When someone important to you is diagnosed with cancer, you want to reach out, to show how much you care and to provide support. Gifts and cards are a thoughtful and tangible way to display these sentiments but finding the right item can be tough.
Gift-worthy cancer-related items abound. However, you probably would not give the same type of gift to someone newly diagnosed as you would someone already going through treatment. A Cancer Sucks t-shirt might overwhelm someone who is still processing a diagnosis, no matter how well-intentioned the gift may be. Instead, you will want to present something simple that offers a clear but tender message of love and hope.
Following is a list of gift ideas that can help you gently, optimistically and lovingly say, “I care, I’m here for you and everything is going to be all right.”
Pen and paper can be powerful therapy. A fresh journal and a fancy new pen can be an uplifting gift that also provides a cathartic outlet for someone taking in the reality of a recent cancer diagnosis. Choose a journal with a heartening message or a cheerful image on the front. Consider writing a personal message inside the cover. You might share a relevant verse, a line from a poem or a simple note of love from you to the recipient.
If your loved one is an avid reader, a book could be an ideal gift. There will be time for heavier reading material about treatments, remedies and lifestyle changes. Right now, opt for a gentle and comforting read that provides personal stories of hope, inspirational anecdotes and loving words of advice. Pick a book that is light and easy to read, either in small increments or all in one sitting.
A gift that your loved one can wear, touch and read will be a reminder of your thoughtfulness and support. Think about your recipient’s personal style when choosing jewelry. Does she love bright, bold bracelets or would an elegantly understated locket be a better fit? Then, look for an accessory that bears a short but sweet message of encouragement that will speak to this special person’s heart.
Don’t we all just want to cuddle up on the couch with a warm cup of tea or a creamy bowl of ice cream sometimes? Give a soothing yet hope-filled opportunity for indulgence to your newly-diagnosed friend or family member. For instance, you might put together a gift basket filled with delicious flavored coffee, decadent chocolates and a great big mug bearing words of encouragement.
A gift that includes two matching or connecting pieces –one to give to your recipient and one to keep for yourself– can be a heartfelt way to show your constant care and support. A pair of identical bracelets, corresponding coffee cups or friendship necklaces that fit together and display an inspiring message or symbol say, “I am always here for you.”
Meaningful Cards or Letters
Above all, you want your gift to express your sincere and wholehearted emotions. Sometimes, nothing does this better than your own written words. Write a letter highlighting all your loved one’s amazing qualities, such as his quiet strength or her unyielding perseverance. Talk about experiences you have had together –good and bad– emphasizing that you will be there throughout this tough time. If you are having trouble finding the right words, choose a card that articulates your feelings. When paired with a long, warm hug, this can be the best gift of all.