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Topic: Ideas on what to include in "care package"

Forum: For Family & Caregivers of Loved Ones With a STAGE IV Diagnosis —

A place where family members, caregivers, and loved ones of people having a Stage IV (metastatic) diagnosis can share, discuss, and support one another through the tough times unique to this diagnosis.

Posted on: Jul 26, 2017 03:33PM

BettyBoots wrote:

Hello to all!

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone. I am not a caregiver, but I have a family member who is now stage 4 and has recently undergone surgery. I do not mean to intrude on your community but was hoping someone could offer me advice.

I have not spoken with my family member in many many years. She does not wish to speak with me. I only know what she is going thru due to a family member telling me. There is no mending our relationship, but I will not get into the details as I don't wish to waste anyone's time.

I would like to send her a care package. As I do not know exactly what she is going through I'm not sure what to send. We were close as children and in our teens. I was thinking of putting together a sort of beauty and pampering package--from Ulta or Sephora. She was always very much into that kind of stuff. She is in her late 30s. If anyone can offer suggestions as to what she would like or find useful, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you for reading and I send prayers and good thoughts your way.

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Jul 26, 2017 07:55PM Moderators wrote:

Hi BettyBoots-

That's a very thoughtful gesture, and one we're sure will be well-received. We have a rather comprehensive list of things other members have found helpful, before, after, and during recovery from their surgeries. You might find some helpful tips and suggestions there: https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/91/topics...

The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jul 26, 2017 08:12PM dcdrogers wrote:

My girlfriend sent me a care package while I was going through chemo. It was unexpected and filled with a bunch of useful and thoughtful items. She sent it via the Amy Strong foundation. Some of the things that really stood out to me and were very useful were:

  • Hand Cream
  • Mint Candies
  • Bar of soap scented with honey and lemon
  • Journal
  • Tea
  • Bandana
  • Lip balm
  • 2 Tickets for free entry into the local Aquarium
It was a well thought out package and I received other items that I can't think of right now. I believe my package was called the Sunshine package. I really appreciated the fact that everything in it was yellow (color of sunshine) as I've seen enough pink to last a lifetime.


p.s. I pray that surgery goes well for your family member.

Dx 11/15/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 12/14/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/14/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 12/14/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 12/15/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 5/3/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 6/13/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jul 27, 2017 02:16AM BettyBoots wrote:

Thank you so much for your reply, Dee! Such helpful info; I will definitely look up the Amy Strong foundation, too.

Thank you for your prayers and I extend mine to you as well. God bless you and take care!

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Jul 27, 2017 02:27AM ElaineTherese wrote:


How about a gift certificate for a local house/apartment cleaning business? When I was doing chemo, I could manage the basics (laundry/kitchen), but it would have been nice to have someone clean the bathrooms and clean the floors once a week.

Thanks for thinking of your family member.

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/22/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/16/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/11/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/24/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/8/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 27, 2017 09:24AM gb2115 wrote:

Food delivery gift cards might be appreciated.

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
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Jul 27, 2017 10:21AM nbnotes wrote:

The sweetest thing that someone did for me while in my "hard chemo" time was a care box like you are mentioning. She wrapped everything separately which I knew was very time consuming for her, but it was so nice to get to open so many packages. She actually numbered them & said to open 1-5 on day 1, etc. She did some very little things that weren't expensive like a pen and journal, m&ms, magazine, crossword puzzle book, etc. and then also did some food gift cards. It really meant the world to me. (Any type of brain game - word search, crossword, etc. - is good to help with chemo brain.) She will appreciate whatever you do!

Nancy --- mets to liver -- "Don't count the days, make the days count" Muhammed Ali Dx 7/17/2012, IDC, 1cm, ER+/PR- Dx 8/23/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/23/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 10/9/2012, 5cm, Stage IV, mets Chemotherapy 10/9/2012 AC Hormonal Therapy 2/13/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 1/12/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 11/8/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 11/11/2017 Afinitor (everolimus)
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Jul 27, 2017 11:10AM MTwoman wrote:

one of the things that was most helpful for me was a punch card that my Mom had a local restaurant make for me. This restaurant makes 5 different homemade soups each day, and I was going through surgeries during the (very cold Montana) winter. It was so nice to be able to drop by on my way home and pick up a nice warm container of soup. Since she couldn't actually feed me herself, she made sure that I had some yummy warm homemade comfort when I needed it. In the end, the restaurant actually didn't punch the last space for several weeks (I guess it was their contribution).

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/19/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Jul 27, 2017 03:20PM Steph3977 wrote:

Hi! I received a Sunshine Box from a neighbor, a cancer survivor herself, and she filled it with yellow note cards, lemonhead candy, lemon hand sanitizer, yellow soft body scrubby thing, lemon body wash and lemon lotions. It was SO nice and the first gift I received!

I got so many wonderful gifts, but socks became a recurring gift since I took pics of my new socks at chemo every week for 12 weeks! All kinds of cute socks with sayings, or animals or Christmas socks! They really did keep my feet warm during chemo and at home!

Another neighbor sent me a Burt's Bees Tips -n-Toes gift pack and it had lotions and salves for my feet (which get VERY dry during chemo). She also included some moisturizing socks, soft toothbrushes and lip balms. Super nice!

Any gift is so nice, so whatever you choose would be appreciated!

Good luck!

Surgery 7/7/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/16/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 2/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Jul 28, 2017 09:28AM - edited Jul 28, 2017 09:30AM by Shellsatthebeach

Books or a gift certificate for books is nice too. Going through treatments was made more enjoyable, as I was able to cozy up with a good book!

Dx 3/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+, HER2- Surgery 8/28/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 6/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 9/24/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 10/17/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Jul 29, 2017 10:47PM BettyBoots wrote:

Thank you all so much for all the great ideas!! I feel a lot better about sending something that I know she will be able to use and will appreciate. I am going to say a prayer for all of you tonight. You didn't have to take time out of your day to help me out but you did, and I appreciate it.

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