Phil is going in for a CT scan tmrw to see if he is still in remission from his Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma of 2 yrs ago. He hasn't been feeling the greatest lately and it was time we checked up on him. It is a scary time. However I thought that helping others would refresh me. So I made a guide for what to buy as gifts for those you love who are battling cancer.
I will also make one for the caregiver.
Having gone through a year's worth of cancer with Phil, I got to know quite well what he needed during his chemotherapy weeks in the hospital. I have given suggestions based on my his preferences, but if you are unsure what your friend or family member would want during their healing process, money is always needed. Big bills are great, but also quarters and $1's for the vending machines when cravings hit. It is a difficult time, but can be made so much better with the support of those we love.
-Anti sweat pillow. These are so helpful during chemo sweats.
-Ear plugs. Sometimes the nurses can find some, but to be safe stock up.
The nurses will come in and out for tests in the night, and sometimes you hear other patients yelling or crying. At night it's so important to heal with restful sleep- earplugs are a must.
-As is the sleep mask. Make sure it is made with natural fibers. Chemo makes the skin very sensitive.
-Smart Water. Somehow it's easier to hydrate when it's from a bottle, as opposed to a paper cup.
-Body lotion. Chemo makes the skin very dry and flaky. Get an all natural and organic kind that is small and easy to squeeze.
-ChapStick. The lips also get very dry. Get a pack, because somehow they tend to fall of the table and get lost!
-Mouthwash. Usually it is just too hard to get out of bed and brush your teeth. And because vomiting is part and parcel with chemo, mouthwash will come in handy.
-Tush Wipes. Because showers are too hard on the body sometimes.
-FOOD. Non perishibles are best, unless you are coming straight from home and your friend will be eating the treats right away. Phil always craved milk which was hard to come by, but everyone craves different things. Have some yummy drinks and easy to eat snacks. Although I wanted Phil to eat clean, he lost so much weight that the dr ordered us to feed him whatever he could stomach, otherwise he would starve to death.
-Friends can offer to pick up food on the way to the visit. Phil craved Mcdonalds and Wendys, one night even chinese.
-Foodler is an app and website that picks up food from basically any restaurant you want. It is not too costly, and comes in really handy on the nights when no one visits and you just can't handle hospital food again. They have gift certificates you can buy.
-Entertainment. Best gift Phil got was his tablet. He did everything he wanted on there. The rooms always had a tv but featured only a dvd player that was hit and miss on working. Netflix and Itunes giftcards would come in handy when crosswords and reading seem too arduous.
-Magazines, crosswords, short and easy novels.
-Comedic DVD sets. Stand up comedy is great too. Only purchase shows and movies that are funny. Every night we would fall asleep to Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson- I can honestly say that kept us sane.
I hope all of these suggestions come in handy for you when the time comes where you are unsure what is needed. Laughter and visits mean the most. Once again, MONEY is always a plus!