Someone I know has been diagnosed, what should I send?

As a cancer survivor, the most common question I get is what to get someone who has been recently diagnosed. During treatment, I was fortunate to receive many care packages. All appreciated and thoughtful, some more useful than others. I’ve rounded up some of my most-loved items during treatment with the hope it may help you gift meaningful yet useful gifts.

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Portable Massager 

Aches and pains were definitely a huge part of treatment and this nimble massager was a life-saver. It has a heated and non-heated function and even an additional car plug so you can bring it with you. It’d be a great chemo companion.


Coconut Oil 

I had 99 problems during treatment but coconut oil solved like 75% of them. Dry skin, hair, scalp – even issues with areas down south. For some that love the smell of coconut, I liked this one. For those that don’t like the texture or smell – this fractionated one is fantastic.

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Head Coverings This one is my favorite and essential for around the house and at night once hairloss happens. The options are endless but here are some of the most universal ones:

Long pre-tied scarf

Floral Cap

Vintage Cotton Cap

Pre-tied Turban

Classic Pre-tied Turban

Fleece Robe

Cozy Robe A fleece robe was one of my favorite things during treatment. Easy to throw over anything and super warm and cozy. A more muted options here.

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Phone Holder  Facetimes with friends were a must during the slow days of treatment. A flexible phone holder like this one was super handy or if you want something more static, this is a solid choice and adjustable too.

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Fuzzy Slippers were such a necessity and these are a good and affordable sheepskin option. I personally was gifted one from Toms and it was my favorite thing ever. I can’t find the exact one but this is a similar one in a different color.

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Dry and mouth sores were one of the worst side effects of chemo and Biotene worked wonders. After my first round – I got the worst mouth sore I’ve ever had in my life. Once I started using Biotene, I never got them again. You can get the standard here, or a gift pack of 3 different products.

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Books are super helpful but be careful not to overwhelm the person. I found these three books to be the most helpful and not anxiety-inducing.

Cancer-Fighting Kitchen


Radical (a friend just wrote this and it’s chock full of the most up-to-date information written in a beautiful way)

Bonus one for your religious friend: Praying through Cancer

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Due to chemo, water can taste terrible and I often found that it gave me a constant metallic taste in my mouth. Therefore, using anything metal/stainless steel made it much worse. A glass water bottle solved that and also ensured I stayed hydrated. Something like this with a grip one is great.

One yellow rubber duck with soap bubble bath, light  background with bubbles. Kids spa concept. Children`s bath time concept.

I was never a bath person until I went through cancer. I found them to be so helpful during chemo. Epsom salt was such a life-saver and my favorite was this kind. If you’re unclear what scent they prefer (sometimes too strong a scent can overwhelm a cancer patient), you can get a classic version here.

I’ll continue to add to this list as I think of more but these are the top things that I found most useful. Remember that what a cancer fighter needs most is just your love, support and time. Hope this helps you and feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions!

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