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2024 Best Gift Ideas For Someone With Terminal Cancer (Fighting or Hospice).

What do you get for someone who has just received the earth-shattering news that their cancer is terminal? How do you show someone who is dying that they mean the absolute world to you?

What is a good gift for a family who has now entered Hospice?  

What do they need? How can you help? What can you do?

We know exactly how difficult that is because we’ve been there.

Two orange wrapped gifts on a blue painted floor.  Text overlay says thoughtful gift ideas for someone with terminal cancer.

When my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer, they told us there were several options for treatment but there is no cure. 

I swear, it felt like there was nothing out there.  I spent a lot of time searching for things that would keep him strong and inspired while we were fighting. And things to keep him calm and comfortable when we couldn’t anymore.

There is a tremendous amount of stress dropped on a family who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and figuring out how to help them feel better is really, really intense. 

How can you inspire someone you love to keep fighting when there is no cure?

Terminally ill people are still fighting. They’re just fighting towards a different goal.

Special moments with close family and the people they love, energy to enjoy every single good day to the fullest, and as much time as possible to do the things they care about.

There is a tremendous amount of stress dropped on a family who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and figuring out how to help them feel better can be really intense. 

  • How can you support and inspire someone you love to keep fighting when there is no cure?
  • What can you do to make the days easier and more comfortable?  
  • How can you show a close friend how much they are loved and appreciated while you still have the chance?  

Cancer (terminal or not) changes the way YOU FEEL ABOUT EVERYTHING.  

A social worker at Memorial Sloan Kettering said it best… “As you go through this journey, what you hope for changes.”  

In the beginning of a terminal cancer diagnosis, you’re fighting to beat the odds. 

But as things progress, cancer takes your mortality and shoves it right in your face. Your perspective changes. It hits you hard, that realization that NO ONE lives forever, and the truth is I could get hit by a bus tomorrow…

It makes you appreciate things so much differently than you used to.  

We stopped worrying about the time we had left and we focused on making every single day count.  

When you’re looking for thoughtful, meaningful gift ideas for terminal cancer patients, there are a ton of choices out there.  

You just have to find them.

We’ve taken the guesswork out so you can find the perfect gift that will help someone going through this terrifying disease.

Looking For Something Specific? You Can Find Links To Each Section Here...

Great Gifts For Terminal Cancer Patients

1. Hot Cherry Pillows

Grandmother laying down with her ill grandson.

This is always my #1 recommendation for cancer gifts. These pillows are absolutely amazing. 

This is also a compassionate and practical gift that will always be useful.

There are two things that profoundly affect people during cancer and cancer treatment… One is being cold and the other is feeling pain.  

If you’re looking for something to soothe the side effects and provide comfort and healing, these pillows are genius! Place them in the microwave for some heat therapy or in the freezer to deal with swelling or fever. They are 100% washable (right in the machine.

Hot Cherry Pillows are made with a soft material that feels great on your skin and are filled with cherry pits (note: they don’t mold, ever). When the pits are heated they deliver an amazing warm heat that helps soothe your body and relieve aches and pain.  

These pillows are great for someone who is newly diagnosed, and for someone transitioning to Hospice. Hot Cherry Pillows are a gift that will help them through their entire journey.  The pillows deliver warm, relaxing, pain relief straight to the source.

Hot Cherry Pillows are designed to make you feel better by providing comforting and relaxing heat even in your coldest, most uncomfortable moments.

You can learn more about Hot Cherry Pillows here…

2. Cancer … and I: A 365 Day Guided Diary to Journal Your Cancer Emotions Diary

Cancer and I guided journal book cover.

This is an incredible way to help your loved one process the feelings and emotions that come with a terminal diagnosis. They’re not only anxious and terrified about what’s going to happen, but they are also worried about what this means for the people they love.

That means so many people who are diagnosed with a terminal illness are holding these feelings inside to “stay strong” for the people they love.  

A cancer diagnosis is a terrifying shock. It is a lot to process. 

The feelings and emotions that are involved are like riding a rollercoaster (from Hell) that you can’t get off of. You’re constantly changing direction, you’re terrified about everything, and you get flipped for a loop every 5 seconds. 

There is no way to prepare for this. And when you’re worried about staying strong for family and friends… It’s a lot to deal with.

Give them a thoughtful gift that helps them sort out their feelings and emotions in a positive way.

You can learn more about the guided diary here… 

3. Send a Little Inspiration

Unstoppable bracelet, you're awesome pop up cards

Fighting cancer takes you to some really dark places mentally. Anxiety, fear, and depression wreaks havoc on your mental health. 

The stress of this whole situation will eat you alive if you let it. This gift is about inspiring strength by reminding them that they are FIERCE!  

A bracelet to remind them every day that they are unstoppable and pop up cards (a new one every day) with quotes that remind them that they’re amazing.

Daily reminders that you are strong and brave? Encouragement to get through the darkest days? Inspiration to keep going when everything sucks?  

Yes. Please.

As a special bonus, this company beautifully gift boxes every purchase and includes a personalized note from you.

You can learn more about Sending a Little Inspiration here…

4. You Are Loved Gift Jar

An incredible reminder that they are loved and appreciated. 

This keepsake jar full of positivity and special messages will remind your loved one to keep going when everything sucks. Personalized font makes the cards look like handwritten notes and includes inspiration that will help them through even the darkest days. 

This is a powerful gift that keeps on giving well after the month is over. Reminders, that even in the darkest of times, to hang on to the light

You can learn more about the You Are Loved Gift Jar here… 

5. Send Warm Comfort

Image of soothing neck wrap and inspiring mug.

The gift of warm relaxation. 

Cold and pain are two of the biggest complaints of cancer and cancer treatments. This gift tackles both. 

A healing neck wrap to deliver warm heat and relaxation. The heat helps combat pain, stress, and restores health and wellbeing. And a gorgeous mug (featuring a symbol of strength and adaptability to remind you that you can do this!) for your favorite hot beverage. 

As a special bonus, this company beautifully gift boxes every purchase and includes a personalized note from you.

You can check out the Send Warm Comfort package here…

6. Send Love

This gift is simple, thoughtful, and helpful.  

Thick and cozy slipper socks to keep your feet warm and toasty (heads up, this is a really common issue during cancer). These socks are made for tired feet that always feel cold. 

Along with it comes a weighted heart to tell them how much you love them and that you’re thinking about them even when you’re not with them.

As a special bonus, this company beautifully gift boxes every purchase and includes a personalized note from you.

You can learn more about Sending Love here…

7. Send Positivity

This gift is all about positivity and optimism. 

These white birch lanterns are designed as a symbol of renewal and the candle symbolizes bringing the darkness to light

The LED candles glow warmly in the pattern of the birch tree and embodies the idea that brighter days are on the way. 

As a special bonus, this company beautifully gift boxes every purchase and includes a personalized note from you.

You can learn more about this positivity gift here…

8. Send a Boost of Strength

Again, a simple, thoughtful gift that will help them keep fighting.  

A travel mug for their favorite beverages (hot or cold) so they can stay healthy and hydrated during long days. 

The carved heart that says strength will help them focus on the mission. Stay the course… you are stronger than you could ever know. 

I mean really, who doesn’t need some extra strength in their pocket when they’re facing a fight of this magnitude?

You can learn more about Sending a Boost of Strength here…

The Gift of Better Sleep

Finding calmness and relaxation in the chaotic world of cancer can seem impossible. Or, at the very least, incredibly out of reach. We often accept stressed-out as our default emotion, but with some small, thoughtful changes it doesn’t have to be that way.

Cancer means being bombarded by information, expectations, and obligations on a daily basis.  Which takes a negative toll on every aspect of your life. It affects your mental health, your relationships, your self-confidence, and your overall sense of well-being.

Our bodies need sleep to heal, restore and recover. While we sleep our bodies carry out important restorative functions. Our brains rid themselves of toxins and sort out the events that happened throughout the day. Our bodies repair and restore themselves as well. It’s pretty amazing how much our minds and bodies remain active even when we are sleeping.

Sleep during cancer is an incredibly big deal. These gifts are paramount to creating an incredibly comfortable sleep environment for all times of the day and night.

9. Room Darkening Curtains

Navy blue room darkening curtains.

My husband and I have used these forever. It makes your bedroom nice and dark and promotes incredible sleep, even in the middle of the day. 

Sleep is so important during a cancer fight. It’s the ultimate remedy for stress and the key to having as many good days as possible. Allowing your body to properly rest and recover, means that you can build your strength and take advantage of as many awesome days as possible.  

You can learn more about the Room Darkening Curtains we use here…

10. Compassion Blanket

This isn’t just a comfy blanket, although it provides all of the warmth and comfort you’ll need to get through a bad day.  

This blanket is covered with positive, healing thoughts and encouragement to help you get through even the darkest of days. 

There are a lot of bad days during a cancer battle, so these gentle reminders of good wishes, hope, and healing can make a huge difference when everything sucks.

You can learn more about the Compassion Blanket here…

11. Wedge

Happy woman lying on a wedge in her bed.

If they have a hospital bed, they won’t need this, because the hospital bed does the lifting for you. 

But if they don’t this little sucker will be extremely helpful on the bad days. It helps you sit up instead of lying flat in bed. Which can be very helpful with positioning, back pain, and breathing (for someone who suffers from things like Congestive Heart Failure).

The wedge provides better support and allows for repositioning and movement that’s not possible when you’re lying flat. You can sit up and watch TV, talk to family and friends, read your favorite book, or eat dinner right in the comfort of your bed.

You can learn more about the Wedge we use here…

12. Pillows

inight soft Memory Foam Pillow

When you spend a lot of time in bed (and you do during a cancer fight), having an exceptional pillow is a must. We stayed in NYC every weekday during radiation for over 6 weeks. 

The first week we used the hotel pillows and daddy was absolutely miserable. Up all night, tossing and turning, and he was exhausted the entire week.  

After that, the first thing we packed every single week was my dad’s favorite pillow. That pillow helped us get through some really tough weeks by allowing him to get better rest and recovery.

You can learn more about this incredibly comfortable pillow here…

13. Bamboo Pajama’s 

Young woman wearing black comfortable bamboo pajamas.

Cancer requires a ton of recovery. And unfortunately, there are a lot of bad days.  

It’s hard even in the best of cancer situations to get comfortable sometimes. And you may go through a slew of different trauma… surgery, treatments, symptoms, visitors.  

Soft, comfortable, and relaxing pajamas are an incredible gift. Pajamas you can spend all day in, take a nap in, or relax in.  The best part, they look like lounge wear so you can visit with people you love,

You can check out a ton of cozy jammies here…

14. Relaxing Candles and Scents 

Bersiler Lavender Eucalyptus scented candle.

Soothing scents that facilitate relaxation, calming, and restoration. Lavender, Rose, and Chamomile promote better sleep and can help to ease anxiety (which is an excruciating part of cancer). 

Nothing too strong, just a subtle, soothing smell that helps you relax. Simple scents can help you create a relaxing, soothing environment that will make the person you love more comfortable.

You can find some soft and soothing scents here…

 15. Soothing Music or Favorite Songs

Similar to a spa, there is nothing more relaxing than soft soothing music that simply lulls you to sleep. Sleep can be really difficult to come by when your stress level is out of control. And yet, sleep is the ultimate remedy for stress. 

Relaxing in the comfort of your bed and letting go of the worries of the world can give you new perspective, and renew your spirit and energy. Sleep can be the escape you need from the pressures going on and give you uninterrupted time to recover. 

Making sleep a priority, including naps when necessary, can help your mind and body recover from stress and manage difficult situations easier.

Note: Most smartphones have an MP3 player, but if they don’t have one you can grab one here…

16. Essential Oils 

Essential oils, also known as aromatherapy can be extremely beneficial for people under severe amounts of stress. This natural remedy for stress, won’t take away all of your problems but they will increase your loved one’s health and well-being.

Different essential oils help with different ailments.  The scents which are extracted from plants can help you reduce stress and relieve anxiety which is your #1 goal every day during a cancer fight. 

You can find our favorite Aromatherapy Diffuser here… 

17. Hot Water Bottle

Purple hot water bottle with a gray and white polkadot fleece cover.

Trying to sleep can be miserable if you’re cold or in pain.  A large hot water bottle made from natural rubber that has a super soft fleece cover. This gift can be used to keep you warm and toasty, relieve aches and pain, or use it cold to reduce swelling. 

It’s made to retain heat longer, so you can experience this heat therapy as long as you need it.

You can learn more about the Hot Water Bottle we love here…

Skin Repair and Relief

18. Sensitive Skin Body Wash

One of the most common symptoms of cancer treatment is incredibly dry and painful skin. This soothing body wash uses oatmeal to nurture and nourish your skin.  

Recommended by dermatologists, this coconut-scented body wash helps to relieve and repair painful, cracked, or dry skin. It’s one of Aveeno’s many products that combat the skin effects of cancer treatment. 

The Aveeno line is a natural and holistic way to help skin feel better.

You can learn more about Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash…

19. Bamboo Washcloths

Hip hop Panda Bamboo ultra-soft washclothes

Pro tip: Regular washcloths feel like sandpaper, especially when skin is dry and painful. Meaning a loofah (or anything designed to exfoliate) is not an option. 

Bathing should be rejuvenating. It should feel good. It shouldn’t hurt.  

These bamboo washcloths are made of ultra soft material. 

Created for babies with sensitive skin, they’re PERFECT for skin that is dry, cracked, and painful. For the ultimate bathing experience, whether they’re able to do it themselves or they need help, these washcloths are amazing.

You can learn more about Ultra Soft Bamboo Washcloths here…

20. Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Repair Cream

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream.

Dry, cracked, chafing skin is incredibly sore and painful. Give them the gift of body cream that delivers a soothing and healing intense moisture and alleviates painful dry skin.  

This lotion is designed to tackle the type of dry skin that if left untreated is distressing and uncomfortable.  

Men won’t be embarrassed to wear this fragrance-free lotion that eases and repairs extremely dry skin so they can finally find relief.

The Aveeno line is a natural and holistic way to help your skin feel better.

You can learn more about Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Cream here…

21. Lip Balm

It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re struggling through the painful side effects of cancer.  

Just like your skin, treatments can wreak havoc on your lips. Dry, cracked lips hurt. And, regular chapstick just won’t cut it.  

Aquaphor Lip Repair stick gives you relief as soon as you use it by soothing and repairing dry chapped lips.  

Using ingredients like Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, and Vitamin C, this lip balm is a solid way to tackle dry painful lips after treatment.  

You can check out Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick here…

22. Massage Cream

Bottle for spa master massage creme

Dry, cracked, chafing skin is incredibly sore and painful. Give them the gift of massage cream that delivers a soothing and healing intense moisture and alleviates painful dry skin.  

Subtly scented lotion that’s designed to give a relaxing massage to tired muscles and achy bones. This will also help to tackle the kind of dry skin that when left untreated is distressing and uncomfortable.  

You can learn more about massage cream here…

Special Memories

23. Voice Messages

When my father-in-law was admitted to the hospital for a month-long procedure, he took voice messages that we sent him, so he could hear us every day.  

And when my mother-in-law lost him to cancer a few years later, she had a voice message from him that has become her lifeline over the last 2 years.  

The people you love, the people who love you supporting you and encouraging you, even if they can’t be there… That’s the difference between finding some normalcy in this insanely chaotic situation.  

It’s a small gesture that can make a HUGE difference.

You can do this on a digital recorder like this one, or you can make it really special and have it added to a Build a Bear that you created.

24. Digital Photo Frame

Imagine a revolving photo frame of happy memories right next to their bed where they can wake up to the people they love and remember some of the greatest moments of their life, every single day… 

Rather than a photo album they have to open every time they want to look at pictures, this is the kind of gift that someone diagnosed with a terminal illness will really appreciate. No matter what challenges lie ahead, the fond memories that matter are right there for them to focus on.  

You can learn more about the Digital Photo Frame we love here…

Journals 

Stress comes from everywhere during cancer. Worrying about everything that comes with this disease is completely overwhelming.  

Journaling helps you get a handle on your thoughts and get them out of your system and onto paper.

 Writing things down tricks your brain into dumping them and leaving them on the page. Instead of ruminating on the issues and worrying, journaling helps organize thoughts, identify your fears and get them off your chest. 

25. Promptly Journal  Autobiography Journal 

Give them the chance to tell their whole story

This journal makes it easy to record your special memories from childhood to the golden years. With prompts that guide you through the process, this journal will be treasured by your family for generations to come.  

You can learn more about this Autobiography Journal here…

26. F*ck You Cancer Journal 

This is a blank journal that says exactly what they are thinking. F- you cancer, I really hate you. 

Journaling is a great way to get some of the fear, anxiety, and emotions that come with this disease off your chest. Stress is flying at you from every angle during cancer. 

And, constantly worrying about everything is completely overwhelming.  

Journaling helps you get a handle on your thoughts and get them out on paper. Writing things down tricks your brain into dumping them and leaving them on the page. 

Instead of ruminating on the issues and worrying, journaling helps organize thoughts and get them off your chest. 

You can learn more about the F*ck you journal here…

27. F*ck Cancer: A totally Inappropriate Self-Affirming Adult Coloring Book 

While this isn’t actually a journal, the same principles apply.  Coloring is incredibly therapeutic for both kids and adults. During incredibly stressful days throughout our battle, I would color as often as possible with the kids.

It gives you time to focus on something besides the stress and chaos and it always made the situation feel a little more controllable.  

Coloring is an incredible outlet for the chaotic feelings that come with this disease. It’s also calming, and relaxing which are not feelings typically associated with a fight of this magnitude. 

And as a bonus, this coloring book tells cancer where to stick it.

You can learn more about this coloring book here…

28. I’ll See You On the Other Side of The Stars

I'll see you on the otherside of the stars end of life planner.

This is an incredible way to help your loved one get their affairs in order after a terminal diagnosis. They’re not only anxious and terrified about what’s going to happen to them, but a HUGE concern with a diagnosis like this is what’s going to happen to the people they love after their gone.

My dad couldn’t focus on anything else, until he had a solid plan in place for his family.  He actually planned his entire funeral including the music and the readings before he died.  All we had to do was show up.

Planning the end of your life gives you some control in a volatile situation.  It allows you to act, rather than to sit there while everything is happening around you.  It gives you peace of mind, that the people you love will be taken care of.  

You can learn more about this End of Life Planner here…

29. Resilience Mental Fitness and Wellbeing Diary

One minute everything is going fine and the next the whole world is falling down around you during a cancer fight. It’s an insane roller coaster of feelings and emotions, and you can’t get off. 

You just have to roll with it. Having an easy activity that will help focus on your mental health will make you stronger and help you build coping skills to withstand the stress. 

Mental strength is paramount during cancer so you can keep fighting for the long haul. 

You can learn more about the Resilience Mental Fitness and Wellbeing Diary here…

Gift Basket Ideas

30. The Yard Milkshake Kits

My mother-in-law smiling with her arms out excited about 4 over the top milkshakes at Yard Milkshake Bar.
My mother-in-law at the Yard Milkshake Bar in Pigeon Forge TN

These over-the-top milkshake kits are awesome for days when everything sucks. It can also help with weight gain for someone who has lost a significant amount of weight. One thing I can tell you for sure, milkshakes were a HUGE part of our journey.  

My dad struggled with eating, a lot. Things tasted different (in a bad way) and he lost about 60 lbs. The doctors encouraged us to find things he wanted to eat. We tried protein powder and cliff bars but he hated all of it.  

Milkshakes, however, he absolutely LOVED through our entire journey. And because they have such a good flavor, we were able to add a bit of protein powder as well.

These milkshakes kick it up a notch. They’re over the top, but NOT so over the top that you don’t want to drink them. They’re just enough to be totally unique and satisfying. And, they’re full of delicious treats, like brownies and homemade cookie dough (which you can always put on the side if you prefer). And you can make them yourself right in the kitchen.  

Let’s be honest, wouldn’t YOU feel better after drinking that?

You can check out the Yard Milkshake Kits here…

31. The Perfect Breakfast Basket 

The perfect breakfast basket filled with pankcake mix, coffee, scone mix, maple syrup, blueberry jam.

The ultimate breakfast gift basket, full of delicious treats they will love.  

Pancake mix, maple syrup, scone mix, blueberry jam, tea, and coffee… The perfect gift basket to set their morning off right. A delicious breakfast that can be made quickly and easily before the craziness of the day begins.

You can learn more about the Perfect Breakfast Gift Basket here…

32. Cake Pops 

Lady bug decorated cake pops and chocolate covered strawberries

These super cute cake pops will brighten everyone’s day. The adorable little ladybugs are dipped in Belgian chocolate for an extra sweet treat. 

Let’s face it, chocolate makes everything better.

You can learn more about this gift basket here…

33. Cancer Care Package 

Just Don’t Send Flowers is full of awesome gift baskets and gift ideas for cancer patients.

This small business was created to find real and HELPFUL gifts for people going through cancer.  

The baskets include things like the “I feel like shit kit” and the “never give up cancer” gift. The “baskets” actually come in a cool reusable tote bag and contain products to help you feel better and things to help you keep your head in the game.   

You can check out Just Don’t Send Flowers here…

Make Life Care Easier

34. Gift Cards

It’s bad enough that cancer explodes into your family and takes over your life.  Then it mentally and physically drains you. So of course, this disease drains you financially as well.  

Even if you have insurance, it rarely covers everything. Medical bills, prescriptions, trips back and forth for appointments, it all piles up. If treatment is out of town we might be talking about overnight hotel stays, tolls, parking, and meals while away.  

 There are an endless amount of expenses that come with this disease. 

And people who are working and battling cancer will most likely need to take days off or stop working altogether while they’re going through this.

Suddenly, putting gas in the car, paying your rent or mortgage, and buying groceries are a lot more difficult and stressful.  

35. Gift Certificates to Local Restaurants (even better if they deliver)

My family saved these for the days that were total chaos. When you’ve spent all day at the doctor’s office, drove back and forth 2 hours each way, got home at 8 pm, and now you have to figure out dinner because everyone is starving.

Do you cook, clean up, do the dishes? Or do you order something they’ll bring straight to your door? Trust me, some days are insane and you really can’t deal with the hassle of cooking dinner.  

On those nights, a gift certificate like this is a godsend.

36. Crock Pot Chicken Soup

Who doesn’t LOVE a big bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup when they’re not feeling well?  

Soothing broth, hearty vegetables, and chunks of chicken…chicken soup is a feel good food. 

And this chicken soup is quick and easy. You just dump it in the crockpot and a few hours later it’s completely cooked and ready to serve.

The ultimate comfort food for the days that suck.

You can learn more about the best tasting (not to mention easy) Crockpot Chicken Soup here…

37. Yogi Ginger Tea

My mother who has Colon Cancer had a difficult time after cancer surgery with her stomach. 

She swears by this tea… it helps with nausea and queasy stomach and she loves the heat coming from the cup because she’s always cold.

Even now, years after the surgery, she still uses this tea whenever she has an upset stomach.

You can find Yogi Ginger Tea here…

38. Queasy Drops

These little suckers pack a pretty powerful punch. They combat nausea and help when your taste is off which are both awful side effects of cancer treatment.  

The drops are totally natural (they were originally made for morning sickness) so they are safe even for kids. And as an added bonus, they were developed by health care professionals, making them an excellent gift idea for cancer patients

But the best thing about these drops… they actually work.

You can find out more about Queasy Drops here…

39. Bluetooth Beanie

This beanie not only keeps your head warm it also plays your favorite music without the need to use headphones. 

Perfect for playing soothing music during treatment visits without the pain and irritation that can be caused by headphones.  

You can check out this bluetooth beanie here…

40. iPad 

Cancer changes the way your body functions, and you spend a TON of time resting, relaxing (or at least trying), and waiting. After a while, staring at a tiny phone starts to affect your eyes. 

The iPad allows you to do all of the things you would do on your phone (read books, listen to music, watch movies, play games, etc.) but on a bigger scale. 

And, you can enlarge the text if needed. The iPad makes for a more comfortable user experience, making this an amazing gift for people with cancer.

You can learn more about the iPad here…

Books They Can Relate To

41. Audible Books

Audiobooks mean you can lose yourself in someone else’s story and forget about your own for a while. 

Escape is a blessing for someone going through cancer. And because you can download these books right to your phone, you can “get lost” whenever you have the time. 

Long car rides, endless waiting times, trying to sleep but can’t… these books will help the loved one in your life get a much needed escape no matter where they are!

You can get Audible Books by clicking here…

42. Healing Your Grieving Heart After a Cancer Diagnosis: 100 Practical Ideas for Coping, Surviving, and Thriving (The 100 Ideas Series)

Written by a cancer survivor, this book is filled with real ideas to cope with the feelings and emotions that come with cancer and action steps they can take right now to help process and work through some of this stuff. 

Cancer journeys are filled with anxiety, depression, and uncertainty so anything that helps them cope, is a win.

You can learn more about this book here…

43. 50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspiration for Your Journey through Cancer

These are true stories from real people who have been diagnosed with cancer and it’s written by a cancer survivor. Stories about hope and what happens when God and cancer collide. 

This book is filled with encouragement and inspiration for every day.  

You can learn more about 50 Days of Hope here…

44. Chicken Soup for the Soul-Audio books

The Chicken Soup series just has a way of putting everything in perspective. Rather than pretending the worst is not happening, these books tackle the painful things in life and help you heal from them. A terminal cancer diagnosis is what nightmares are made of. Trust me, when someone says cancer, your mind immediately jumps there…  

These books help you find hope, and peace no matter what challenges lie ahead.

A social worker at Memorial Sloan Kettering once told us, as you go through a terminal cancer fight “what you wish for and what you hope for changes.” I’ve never heard a more truer statement in my life. You start out hoping the diagnosis is wrong… and after some time you’re just praying that you get as many good days as possible.

Praying that you get to spend whatever time you have left with the people you love, doing the things that make you happy.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is always a hit.  And this one is made specifically for people going through cancer.

You can get this Chicken Soup for the soul here….

45. Trusting God With Cancer

Quality Time with Family Members

Happy family eating at barbecue party

These gifts don’t come in a box but trust me, they’re priceless.

This is the gift of emotional comfort. 

  • Spend time with them.
  • Listen without judgment.  
  • Show up. Not just in the beginning but all the way through. People show up in droves at first, but after things settle… silence. We get it, It’s taxing to hear about this stuff over and over. And quite frankly, there are weeks you’re not even sure you’ll make it. As hard as it is to hear about it, cancer is like a rollercoaster for families going through it. Just having someone to help you get some of the feelings off your chest is a godsend.
  • Don’t try to fix it (you can’t anyway).

46. Plan a Gathering.

What would mean more to someone who‘s dealing with a terminal illness than time with the people they love? 

47. Host a Dinner Party.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, just throw on a few burgers and hot dogs and enjoy the time you have together.  

Invite the people that mean the most to them and spend the evening eating, talking, and laughing. Simple things like dinner, stories, and laughter mean the absolute world to someone going through this. 

Make it a night to remember.

(Hint: Designate a quiet place where they can lie down and catch their breath, in case they need to take a break. Cancer is exhausting). 🙁

Need a few more ideas…

  • Organize a game night
  • Have a dessert tasting
  • Smore’s by the campfire

48. Plan a Day Trip

Grandfather and grandson fishing off a dock.

When my dad was diagnosed with cancer he had so many things he still wanted to do. So, we made a list. I’m a HUGE FAN of the bucket list. 

Why? Because the power of a bucket list is not just in the list itself, but in the energy it brings. A list designed to include the amazing things you want to do… gives you strength, things to look forward to, and more and more reasons to keep fighting.

Is there something special your loved one has always wanted to do?  

Plan them. Take advantage of every single good day. And, focus on finding ways to conserve energy (which we outline for you below).  The key for us was preserving energy, so daddy could use it for the things he really wanted to do… like spending time with his grandkids.

49. Plan a Staycation

If the idea of going away is terrifying to you, stay home and have an adventure. Plan activities that you’ve never done right in your own town, sleep in your camper in the driveway, or have a bonfire in your own backyard.  

You don’t have to leave home to have an amazing vacation, just skip all the annoying stuff like dishes and grocery shopping. 🙂

50. Week or Weekend Getaway with Friends and Family

Plan a week/weekend with the people you love the most. Get out of town, get a change of scenery and plan something fun. If you’re looking for even more adventure, we grabbed a last minute cruise and sailed off to Bermuda for a week…  It was INCREDIBLE!

THIS is the stuff cancer steals. How can you help someone you love to keep fighting when they have more bad days than good?

It’s the “little things” we take for granted every day, that cancer tales from you.  

  • What if I don’t feel good?  
  • What if I have to go to the hospital?  
  • What if I can’t do anything?

Here’s how we handled that…

  • Do the research ahead of time.  Talk to the doctor ahead of time so they know what you’re planning. They may have some good ideas to help with nausea and boost energy levels for the trip (they did wonders for us).

Find info about hospitals in the area. Make sure you have directions and call ahead to ensure that they take your insurance. Throw your Cancer Binder in the car, so you have the info you need in an emergency.  

Check out Med-Jet Assist. If you’re leaving the country (like we did), and you end up in an emergency situation, needing to return to U.S., you can.  This is a 24/7 emergency travel evacuation plan that will get you to your doctors in the event of an emergency that takes place more than 100 Miles from your home (including international!)

Medjet assist is a great safety plan if you’re planning an experience as a gifts for terminal cancer patients .  This way you don’t have to worry about a medical crisis on vacation.  You’ve already ensured that there will be trained medical professionals ready to air lift you out of there.  And for about $150 for the whole year of coverage… that’s a good plan!

You can find out more about Medjetassist here…

Think about ways to conserve energy, so they can have a great time.  

  • Use a wheelchair, a walker, or this power scooter to get around. 
  • Plan shorter activities that are close to where you are staying so they have the option to rest if they need it. 
  • Register for a handicapped parking pass (if applicable), which allows you to park closer to where you’re going and saves you a tremendous amount of walking (or pushing if you’re using a wheelchair,  I can tell you that’s no easy gig either!).  

These small changes make a HUGE difference in your energy levels and your ability to do the things you love. 

And as a bonus, the days we planned things like this my dad slept so much better that night because he was engaged and busy and naturally exhausted from the activities.  

If you really want to punch cancer in the face, you help them take those “little things” back.  
  • Comfort
  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation
  • Confidence
  • Normalcy

You help them find ways to escape the stress and anxiety and start to feel normal again.

We have some great tips for traveling with cancer patients here… and here…

*P.S. If leaving for the weekend sounds like too much fuss, plan a day trip close to home. It doesn’t really matter what you do, or where you go– just do something fun!

P. P. S.  If you’re overwhelmed by all this cancer business, we can relate!  

The Cancer Binder Pack will walk you through the quick and easy system we used to organize our medical information.  Step-by-step instructions, printable forms, and monthly calendar pages so you can ALWAYS find what you need when you need it. And, the best part it’s FREE…

You can get the Cancer Binder Pack here…

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The Best Christmas Gifts For Someone With Cancer

Caregiver Gifts That Make Life Easier

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