From OHC

December 8, 2021

During the holiday season it’s natural to want to present the special people in our lives with the “perfect gift.” When someone we love is undergoing cancer treatment, we often find ourselves wondering (several times throughout the year) if there’s something nice we could do for them to show we care, alleviate stress, offer comfort, and make them smile. Following are some suggestions to print and refer to any time throughout the year when you want to show a loved one with cancer that you care.

Gifts of Comfort

Cancer treatment often involves frequent trips to doctors’ offices and unpleasant side effects. Consider items that ease the burden:

  • Comfortable clothing- fleece-lined loungewear, pj’s, a plush robe, soft cabin socks
  • Warm blankets and cozy pillows
  • Organic lip balm, unscented moisturizer
  • Ginger or sugar free candy
  • Send a note or card of support

Gifts of Relaxation

  • Yoga classes
  • Mindfulness app subscription
  • Reading material and puzzle books, adult coloring books, or journals with pens and colored pencils
  • Streaming services for movies, podcasts, music; don’t forget the headphones or earbuds
  • A tablet

Gifts of Errands or Chores

  • Offer to care for pets or the yard
  • Make some meals or send a meal delivery service (consider their dietary restrictions and appetite level)
  • Deliver groceries
  • Pay for house cleaning services

Gifts of Time

Having something to look forward to is an excellent motivator for getting through treatment.

  • Establish a regular visit schedule or an outing for coffee (be mindful of safety guidelines during COVID)
  • Spend time with them so their caregiver has a moment to relax and recharge
  • Have a regular phone chat or use a video call service like Facetime or Zoom
  • Offer to drive them to their appointments and consider taking them out for lunch or a snack afterwards.

Remember, every patient is unique and will have different preferences for comfort, relaxation, stress relief, and entertainment. A massage might sound blissful to one patient but uncomfortable to another with sensitive skin. One patient might enjoy the idea of lunch out with a group of friends, while another will prefer to have a quiet conversation over tea at home. It never hurts to ask about what is most helpful and appealing.

The entire OHC team wants every patient and their loved ones to enjoy the holidays and experience relief from the stress, anxiety, and discomfort that often go along with a cancer diagnosis. We partner with caregivers and cancer resource organizations to give patients the support and motivation they need to complete treatment and experience successful outcomes. For more information on OHC’s leading cancer specialists or cancer-specific community organizations, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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