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Topic: gift for friend going through chemo

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Jun 12, 2010 12:03PM

sling99 wrote:

What do you think of the following gifts for someone half way through chemo?

Plant or flower arrangement. I need more ideas. I don't want it to be a gift associated with breast cancer or for use during chemo treatment but more of something (maybe symbolizing hope and future good health) that she would like and appreciate even if she didn't have breast cancer.

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Posts 1 - 18 (18 total)

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Jun 12, 2010 12:04PM ktym wrote:

I had friends send me flowers intermittently.  Really made me feel better.  I love flowers, and loved that they were thinking of me

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Jun 12, 2010 12:14PM blackjack wrote:

The gift of your time is a powerful one. A lunch date, a walk and talk in the park, a spa day. Just being a good friend who is there for you is very much appreciated.


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Jun 12, 2010 12:36PM JanClare wrote:

I agree with BJ- being with them if you can is the best gift of all.  If that is not possible, when I was having my treatments my sister-in-law sent me Teavana's "To Life"  white tea blend and a mug with an inspirational saying on the side.  I really enjoyed that.  Just an idea

Once you choose hope, anything's possible. -- Christopher Reeve Dx 10/5/2006, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2010 12:58PM sweeney wrote:

My aunt sends me a funny website every day without fail. It always makes me laugh and the fact that she thinks of me that much everyday is really heartwarming. Another friend brought over a basket of stuff from her house that she thought I would like to have- a beautiful shawl, her favourite series of books, a box of tea and some homemade food.

For me flowers aren't my favourite. They make me feel like I'm in a funeral home. But to each their own. Now having said that, a couple of peonies from someone's garden are TOTALLY different than an professional arrangement. Much much appreciated!

Sweeney Dx 5/17/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2010 01:02PM mabels wrote:

A friend gave me a "cup of courage" soup mug. Brought me soup ( one of the few things I could keep down) and we spent time together. I remember the wonderful support she was when I use the mug today!  You can google it.

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Jun 12, 2010 01:12PM jessamine wrote:

I really enjoyed being brought flowers, and really anything from the outdoors during treatment, partilly because I left the house so little that anything that made it prettier/ less the same/ a little outdoorsy was great. I even had people bring me tree branches sometimes, and tried to have flowers around all the time. It may seem cliche but it's a common gift for a reason! However- stay away from lilies and other highly fragrant flowers as it can be too much for someone experiencing a lot of nausea.

But an even better gift might be to say "is there anything you need help with? can I do some housework for you or help you run some errands or amke you some food to have in the freezer?"

BRCA2+ /bi-mx apr 27 2010 w TE, exchange to silicone implants 8/23/10. 6 mos of neo-adjuvant chemo- A/C and taxotere. no rads. ooph. 10/09. 35 years old at diagnosis Dx 8/28/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2010 01:18PM Ana1973 wrote:

My favorite was a combination of help at that moment and something to do on better days that can be enjoyed for years to come. A friend brought over dinner and desert along with a plantable perennial flower, then of course she spent time with me listening to me vent. I was able to enjoy the flower when I wasn't feeling well, then was able to plant it in the ground when the SE passed and have since watched it grow and bloom even more. I'll still be able to enjoy it year after year and remember how much my friend cared for me in my time of need. The food and conversation was wonderful too :)

Good luck :)

Dx 1/27/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2010 01:22PM Karen09 wrote:

Any time anyone asked me if they could do anything or if I needed anything, I always said COME OVER PLEASE!"  I needed company more than anything. 

Dx 6/8/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2010 02:41PM RegulJ wrote:

I do like flowers but I didn't get any through treatment-ha! I got lots of cards from friends and family. I would have liked more phone calls, but alas my family is not the "phone talking type".

What phone calls I did get I just liked listening too other people's day to day activities- seeing that I was stuck in the house most days. I didn't care what the call was about- fighting with your coworkers/ taking the dog to the vet..etc. I just wanted to know that life was moving outside of my own.

My mother in law did get me tickets to see a very funny theater show- and wow! that really lifted my spirits. The non stop laughter was really good for the soul!!!

I also go/went out to lunch once a month with some ex-coworkers on a day when I was feeling my best.

Dx 8/30/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 18, 2010 02:00AM Ca1Ripken wrote:

Sparkling grape wine, a plant and a card.  I have a friend who has brought dinner a few times, and she always brings a card.  I love spending time with her, and love that she brings me a card!!  Cards that you come when it's not your birthday or Christmas are so special (so are the others, but you kwim?). 

CELEBRATE that she is 1/2 way through!  We really do live for the milestones!!!!  (((HUGS))) to a great friend!!!!!

Dx 4/23/2010, IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 3/13/2013, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 18, 2010 02:32AM sling99 wrote:

Thanks for all the great suggestions!

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Jun 18, 2010 10:56AM pickle wrote:

My Aunt sent me a card in the mail every week. I looked forward to Fridays to see what the next card would be.

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Jun 18, 2010 11:10AM Renata wrote:

I always welcome chocolates and books but in chemo time I preferred a heartfelt hug to anything. It's nice to have caring friends, best wishes to her.

Dx 4/10/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 18, 2010 11:16AM angelaric01 wrote:

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Jun 18, 2010 01:26PM msmpatty wrote:

I got lots of food, flowers, notes and e-mails.   But what I really would have loved was for someone to show up every Thursday evening and haul the trash cans to the curb for pickup!   For some reason this task, more than any other,  just defeated me during chemo. Sounds silly, I know.


Dx 5/13/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 2/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 18, 2010 01:39PM juliempw wrote:

My aunt sent me a card once a week.  I had another friend organize meals so that people who wanted to help were directed to her, she then set up meals according to the number of times that I wanted them per week and let people know of my families dietary needs/desires.  Flowers were always nice but I was too tired to keep them alive.  Some friends got me books and magazines which was actually a great idea.  House cleaning was a huge help.  But as others have said some of the most touching were the friends that came and hung out with me (totally accepting and "I don't feel like it today") they'd bring movies and food sometimes and would just hang out do whatever around the house and talk or let me sleep.  You have to be a really close friend to do that though.  If you're not a close friend then frequent texts are nice "hey just wanted to say I'm thinking about you and hope you're doing well" like the cards there's no need for her to respond but she knows you care.  You can also do warm fuzzies, like a nice pillow, a pretty journal with pen etc.  If she has kids, I really appreciated people who remembered my kids and husband were going through the ringer too.


Julie Dx 8/28/2009, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2009 Lymph node removal: Left, Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 11/11/2009
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Jun 18, 2010 02:33PM Claire_in_Seattle wrote:

I bought myself flowers during treatment, but was dead of winter, so really needed them.  I stopped about a month ago as tons outside now.

A major problem with chemo can be sun exposure, so a top that has long sleeves and is also cool would be lovely.  A pretty color to liven up a flagging complexion.

Champagne flutes to celebrate when the "ordeal" is over.

Lunch at a nice place (if she is up to it).

One of the nicest "gifts" I got were friends who cycled me when I was undergoing treatment.  They were patient as I didn't have it to do anything super strenuous.  So I felt part of this world.  You can adapt this concept to whatever your friend enjoys doing.

Nice shower gel.  She may have issues with scents, but you can take her shopping and I am sure that you will find something that she likes.  I wanted citrus, but am back to normal scents.  Also bath oil as I found soothing to my skin.

Gift certificate for post-treatment make-over.  I am not quite where I need it, but will once I get enough hair growth.  It all comes in differently, and I will want help in looking my best.  So that is on the agenda for next month.  You can book this for both of you.  Plan for three months post chemo.

Same deal with cut and color at hair salon.

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
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Jun 18, 2010 03:03PM gillyone wrote:

Earrings - they were my fashion statement during chemo when I mostly wore hats and scarves.

Dx 6/5/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 9/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-

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