the cold
Hand cream, a novel, lipgloss for drying lips, a silly photo of the grandchildren, her favorite bag of old fashioned sweets. Bio oil and some skin care. A voucher for some treats from boots. A painting from my 5 year old daughter.
We all joined in to make this box and my mum appreciated the effort more than anything inside
for your friend.
Ps, my 5 year old and three year old named the box
Grandmas smile box and drew the most beautiful picture to glue to the front