Show Your Support for those in Treatment
A cancer diagnosis is never the news that you or your family wants to receive. The news and subsequent treatements are terrifying, exhausting and can often be isolating to those undergoing chemotherapy or other medical treatments. Support can come in many forms but it's important to recognize that showing up in the best way that you are able to, for your friends and family, can mean the world to them in this difficult and sometimes dark time. We've put together some ideas for gifts that can mean a lot for those looking for everyday comforts, a special treat or even just a sense of normalcy. Whether practical or very special, you know your friends best so take consideration when choosing how you'll help the warrior in your life.
1. Help With Household Duties
Something like cancer can put a strain not just on the person undergoing treatment but their entire family. Things like cooking, cleaning, errands and household maintenance can sometimes fall by the wayside when a family's focus has shifted to care of their loved one. If you live close, offer to help clean up around the house, do a load of laundry, take shifts caring for family pets, or fix and prepare meals to be shared/frozen. Wherever you see the opportunity to chip in, make the offer and insist that you help. If you're trying to help in this area, but live far away, work with friends and family to provide a MealTrain or similar calendar, so that you are chipping in and ensuring these needs are met. This might not be the most glamorous gift but providing a sense of normalcy and less anxiety around household duties, well, this can go a very long way and will be very much appreciated.
2. Provide a Comfort Care Package
This gift idea also travels along the same vein as providing something that your friend or family member will need, practicality wise. When undergoing cancer treatements, patients can experience everything from nausea, pain, discomfort, hair loss, appetite changes, fatigue and many more side effects. All of these can be made better with a little love and a comfort care package from a very good friend. Put together some thoughtful, practical gifts into pretty packaging and deliver on a visit with your loved one. Need some ideas? We love including Ginger Chews for nausea, cozy items like throw blankets or a new set of pajamas, a reusable water bottle for hydration, natural beauty items like moisturizer and lip balms, which come in handy during treatment-- Ask yourself the question-- what could make them more comfortable? Put those items in a gift bag and go!
3. Make Something from the Heart
Handmade items may not make the most sense if you're looking to provide something practical but making something from the heart is another great way to show how much you care. Sending a card with thoughts, love and well wishes can make a world of difference in what could be an extremely hard day. Finding the time to make a batch of those world famous brownie bars could be exactly what perks up an otherwise lackluster appetite. Creating a roller ball of your best essential oil blend to combat headache and nauseau might be the best thing since sliced bread when your immune system has been comprimised. No one ever said that you have to spend a million dollars to show someone that you care tremendously... just putting a little thought and effort in, can and will make a big difference!
4. Make a Charitable Donation in their Name
This may seem like an obvious one but if you've never had someone close to you undergoing treatment, it may have not meant as much in the past. Finding a worthwhile charity that is doing good work, spending their donations wisely and support a mission you believe in shows that you put in the time to find the perfect match for your warrior. One of the reasons that we started Foundation4Love is because we wanted to make lives easier for those undergoing treatment as well as their families. It's important to us that relationsihips are tended to and self care is a priority. If you're looking for a charitable foundation to support but aren't sure where to start researching, you can start with Charity Watch, which rates mainstream charities on a grading system, so you can see exactly how they've been operating up until now. For example, these are their Top Rated Cancer Charities. If you're looking to donate smaller and closer to home, just make sure to ask questions about the work they are doing so that you feel comfortable making a donation in your friend's name, one that you can be proud to show them when the time is right!
5. Lend Your Ear
This is a simple one. Lend your ear. Undergoing cancer treatment is no cake walk. There are going to be very hard days for both the patient and their family and friends. Make sure that you are there for support whether your friend wants to vent out all their frustrations about their diagnosis, cry because it's been a bad day or just wants to talk about mundane life tasks like usual. Being there emotionally and mentally is just as important as showing up with a helping hand or comfort gifts. Support comes in all shapes and sizes and you can show up in as many ways as you want-- that's what so great about being a friend, right?
Now that you have a little bit of help and some ideas on how you can provide thoughtful gifts to your fighting friend, you can continue to be an amazing part of an amazing person's life, especially through a hard time. We'd love to hear your ideas on what you've done or received while going through treatment. Leave us a comment below!