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Gift Ideas For A Family Dealing With Cancer

When you find out that a child has cancer, it’s only natural to want to send a get-well-soon gift. Most people’s immediate reaction was to send things like sweets and chocolate, while this is a lovely gesture, it wasn’t the best gift option as the medication the Dinosaur is on has affected his tastes. He has well and truly lost his sweet tooth. Here are the best gift ideas for a family dealing with cancer.

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Care Package For The Parents

The parents are going to put their child’s needs and the needs of the rest of their family way before their own. Self-care will most definitely be at the bottom of the list and that’s if it makes it onto the list at all. Ironically though the parents will need to make sure they are looking after themselves or they won’t be in a fit state to look after their sick child or any other dependents. Sending them a self-care kit is one of the most thoughtful gift ideas for a family dealing with cancer and will remind them to look after themselves. I was sent this one by Sam at RMS Counselling & Aesthetics and it moved me to tears. Karen from The Geordie Grandma has some excellent self-care ideas that you could help the family to implement.

Gift Ideas For A Family Dealing With Cancer. A Self Care Kit From RMS Counselling and Aesthetics.
A gorgeous self-care kit, the sleep mask and the tin of balm went straight into my hospital bag.

Treats & Snacks

Hanging around a hospital all day and often all night can give you a serious case of the munchies. Why not send the family some healthy munchies to nibble on to help break up the boredom and keep them feeling well? Remember that they won’t have a lot of space to store food and will probably only have access to a small amount of fridge space, a kettle, a microwave and a toaster. Things like cereal bars, breakfast biscuits, tea/coffee or squash are great gift ideas for a family dealing with cancer. Lisa from Women Who Win At Life has some brilliant hamper suggestions that would make lovely gifts for parents.

Easy To Transport Activities

The child and the parents will both have hospital bags ready to go at a moment’s notice so things that don’t take up too much room but will entertain the child are ideal. Things such as colouring and activity books, reading books, small games, card games or maybe even a computer game if they have a handheld gaming device. For us, one of the best things that we had to relieve the boredom of many hours in the hospital was the Dinosaur’s Amazon Fire tablet (see below). He has Netflix, Disney+ and plenty of games on there so there was always something to keep him busy.

Money For Travel Or Parking Costs

Sometimes cold hard cash, or ‘the universal gift card’ as my mum calls it, is an easy and successful gift. It can be used for things like taxi or bus fares, parking charges, and fuel or be used for items the family might need such as toiletries or pyjamas. It will be appreciated and is one of the more thoughtful and useful gift ideas for a family dealing with cancer.

Treats For Siblings

The child with cancer will be getting showered with gifts, not only from family, friends and well-wishers but also from the hospital itself. Charities that work with sick children often provide things like treasure chests where children can choose a toy for being brave, teaching aids such as books and cuddly toys to explain procedures and things like central lines and hair loss and special beads that can be collected for every key event in the child journey.

Any siblings will already be feeling left out because all of a sudden the sick child is getting all the attention and the parents are seemingly ignoring the siblings. The fact the sick child is getting showered with gifts just rubs salt in the wound. You can help by buying gifts for the siblings as well to remind them that they too are loved, wanted and important.

A Special Blanket For The Child

The child with cancer will spend a lot of time in the hospital, they will probably feel the cold more and they are also likely to have mobility difficulties resulting in them using a wheelchair or buggy to get around. The Dinosuar was given a fleecy dinosaur print blanket which he absolutely loves. It goes with us everywhere. When he’s in the car or the buggy he has it wrapped around his legs to keep him warm, when he’s at home he has it over him in bed or on the sofa and when he’s in the hospital he has it on his bed there too. It makes the room feel more familiar and a bit less hospital-ish.

A Gratitude Journal

Coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis is incredibly difficult and painful. It can be a real challenge to mental health. One of the ways I found that helped was to make a conscious effort every day to find 3 positive things that had happened. That may just have been a hot cup of tea, going to the toilet uninterrupted and brushing my hair or it may have been more profound things like seeing him start to walk again, being discharged from the hospital or beating another infection. Either way, it’s good to keep track of these and look back to see how far you have travelled. This is why I created a 5-minute gratitude journal for oncology parents.

A Gift Card

A gift card is a fantastic idea if you’re not sure what to get because then you are still showing you care but at the same time, you know the family will get exactly what they want. The best ones are things like One for All so they can get things they need, we used ours to buy a Trunki for the Dinosaur to use as his hospital bag; Uber (use code eats-yueupqctz9 to get £10 off your first order of £15 or more) that can be used for meals or taxis; and Deliveroo, again to get meals delivered to the hospital for us so we didn’t have to have microwave or kettle meals all the time and also for the Dinosaur when the hospital food options were things he refused to eat.

A Meal Box

Time is often at a premium, especially during the early stages of treatment or on long treatment days so having quick and easy meals available is essential. Things like Gousto boxes were unbelievably appreciated as we didn’t have to go to the shop, we didn’t have to think about it and we weren’t ordering takeaways. This link offers 65% off your first box and 25% off your next two boxes. You can read our review of Gousto here.

A Cabin Case

We were advised to pack a hospital bag in case of last-minute dashes to the oncology ward. As chemotherapy destroys the body’s ability to fight infection we have been advised to head straight to the oncology unit if the Dinosaur gets a temperature of 38C or more so that he can have 48 hours of intravenous antibiotics. The Dinosaur has Frank the Fire Engine Trunki and I have my flowery cabin case which is the perfect size to pack a couple of days’ outfits, a book, chargers, toiletries and anything else I might need like my laptop and power lead. Gifting the family a small wheeled suitcase to use for their hospital bag will mean they don’t need to drag a huge case around or find somewhere to put it at the hospital where space is at a premium.

A Thermometer

As the parents will be keeping an eye on the child’s temperature for signs of infection which necessitate a hospital trip, a really good thermometer is an absolute must. It never hurts to have a couple as well, if the child will be going back to school or nursery or staying with other people, it’s handy to slip one in their bag so that all caregivers can monitor their temperature. A thermoscan in-ear thermometer is the best one to go for, after all this is the kind that is used throughout the NHS. We have a Braun thermometer and it is really accurate.

Leukaemia Diary

All of a sudden the parents will have about a million things they need to remember such as blood test results, medications, contact details of various health and social care professionals, appointment dates and times and lots and lots of questions.

I’ve created this diary for just that reason. It’s an A4 day-to-view diary with lots of additional information to help parents such as a suggested packing list for hospital stays, charity recommendations and a glossary of terms & acronyms they may come across.

See If They Have A Wishlist

We couldn’t always think of things that would be useful when we were asked so we decided to create an Amazon wishlist that we could add to as and when we thought of came across things that would be beneficial. This way if anyone ever asks if we need anything, we can just send them the link to our Kick Cancers Butt Wishlist.

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