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What items make you feel better?

Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi, I'm a cancer survivor who is working to help other patients/survivors.

Thinking about your treatments and side effects, physically, mentally, etc.

What type of items could someone give you to help make you more comfortable.

Example: I had dry mouth and nausea - fruit flavored hard candy helped. Reading helped me pass the time during chemo and transfusions.

Your feedback is appreciated. No idea is too small to list.

Posts: 60
Joined: Oct 2011

During my chemo infusion days, I have a few friends who always remember to send me a few text messages while I am receiving treatment. It helps to pass the time and it is nice to know someone is thinking about me, and the rigors of treatment. I always go to treatments alone, my choice, as life goes on and my wife and others have other commitments such as work, child care, etc. and I see no purpose in them just sitting there.

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

Soft warm socks
room temperature gatorade
inspirational books
thoughtful magazines like smithsonian or the new yorker
having friends come over and play boggle or scrabble
trinkets for the kids
phone calls/text msgs/handwritten notes
homemade food
those are the ones that come first to mind~

Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2011

Thanks and if anything else comes to mind please post it!

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

comfy velour sweats
brainless magazines
Netflix subscription
cute hats for when my hair fell out
organization of delivered meals from friends via an online site
yard weeding
house cleaning

just a few of the things I received, some not so small, from friends and family!

plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Soft socks and gloves (like the Target ones probably on clearance now) for those on Folfox. Maybe magazines to someone receiving chemo. Although all I wanted was a warm blanket to sleep through the infusion and for the next 4 days. So that being said, food for my kids to know they have at least a little something for dinner on the chemo day or days after.


hugs, gail

ps...I liked sips of orange gatorade at infusions and hot tea at home.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

room temp lemonade The only thing I could eat that tasted good was a provolone quesidilla and lightly fried potatoes in a tortilla.

A warm blanket, cable, netflex. I did not sleep regular hours, I only slept when I could. I had to have my own room. Because I worked, I had to have the bed to myself so I could rest and not not hear my husband snore. I did a lot better then others on chemo. However, I was very tired, my focus was my job, because I needed it so bad and had to make sure that I was not an inconvenience. No one but my manager and a friend knew I was on chemo, so after keeping my chin up all day, it was nice to be able to just come home and veg in my bed.

My family helped me a lot getting me food and my sister cleaned my fridge and made sure I had things I could eat in there. She washed my PJ's and sheets so I could just come home and get in bed. My husband made sure I had warm tea, a blanket, water, peace, and gas in my car to go to work the next day. My brother kept me supplied with healthy food. My Mom made sure that I ate, she kept me supplied with some supplements.



RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 590
Joined: Feb 2010

wads and wads of the stuff.

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

haha Rick you are great
warm socks
soft gloves for oxy users
relaxation CD', soft music and guided imagery
tiny books with one positive thought for a day
a nice journal
thank you notes
a new nightgown or jammies soft and pretty
new toothbrush
good moisturizer
a warm lasgna and a glass of wine
special soap
a heating pad

GOOFYLADIE's picture
Posts: 233
Joined: Aug 2009

which in turn made me only stronger (made me awesomely better). I had chemo every 7-10 days depending on my blood work and it kicked my butt, but I did it. My kids would always
say shes still really sick until one day, I heard my son say, mama has her face on, (my make-up) shes feeling better , and I heard him giggle, so from that day on I had my husband if I was too tired or anyone that might have come by get my makeup bag and it would take me, most the day by 3:00 pm to get some foundation and maybe lipgloss or mascara on but it made life easier on my kids so I at least did that every day. Even if I puked just before 3pm on with the face,3 pm was when the kids got home from school. I also loved the new pajamas, but the kids also noticed when I had changed into sweatpants or clothes. So I got nice sweat outfits to be comfortable, and my kids were happy, duh I was doing much better too. Funny how ounr minds can get the best of us, we just have to step in, and step up and decide we are going to beat the crap out of this disease. The cleaning house, food, notes, books, magazines, lotions, probably unscented, I couldn't handle the smell of anything without wanting to get nauseated. cancer free since 1999
Make it a Great Day!

Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2011

What a great idea and discussion. A few things that helped me:

~Hot water with dissolved honey and fresh lemon (I waited until it was warm to drink)
~The Soprano reruns (bad language but the story line was easy to follow even with chemo brain)
~Cards, emails
~Foot massages
~Phone calls from my family
~My privacy ~ I really appreciated that people asked if I wanted visitors and days that I didn't...I comfortably said "no" and felt o.k. about it.
~Meals provided by others ~ way to many roast beef dinners and lasagne ~ We especially liked homemade soups, homemade bread, and fresh vegetables


Posts: 96
Joined: Jun 2011

foot massages from hubby
lukewarm homemade soup from hubby
just having my hubby around!

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

I love my small house dogs but I was passed out for 3 or 4 days after every chemo treatment. A friend of mine made me a homemade fleece blanket, oversize, with a cute and whimsical dog print on it including my breeds, and it was very special for me to snuggle up in it with my dogs during those long days in bed when I was sick. I will always treasure this handcrafted blanket.

Another friend brought some stuff for my dogs -- some long-lasting chew bones to keep them occupied for a couple of hours, and a jar of treats to keep by my bed so I could give them attention and encourage them to do stuff such as go outside when it was cold and take care of business. These are friends who know me very well and knew without me saying it how hard it was to take care of three tiny dogs in the house in the dead of winter when I was alone during the week and sick. It was that they really knew me well, knew what I cared about and worried about most as far as trying to take care of basic responsibilities etc.

So I would say be very thoughtful of the person you are wishing to comfort...what do they care about most in their lives and what void has chemo created as far as them being able to take care of those things? There may be things more important than bringing them food, which they may or may not eat after a chemo treatment. I could not see to read, so magazines and books were useless. I did watch the national news in the evening just to feel connected to the world, and some movies when each time I recovered from chemo.

The other thing I could have used was some help with cleaning my house. Cleaning for a Reason turned me down, saying they had more requests than they could fill in my area. I was so weak I could not really do cleaning much of the time, and it was depressing to see things piled up around me and not be able to take any action. So now that I have my chemo behind me I have six months' of catchup cleaning and organizing to do, and because I still have chemo fatigue it will take me a while. How nice it would have been to have some help along the way so things did not pile up and collect as much dust as they eventually did.

Someone to stop by and roll out my trash and recycle carts on weekly trash day, and to come back to roll them in that evening or the next morning -- whether they had time to come in or not.. that was a huge service on chemo weeks.

I did not want to hear the phone ringing and disturbing me at my sickest, so texts and email were better than phone calls from relatives or friends. But on the "good" weeks I wished for short visits from really close friends (and I mean really close because more distant friends I did not want to see because of how haggard I looked).

These are just some things that helped me. Everyone's situation is really personal and if you can't think of anything to do for the cancer patient you know, ASK and don't assume.


thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

To Chemo Treatments, I always carried a book, banana, gatoraid and my wife or a friend. I would also bring my laptop and facebook or sudoku if I felt a headache so, I could not read comfortably.

Ginger in many forms also soothed my stomach and gave me a flavor in my mouth when I did not feel like I could keep anything else down.
Best Always! mike

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