Holiday gifts for cancer patients


While there can be times of joy, there can also be times of stress, for anyone, but especially for those trying to tackle a serious medical concern, such as cancer. If someone in your life has cancer, consider gifts designed to make that experience easier for them. It can be hard to find the right words to say, let alone the right things to give during this time, so here are a few thoughtful and practical gift ideas to remind your friend or relative how much they are loved: 

  • Adult coloring books: What better way to distract someone or help them unwind, than to spend some time doing a favorite childhood hobby. 
  • Treatment journals: Cancer is never the plan, but when it does happen, a planner or journal can help patients and their caregivers gain control over what is happening. There are some planners that allow you to track your progress, emotions, symptoms and medications. 
  • Books, movies or TV shows: Consider gifting your loved one an engaging book series, Netflix or Hulu subscription or put a couple of good-hearted films in their stocking this year. These provide opportunities to relax at home or occupy time during long treatments.
  • Functional & fashionable clothing: Whether it’s finding a shirt that works with their port or loose, easy to put on attire for after surgery, buying a new set of clothing can be a challenge. Help your loved one by doing a little of that legwork for them. 
  • Safer cosmetics: Surprise your loved one with healthy alternatives to products that contain chemicals. A good review of safe products can be found on the Environmental Working Group website at 
  • Cookbooks for cancer patients: Or, better yet, make them a meal you know they will love.
  • Cleaning or lawn service: In the middle of treatment, the last thing you have energy for is household chores. Hire someone or possibly develop a sign up for family and friends to help.

Libby Stout, BS, Survivor Network CoordinatorThe final, most important gift for any cancer patient is one that is always free: love and time. Give your loved one your time and attention this year. Time is very precious and also very finite for some. Make the most of the holidays with special love and care. 

The Mind-Body Counselors at Goshen Center for Cancer Care are available this season, and every season, for patients and their families. They focus on helping patients manage stress and develop healthy ways of coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. For more information, call our Cancer Care Help Line at (888) 492-HOPE.

Libby Stout, BS, Survivor Network Coordinator