Hearing the news of a loved one’s breast cancer diagnosis can be extremely difficult. As a close friend or family member, you probably need to process this news while also figuring out how you can best support them during this difficult time. Some people need some time to themselves while others will want you to stay close to them. When it comes to helping them out, you often know your loved ones best.
One thing that can help remind them that you are always there for them is a thoughtful care package. If you need help assembling thoughtful and useful gifts for a breast cancer care package, check out these recommendations below.
11 Items to Include in Your Breast Cancer Care Package
Care package items to show your friend you are there for them
Going through treatment for breast cancer can be a physically and mentally-draining time. As you pick different items for your care package, make sure you add some products that will help them feel as comfortable as possible. Giving them some fun games and activities to help keep your loved one occupied can also be helpful.
1. Comfortable Socks
A pair or two of cozy socks can help keep your loved one feeling safe and comfortable. High-quality socks with moisture-wicking capabilities tend to be the best types of socks to wear.
Try to avoid cotton socks, as they cannot absorb water well and easily grow cold when wet. You don’t necessarily need thick socks in order for them to be long-lasting and durable. Rather, you should be examining the material itself. In fact, socks that are too thick can become uncomfortable when wearing shoes.
Socks come in a number of different colors and styles. So don’t be afraid to purchase a stylish pair your friend will love to show off!
2. Tea Packets
Tea is an incredibly soothing and healthy drink. If your friend loves tea, consider purchasing them some tea packets for them to prepare at home. For people who aren’t as familiar with their teas, check out these varieties:
- Peppermint: popular tea known for reducing anxiety and fatigue
- Chamomile: calming tea that has been found to reduce symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Lavender: well-known tea that can help stabilize your mood and relieve anxiety
- Lemon Balm: tea that is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression
- Passion Flower Tea: natural remedy made with flavone chrysin that is known to relieve anxiety
- Green Tea: another popular tea for soothing anxiety and stress thanks to the polyphenol inside it
Does your friend love spa products like lotion and moisturizer? Treat her to a new set of luxurious and fragrant bath products. Lotion is great for soothing the skin and making you feel fine and refreshed.
You can find body lotion at a number of different stores. When searching for one, make sure you choose one with healthy and nourishing ingredients such as:
- Shea Butter
- Vitamin C
- Olive Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Cocoa Butter
4. Snacks and Candy
Snacks are a great addition to any care package. Whether you purchase a bag of popcorn or whip up some of your own cupcakes, your friend will certainly appreciate the kind gesture. Not sure what to pack? These snacks are always a great choice:
- Chocolate covered pretzels
- Flavored popcorn
- Fruit such as apples or pears
- Homemade trail mix
- Fruit snacks
- Their favorite candy such as Skittles or fruit-flavored gum
5. Books and Magazines
Is your friend an avid book reader? Do they often find themselves engrossed in riveting mystery novels? Do they have a weakness for the latest celebrity gossip? Add some books and magazines to your care package. Books can be a great source of comfort during difficult times. You can check out places like Reese’s Book Club or Oprah’s Book Club to find great books that your friend will love.
6. Puzzles and Games
Puzzles and games are a great way to keep your friend occupied and their mind stimulated. If they are a fan of brain teasers or logic games, purchase a book filled with riddles or challenging puzzles and crossword puzzles.
You can also get them games designed for two or more people. The next time you can hang out, you can play fun games like Apples to Apples or Battleship. There’s nothing like a casual card game to keep your get-togethers light and fun.
7. Stuffed Animal
Give your friend a little comfort with a huggable stuffed animal! These cozy plush toys can be a great reminder to your friend that you are always there for them. Not to mention, they are incredibly adorable and can be extremely comforting to hug when they are feeling depressed or anxious!
You can even symbolically adopt an animal, such as a koala, through the World Wildlife Fund. Included in the “adoption” kit is a plush stuffed animal, photo, adoption certificate, and species card. Not only is this great for cheering up your friend, but it also allows you to help endangered species around the world.
8. Handheld Fan
Some women who undergo breast cancer treatment experience menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. This can occur due to chemotherapy or hormone therapy. For many women, this can be uncomfortable and make it difficult for them to continue on with their everyday lives.
That’s why adding a handheld fan for your friend in their care package can be extremely beneficial for them. You can purchase a simple folding fan or an electronic one that does all the work for them. For extra relief, consider purchasing a fan with a little water spray. They will definitely appreciate the extra gesture!
9. Homemade Meals
Sometimes, it can be difficult to juggle treatment along with other personal duties like cooking and preparing meals. Help your friend out by cooking them a delicious meal. Whether they can’t get enough of your homemade chicken soup or you want to treat them with a special batch of green bean casserole, a savory home cooked meal can take hours of cooking off of their hands.
10. Pillows and Blankets
Comfort pillows can be extremely helpful for anyone going through breast cancer treatment. The best support pillows are typically small, portable, and can easily fit underneath the arm. Thanks to their small size, they are pretty versatile. Your friend can use it for a number of different functions, such as a neck pillow for resting against a chair or a seat belt pillow whenever they are in the car.
For some people, journaling their thoughts and feelings throughout their treatment process can help them cope with their emotions. Add a small journal to your care package so your friend can draw or write whatever is on her mind. Since journals are so versatile, you have a number of different options when it comes to finding one, including small plain journals and journals filled with different drawing and writing prompts.
Tips for Supporting Your Friend During Their Treatment
How to Support a Friend Who Has Breast Cancer
Dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis can be scary and confusing. Your friend might need some alone time before they’re ready to talk. You yourself might be wondering how you can best support them. Check out these tips below for remaining a supportive and loving figure in your friend’s life throughout their cancer treatment.
Act normally around them
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can rock someone’s world. But they might want to still have some normalcy in their lives. While you don’t need to awkwardly pretend the diagnosis doesn’t exist, you also shouldn’t start treating your loved one differently. Even if they can’t always come over, continue to ask them to hang out with you and include them in your plans. Listen to them if they ever want to talk or just want to rant.
Give them emotional support
People often experience a range of different emotions when hearing their breast cancer diagnosis, such as fear, depression, and anger. Oftentimes, these feelings change. Listening and staying beside your loved one as they experience this rollercoaster of emotions is one of the best ways you can support them.
Offer to help out with chores
Sometimes, the side effects of breast cancer make it difficult to keep up with everyday tasks. Stay proactive by offering to help with specific tasks. Asking your loved one if they would like you to babysit their kids or drive them to or from apartments can be beneficial. While some people might feel reluctant to accept your help, it’s important that they know that you are there to help them whenever they need it.
Cancer is a mentally and physically-draining illness. Remaining supportive of your friend throughout their treatment process is crucial for helping them get through it. Whether your friend just wants someone to vent to or needs some help with random chores around the house, you can offer your support in a number of ways. Giving your friend a care package is a simple but effective method for reminding them that you have their back.