Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Cancer Patients
When someone you love receives a difficult diagnosis, there’s so much you wish you could do—anything to lighten the burden, take away the pain, and make the world feel just a little more normal again. And while we can’t always do all of those things, there are so many little ways to make someone who’s in long-term care feel more comfortable, more at ease, more at home.
As the holiday season approaches, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite gifts for cancer patients—things that add comfort, brighten the day, and remind someone that you’re thinking of them all the time, even if you’re far away.
Truly luxurious slippers
Between chilly medical facilities, and the side effects of chemotherapy, many people in cancer treatment find themselves living with cold feet. A pair of warm slippers is a necessity, but Brochu Walker’s beautifully soft cashmere set becomes a ritual to look forward to, and a special sensory treat. We also like Bombas’ Gripper Slipper—a sock/slipper hybrid that offers non-slip traction thanks to grippers on the bottom of the slipper. For every pair you purchase, one pair is donated to someone in need.
Some organizational assistance
Medications, doctor’s notes, dates and calendars, notes from visitors… when someone you care about is undergoing treatment, there’s so much information to keep track of. Having one go-to place to store all of this can be a huge help, and there’s no reason it can’t be beautiful as well as functional. We love Gallery Leather’s presentation binder, available in four different classic colors. You can also choose up to two lines of custom foil-stamping. (We suggest a message of love.)
Phones and computers make it easier than ever to stay in touch. And when someone you love is in the process of healing, that connection matters so much. But the blue light from all that screen time can cause eye fatigue and headaches. Our favorite solution is Warby Parker’s blue-light lenses—they can be added to any new pair of prescription or non-prescription frames, and are a fun and fashion-forward way to end eye strain.
Some gentle neck support
Sitting up in bed or reading in a chair isn’t always ergonomically friendly. A neck pillow is a small thing that goes a long way in preventing neck, back, and shoulder pain. Coyuchi’s organic latex version is a durable, sustainably made pillow we love—it’s soft, supportive, and much more comfortable than the inflatable ones you’ve likely seen. Its cotton velour cover makes it even more cozy and inviting.
The gift of nutrients
When appetites are unpredictable, and big lunches and dinners don’t appeal, fresh juices and smoothies can be a surprisingly filling, nutritious, and satisfying meal. Breville’s Bluicer is a powerful blender and juicer in one, which means everything from carrot-ginger-orange juice to a berry-kale smoothie can be on the menu. It’s a lovely way to offer some color and sunshine in a glass to someone who means the world to you.
Chemotherapy and medication can have so many challenging side-effects, and nausea often tops the list. If someone you care about is struggling with queasiness, Sea-Band anti-nausea wrist-bands are both gentle and effective—they use acupressure to relieve nausea without medication or side-effects. Ginger is another anti-nausea alternative—we love The Ginger People’s sweet and spicy Gin-Gin candies, or their easy-to-chew Ginger Rescue tablets.
A beautiful gown or robe
At Arkeras, we know that certain garments give more than just warmth and coverage—they offer calm and reassurance. The right robe or gown becomes a true companion on challenging days. For an everyday base layer, our thoughtfully designed gowns in linen, modal, and cotton envelop patients in comfort so they can feel more like themselves. For extra warmth, we love Naadam’s sustainable recycled cashmere waffle robe; when you can’t be there to give someone a hug, it’s the next best way to surround them with love.
Lovely new bedsheets
Spending time in a twin-sized bed at a care facility can be a challenging adjustment, but swapping out the standard bedding for a new set of high-quality cotton sheets can make all the difference. We love this set from Coyuchi in crisp 300-thread count percale that’s perfect in any climate. Consider restful green or gentle pink for a palette that’s both cheerful and soothing. An extra-long twin set will fit most any hospital bed.
Some peace and quiet
Care facilities can be noisy—so many monitors, people, and machines. When someone you love is trying to read, or catching up on sleep, they might need a little extra help dialing down the volume of the world. The classic Dohm white noise machine has been around since the 1960s, and offers two fan speeds that help blur background noise gently and effectively. For a wearable option, we love Bose Quiet Comfort headphones, which can be used with a noise-cancelling feature alone, or combined with music.
Some rest for tired eyes
The visual distractions, overhead lights, and blinking monitors in a medical facility can make it hard to sleep. Not only can an eye mask block all this out effectively, it sends a message to caregivers and visitors that someone is trying to rest. We love Derek Rose’s palette and patterns, in silk satin or knit cashmere—a lovely reminder that sleep always makes a difference, even when we aren’t feeling our best.
The gift of words and memories
It may seem like just a small thing, but cards, letters, and photo albums are gifts that are rich with meaning. When someone is living with a chronic illness, your words, your thoughts, and the memories you share hold deep and lasting significance. Consider that a handwritten note (or series of notes) from you might become the most meaningful item on this entire list.
As fall tips into winter, all of us at Arkeras wish you and yours a season of warmth and togetherness. And if someone you love is sick right now, we are thinking of them
especially, and wishing them healing and health.