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Cancer Care Package

Big_Als_Mom
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

Hello ladies,
My friend has just recently been diagnosed with uterine cancer and is currently in week 3 of 7 1/2 weeks of treatment. She is receiving external radiation 5 times a week for 7 1/2 weeks and internal radiation once a week for 5 weeks. She is also receiving chemo (Cisplatin) but I am not sure how many times a week it is or for how long.

Unfortunately she lives very far from me - I am in Minneapolis and she is in Scottsdale. I'm unable to do much of anything for her since we live so far apart, but I want to SOMETHING. You know? After talking with our friends, we hit upon the idea of sending her a care package. We want to avoid anything that seems too focused on her cancer and instead include thoughtful items that would give comfort, express our support - but above all else, USEFUL.

Would anyone be willing to share? Maybe someone gave you a lotion or treatment that really helped to ease sensitive skin after your radiation treatments, a milkshake recipe that you really loved, an item that you wished you'd known about sooner - or even something that just made you pretty :)

Thank you.

Katrinka123
Posts: 54
Joined: Jul 2009

You are a lovely friend! I had both chemo and radiation. I was hyper sensitive to smells, and while I appreciated the warm thoughts and intent of scented anything (candles,lotions) I really couldn't tolerate them. Also, during radiation I was told to use only specific lotions and no powder (and how I LOVE my powder after a shower lol).

I was sent such thoughful gifts from my out of town SIL's. A little package would arrive each month before my treatment. One month was a DVD, another month an envelope with a variety of magazines, another month a pretty notepad with a pen. Each little package had a wonderful note reminding me I was loved, prayed for and constantly thought about.

The notes meant so much to me and gave me a little boost of strength for my upcoming treatment!

-Kat

cleo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2009

Agree with Kat. I was away from home and friends during treatment and it was the cards/texts/phonecalls/surprise flowers and gifts such as the above that meant so much. Hard to give other things. Lotions/soaps etc are as specific during treatment. One week I only fancied Oxo drink, another only fruit. Just show that you care and be supportive throughout the treatment.
Ce

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1397
Joined: Jan 2009

My daughter made me a care package after I was diagnosed with UPSC and brought it to my first chemo treatment. I am sure sure felt helpless and wanted to do something. In the package she had unscented lotions (as smells bother some people, and my skin did get very dry); alcohol free mouthwash (to prevent dryness in mouth); biotene toothpaste (for dry mouths); peppermint tea and peppermint extract (to drink tea for nausea and inhale extract for nausea); ensure (for days I could not eat much); Hand sanitizing wipes, and small bottles of hand sanitizer, chlorox disinfecting wipes, magazines, and note cards with a pen. I think she looked up to see what kinds of side effects I could have and then went shopping. It was very thoughtful of her.
Like the others have said just sending a card, or making a phone call means so much. I had a "chemo angel" who had completed treatment, and she would write every week and tell me about her family and life. It is nice to hear what is going on with others and that there is "life after treatments". Good luck in offering your support to your friend. In peace and caring.

brownjt
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2009

You are a true friend...how very kind of you to want to help your friend during this very difficult time!

If your friend feels like eating, how about restaurant gift cards? Those are invaluable when you are too exhausted to cook. If she is facing surgery (I had a hysterectomy due to uterine cancer), I would recommend one of those "grabber" tools that lets you pick up something lightweight off the floor without having to bend over. This tool is a lifesaver! I got mine at CVS for about $15.

The BEST thing a friend did for me during my sugeries and treatments was email me. Every day. On good days, I replied...on bad days I did not. But her communication helped me stay connected and gave me a little info on what was going on in the "real world" and not in my "cancer world." It's always good to hear from our friends!

Best of luck to your good friend...

JBrown

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 632
Joined: Apr 2009

I had so many dear friends send me care packages; sometimes I would open them and cry.
My daughter sent me a subscription to netflicks and I love the documentaries and we would sit in the evening and relax and learn something. I loved books and cards. I never had problems with smell and lotions were nice for the dry skin. My mother sent me V neck shirts that hid my port and I wore them to chemo or blood draws. Magazines were fun. My sister sent me funny cards. I loved people who emailed me everyday too. Comfortable cotton nighties are nice. Every little thing you do will light up her life during this difficult time.

Diane

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