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Care packages

Create a chemotherapy care package

"Care packages are an act of loving-kindness that will go a long way for any loved one who is undergoing chemotherapy," says Lauren Garvey, CRC, NCC, a facilitator at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness at Piedmont. "Participants at Cancer Wellness have often told me that cancer treatment was a very isolating time because many people in their lives did not know what to say or do, so they ended up not hearing from them at all."

Creating a care package for a friend or family member with cancer is a thoughtful way to show your support and give them small gifts that offer both comfort and health benefits.

Here are some examples of items you can include:

  • Hypoallergenic, unscented hand lotion
  • Unscented hand sanitizer (chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, so hand sanitizer comes in handy)
  • Tissue travel packs
  • Neck pillow 
  • Eye mask (he or she may want to take a restorative nap or simply a break from the bright lights of a medical setting)
  • Calming essential oils, like lavender, jasmine, bergamot and ylang-ylang (Garvey likes Aveda's blue oil roller because it's also a mini-massager)
  • Energizing citrus oils, such as orange or grapefruit
  • Reusable plastic cutlery (chemotherapy can impact taste receptors and cause a metallic taste, so many people undergoing treatment prefer plastic utensils) 
  • Fleece blanket (thin, easy to transport, machine washable)
  • Hat or scarf
  • Journal ("We do a lot of journaling in our community at Cancer Wellness," she says. "There is a lot of research to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being. University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes.")
  • Coloring or activity book for adults to promote mindfulness, stress relief and relaxation
  • Pens and colored pencils 
  • A magazine or book about your loved one’s special interests (fly fishing, fashion, cooking, etc.)
  • Personal note, even if it just says, “I care about you.”
  • Coconut water (helps with hydration and maintaining healthy pH levels)
  • Ginger candy (great natural remedy for nausea)
  • Decaffeinated herbal teas

"When they reach for the items, they will be reminded that they are cared for and are not alone," says Garvey.  

For more information on cancer care, click here.   

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