Your friend or co-worker has been diagnosed with cancer. What do you do? What do you say? What can you give them to show your support and let them know you truly care?
It’s a hard call, especially in the early days of diagnosis. That person is experiencing both shock and fear. Shock at the ‘punch in the gut’ diagnosis they most likely weren’t expecting, and fear for all the obvious reasons. Nobody likes to be faced with their mortality.
Whenever I’ve been asked what they should do, I always say to give them a day or two to catch their breath, then jump in. You don’t want to wait too long because when that person comes up for air, they need to know they are surrounded by love and support.
Gifts for Those Recently Diagnosed
Speaking from my own experience, I grasped at anything hopeful in the very beginning. Something that would show me there really were people who survived the same mess I was in. When we started Choose Hope 20 years ago, we dug deep to find the very products that would have helped me so much.
Since I thrived on survivor stories, the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book, is a good thing to cling to. Another one I particularly like is, There’s No Place Like Hope. Both would make excellent gifts for the very newly diagnosed.
Another great gift would be journals or notebooks. I was always writing down notes from the doctor, suggestions from the nurses or even helpful hints from friends or family members. Plus, especially in those early days, I was always jotting down my thoughts and feelings. Choose Hope’s What Cancer Cannot Do® Journal would be perfect!
Gifts for Those Going Through Cancer Treatment
If the person is going through treatment, there are several great gifts to give. The Choose Hope staff is comprised of several cancer survivors. So, we put our heads together and came up with cancer gift baskets we would have liked to receive ourselves. Our Chemotherapy Gift Tote or Soothing Chemotherapy Gift Set are just a few. Each of these products are packed with helpful items to get through the rough days. Plus, the body and skin care products are all natural and free from chemicals.
Any What Cancer Cannot Do® or No One Fights Alone® products send a much-needed message that can lift us up when needed and reaffirm positivity. Speaking from my own experience, positivity is always needed throughout this stressful journey.
Inspirational and Humorous Gifts for the Cancer Fighter
Gradually, after the shock and fear subsided a little, it never goes away entirely, I entered the fighting “I can do this” phase. I was ready to scream awareness and wore my ribbon awareness pin proudly.
Cancer wristbands, cancer t-shirts and anything with the right color ribbon is a perfect gift for this stage. You might say I was ready to come out of hiding and share the camaraderie! I had survived the diagnosis, a feat in itself, I had survived surgery and had started treatment. I was doing this and wanted others to know they could too!
At the time, I wanted to bring awareness to cancer. I also segued into the humor phase. When I looked in the mirror and a saw a bald Mr. Clean looking back at me, how could I not smile. From that point on, it was Cancer Sucks and I Have Chemo Brain! What’s Your Excuse?® T-shirt time! Everyone always says laughter is the best medicine, right? Well, I can’t think of a better time to need the best meds possible!
Cancer Gifts at Every Stage of the Journey
A perfect gift at any stage of the cancer journey is a selection of cancer cards and note cards. You’ll find cards that say everything from “I Am Here for You Always” to “This Just Sucks!”
I share my timeline and experiences in hopes it will help you decide on what gift to give your friend who has been diagnosed with cancer. Each person is different and reacts to a cancer diagnosis in their own personal way. Be it an inspirational, humorous, or spiritual gift, in your heart you’ll know the right one and the right time to give it. Most important is showing that you’re there and you care. After all, No One Fights Alone… and to the person with cancer, that means everything!