Putting together a care package for someone going through cancer treatment

When someone you know is going through cancer treatment, it can be tricky to know what support might be most appreciated during this difficult time.

Putting together a care package with thoughtful and practical items that can help your family member, friend or loved one cope with the challenges and demands of treatment can be one way of supporting them and letting them know you care.

We recently asked our Facebook community what items they would appreciate if someone was putting a care package together for them. Here’s some of the items they found most useful that you might consider including:

1. Comfort items or something soft against the skin to help keep warm and cosy

  • Comfortable socks or bed socks
  • Soft, cosy blanket or quilt – should be lightweight but cosy and warm
  • A soft wrap or pashmina
  • Button up pyjamas or nightie with buttons down the front
  • Slippers
  • Wheat bag or hot water bottle

2. Non-perfumed skin care items to help with the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy

  • Lip balm
  • Foot balm
  • Hand and nail cream
  • Moisturisers
  • Body wash
  • Soothing mouth wash
  • Nail polish, nail hardener

3. Practical items to help cope with daily living

  • A weekly cleaning service or a food delivery service
  • Massage or pedicure vouchers
  • A coffee card for the centre where they are receiving treatment
  • Pre-cooked meals and soups
  • Information sheets with contact details for local cancer support groups

4. Something to help pass the time during treatment

  • Books, magazines
  • A note book or diary to write down questions, feelings and side effects
  • Small puzzle book and pen
  • Cross stitch or other craft
  • Ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones

5. Head wear or head covers to help with hair loss or a sore and sensitive scalp

  • Beanie
  • Soft hat
  • Turban, silk turban
  • Bamboo sleep caps
  • Silk pillowcase

6. Food and snacks to help with nausea and side effects such as loss of appetite and taste changes

  • Boiled lollies
  • Fruit tingles
  • Menthol or eucalyptus lollies
  • Mints
  • Ginger lollies
  • Herbal teas
  • Fresh fruit
  • A blender for making smoothies and soups

7. Personal touches – Don't forget to make it personal, especially when you can’t be there in person

  • A personal card or note of hope and support
  • A funny video or affirmation
  • A music playlist
  • A framed photo of family, friends and loved ones
  • Seedlings to pot and grow
  • Personal vouchers for transport, cleaning, back rubs or even a shoulder to cry on

The content found on the Icon Cancer Centre website is intended solely for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. It is not a substitute for consulting with a qualified medical professional. Our website is designed to provide information and support to the general public. Please be mindful that we do not dispense medical advice, and for personalised medical guidance, we strongly advise you to consult with a qualified medical professional or doctor.

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