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Topic: Let's make a wish list of gifts for people with breast cancer!

Forum: Recommend Your Resources — Book reviews, favorite web sites, products, articles.

Posted on: Nov 26, 2018 03:03PM

Moderators wrote:

Dear Members,

Throughout the boards, members have posted about services and gifts that have or could be helpful while managing breast cancer. With the holiday season and gift giving upon us, please take a minute and share some of the gifts, services or gadgets that you have received that have been especially meaningful or helpful to you throughout your breast cancer experience. Please add a comment as to what made the gift important to you. Perhaps you will get some ideas for giving or receiving.

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Nov 28, 2018 11:17AM Moderators wrote:

Bumping to get into the active topics.

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Nov 28, 2018 12:06PM CaliKelly wrote:

This was a gift I have myself, I loved the attitude! Laughs without fear of the future, is my go forward attitude!

Dx 6/17/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 8/11/2015 TAC Surgery 1/20/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 6/29/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Chemotherapy 11/3/2016 Xeloda (capecitabine) Surgery 10/7/2017 Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Surgery 1/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 28, 2018 12:35PM WC3 wrote:

Things I had to buy or needed due to breast cancer that I would not have otherwise bought or needed (in the general chronological order that I bought or needed them).

1. Cleaning service, 3 times.

2. Plastic tarp and tarp tape to seal window.

3. N95 NIOSH masks, small, with face seal and valve.

4. A night stand with a pull out tray.

5. A day bed for family carers (My apartment was largely unfurnished and I did not have a couch).

6. Hot food bar/salad bar meals at the market.

7. Bulk packs of carbonated water.

8. Popsicles, low fructose.

9. Various food items (It was trial and error during chemotherapy).

10. A glucose meter and testing kit to avoid blood sugar spikes on the dexamethasone.

11. Head bands to protect the skin surrounding my hair during cold capping.

12. Hats because I was not the best cold capping success story.

13. A bed wedge for after surgery.

16. Button up shirts for after surgery.

17. Rides.

18. Band aids...differe t kinds and lots of them, because I was not healing quickly and my platlets dropped.

19. Plastic wrap and medical tape to water proof my port incision site for bathing. I found this worked better than the packaged options I could find.

20. Money for parking. My medical facility only validates for infusions.

21. Money for co pays.

I would say though that food was actually one of my biggest expenses because I would buy things and find out I couldn't eat them and have to buy other things.

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/14/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Dec 6, 2018 01:56PM Moderators wrote:

Great contributions so far! Would love to hear more!

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Dec 6, 2018 02:21PM Egads007 wrote:

A red Ferrari.


"I base all my fashion choices on what doesn't itch" (Gilda Radner) Chemotherapy 3/20/2013 Doxil (doxorubicin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 8/23/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 11/1/2013 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Dx IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 6, 2018 02:29PM santabarbarian wrote:

A credit to Doordash (or a service like that that will pick up a restaurant meal and bring it to your door)!! Doordash has saved my life during chemo.... when you have no appetite and you are hangry.... and then suddenly you think of something random you would enjoy eating... and you order it online and it shows up in 45 mins or so. Relief!!

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Dec 6, 2018 03:07PM Wigging2000 wrote:

pink pockets for holding surgical drains (I am anxiously awaiting these to come in the mail)

Stretchy pants for post surgery

Shower lanyard for drains

Can you tell I hate the drains?


Dx 10/31/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/30/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 12/6/2018, LCIS/DCIS, Left, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/7/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 6, 2018 04:28PM LoriCA wrote:

While I was going through chemo the first time, some of the most thoughtful and useful gifts were:

- Biotene mouth wash and gel for dry mouth, it's amazing

- Cerave skin care products for body and face, unscented, affordable and does an amazing job on chemo skin

- Foot care products to help with the painful cracking skin

- Burt's Bees lip balms, hand creams, cuticle cream (yes there's a theme here with chemo taking every drop of moisture out of your body and I wish I had known to start managing proactively the first time)

- Yoga/sweat/lounge pants, I needed to build a whole wardrobe around comfy clothes

- a warm cuddly blanket to bring to infusions

- if the person hasn't yet gone through chemo, icing booties and gloves are a not-insignificant cost that may be appreciated to help prevent neuropathy if they will be getting a taxane. Cold capping is outright expensive.

- As others have said, anything that helps with meals, especially if there's a family to feed. I found meals to be my biggest challenge, the one that would reduce me to tears. Whether it be a local delivery service, a company that delivers frozen meals (my sister sent me a 2-week supply of meals from Schwann's that was a life saver, and the food was great), or delivering home cooked meals that can be kept in the freezer, My sisters also flew out here and spent an entire weekend cooking up meals for my freezer. something that would be easier to do if family is local, and it was wonderful to have a freezer full of family favorites. You can only eat takeout for so long before you crave a homecooked meal. Every single meal provided helps more than people realize.

IBC Stage IV de novo - mets throughout skeleton (bones & now bone marrow), liver, dozens of distant nodes, chest wall/pec muscle, skin, tumor in brachial nerves, thyroid, polycythemia from bone marrow involvement Dx 9/8/2017, IBC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 9/26/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/6/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/6/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/30/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Enhertu (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki) Targeted Therapy Kadcyla (T-DM1, ado-trastuzumab)
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Dec 6, 2018 09:35PM Dani444 wrote:

-A nice soft blanket for the couch

-back scratcher! Post op I would think, man I wish I had one, but this was usually at night. And I kept forgetting to ask my sister to bring me one:)

-Comfy pajamas with a button up top.

- lip balm, trial size lotion, hand sanitizer,and small Kleenex packs for the bedside table.

- books and magazines.

-freezer meals for sure!

-wedge pillow.

-gift cards for meals, and if they are able to gift cards for an evening at the movies.

- my friend made me a pillow shaped like a “u” to go under my arm post op, and several different sizes of small pillows, those pillows are something I used everyday for weeks!!!!!

- a seatbelt pillow or port pillow.

-a long phone charger.

-healthy snacks.

-I actually loved getting a hand written note or card in the mai.

When I was first diagnosed a friend bought me a book called “Dear Friend” it is a book with handwritten notes from cancer survivors. It was a sweet gift.

DX @ 46, premenopausal, mammaprint low risk Dx 8/21/2018, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/25/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 12/6/2018 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 8/20/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Surgery 4/19/2021 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 6, 2018 11:25PM LimnoGal wrote:

I was not a good wig-wearer, so a gift certificate to, amazon or one of the other sites that sell scarves, hats and other head coverings would have been useful and appreciated. It is COLD without hair, and the more options for head covering, the better

Moving on.... Dx 11/2016, DCIS/IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/11/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Balloon-catheter: Breast
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May 12, 2019 07:22AM MountainMia wrote:

I asked for hats, scarves, and dangly earrings for Mother's Day. I told my 2 daughters that they'd earn bonus points if it was something of their own they thought I'd love, but of course that would be harder for my son. He and his wife sent a (kind of ugly) ball cap and a broad sunhat. It's also not real pretty but it will be very useful.

What I really don't want is smelly soaps and candles. Those might be enjoyed and feel luxurious to some people but I'm always very sensitive to smells, and I think most of us are more sensitive while in treatment.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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May 12, 2019 10:18AM rainnyc wrote:

One of the best gifts I received was from a friend who offered to coordinate meals after my surgery. I sent everyone who offered to her, and she not only kept the schedule but also made sure we didn't get (for example) quiche three nights running.

Ginger candy, ginger tea, lemon candy

Comfy socks

Magazines. One of my friends subscribes to many magazines, and she brought me a bag of everything that was on her coffee table, including magazines I would never have bought for myself but were perfect for post-surgery stupor.

Time and support. A friend went with me to the wig shop and made such a hard day easier.


Find out what other family members might need. A neighbor with kids at home has pancreatic cancer, so the food requests have been for what others can eat; she's not doing much eating or cooking.

Dx 4/2015, IDC, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 5/12/2015 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 5/12/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 9/22/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 11/1/2015 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab)

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