19 answers

Seeking Comfort Gifts for Soemone Who Has Breast Cancer

Hi
MY mother-in law is undergoing radiation for breast cancer and i would like to give her a gift to comfort her or help her feel better.Thinking of one of those wool wrapped hot water bottles from Garnet Hill. Any suggestions?
P.

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What caring loving thoughtful replies!Lots of great ideas and support...thank you mamas....you are the best!
P.

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The Peaceful Company has a 12% discount today and tomorrow on their products. They have lavender robes, slippers, next pillows, etc. http://www.peacefulcompany.com/detail.aspx?ID=5221

wool? it's ITCHY! Get flannel or knit or fleece, something that feels good against skin.

I filled a large unused sock of my husband's with rice to use as one of those microwave heat packs - we LOVE it but I am never ever ever going to use a wool sock again!!!!!

I plan on sewing some bags or tubes and filling them with dry grains for heat packs, they are so very nice! In comfy fabrics, NOT wool! ;-)

More Answers

Hi P.,

She is probably cold all the time. I bought a friend of mine that had breast cancer a farinfared blanket and she would sit around the house with it wrapped around her and sleep with it. Sher said she felt better when she was wrapped in it.

I wish your mother in law a healthy recovery. Give her support and advise her to keep her spirits up and have happy thoughts everyday to help her in her healing process.

You may check out the site for more informtion.

www.nikken.com/ninamarie

Have a happy and safe holiday,

N. Marie

Hi P.. My mom passed away just two weeks ago from lung cancer. :( She wanted comfy pajamas and socks/slippers. You might also look on the American Cancer Society's website. Also, making her some 'comfort' foods is really nice. My husband made a big pot of chicken soup, and then froze some of it into smaller batches. Radiation will really wear her out. I also gave my mom a pedicure when she started hospice. She loved it. What ever you can do to keep her spirits up will help!
Best of luck to you and your family. CANCER SUCKS!!!!

I gave my girlfriend who had breast cancer a teapot for one with a box of nice tea. She likes to drink tea and so I thought this would be nice for her to have a quiet moment and read a book or relax from it all.
good luck

I noticed a friend's bracelet on day and loved it. Then someone else come into the bookclub with the same bracelet. Ends up it's a fundraiser for cancer. 4 days later I found out my Dad had cancer. (coincidence?) I ordered them for myself, mom and sister right away, and have give them to patients and their family members several times.

Not a comfort gift, but might pick up the spirits of your MIL and others in your family.

www.friendsofmel.org the bracelets

My mother went through this last year. I supported her as much as I could. I had long beautiful curly hair, and always got compliments on it. When I took my mother to select a wig (she lost her hair w/Chemo), I promissed to donate my hair if the Cancer Society would give her a human hair wig. The synthetic ones made her scalp itch. I kept my promise. I had my mother join me for the event. She held my hand and I know she felt incredibly supported when I did this in her honor.

I also recommend giving/knitting her a nice bini/hat because the night air is very cold on a bare scalp that is used to a full head of hair.

P. -
I am sorry to hear about your mother in law! My sister is a survivor of Breast Cancer. When she was going through chemo and radiation I put together a comfort bag for her to take to her treatments. A few of the things I included were a fleece blanket (the ones that are tied on the edges), a fleece scarf & hat, stationary to write letters while she was going through her treatments, and a few other odds and ends. I did all of the items using the pink ribbon theme.

I am sure no matter what you do for her she will love it!
P.

wool? it's ITCHY! Get flannel or knit or fleece, something that feels good against skin.

I filled a large unused sock of my husband's with rice to use as one of those microwave heat packs - we LOVE it but I am never ever ever going to use a wool sock again!!!!!

I plan on sewing some bags or tubes and filling them with dry grains for heat packs, they are so very nice! In comfy fabrics, NOT wool! ;-)

My MIL has been battling cancer for 5 years now. The first year, she lost a lot of weight and had very few shirts thsat fit anymore, so we bought her some that were tagless and had the bottons on the fron (like 3 or so) that she could wear while getting her chemo. This year, We put a photo album together, it is a small 4x^ album that she can take with her to chemo or wherever she wants to show off her grandaughter.

Another thing my MIL started using was an electric heated throw, as she was always cold.

Good luck in your search! I will keep her in my prayers!

L.

Hi P.,

I just finished going through chemo with a good friend who has breast cancer and she is ready to start radiation. She is always cold so I found one of those "throws" that has arms and a hood and she loves to sit around the house with it wrapped around her and she also takes it to chemo because Stanford is so darn cold. Her kids like it because it smells like her.

Her kids(age 3 & 6) call it "Mommy's blankie".

Blessings to your mother-in-law and I will put her on the prayer list at my church. She must also feel blessed to have a daughter-in-law as caring as you.

Blessings to you all,
+B +

We gave a friend warm, novelty socks. Her feet were always cold during treatments & then the sillyness of the socks made both herself & the medical people smile. I think anything warm & comforting like the hotwater bottle would be welcome.

My mother's sewing club in Houston makes soft, warm hats and lap throws for the cancer ward at the hospital. They use very simple patterns so the sewing goes quickly. The choice of fabric is most important - it must be very soft and washable.

You might also consider a basket of herbal teas. Mint and Chamomile are known to be soothing and help most people with nausea and sleep. Rooibos is used for all ages and illnesses in South Africa. It's even given to babies with cholic.

Hi P.,

Here's a different suggestion to consider.

There is an awesome, tasty, nutritional juice drink that helps to restore the tissues at the cellular level. This high quality, healthy supplement is very soothing (aloe vera) and helps to give strength and energy. The two main molecules in it are resveratrol (red wine) and ellagitins (pomagrante). Science is showing that those two miracle molecules can actually cause some cancer cells to die a natural death in all three stages of cancer. The supplement drink is called Genesis and one ounce of it provides the STANDARDIZED equivalent of a whole bottle of wine and a whole pomagranate.

My husband battled colon cancer last year (surgery & chemo) and he drank 4-5 ounces of Genesis a day. I don't believe that his chemo experience was as bad as it could have been without Genesis. He recovered quickly and is doing very well now.

You can take a look at Genesis and see the videos on my website at www.symmetrydirect.com/dhendon. You can put the bottle in a pretty wine gift bag and give her the gift of health with a product that is finer than the finest bottle of wine.

I have lots of info to share, if you would like to see it. Don't hesitate to call me if I can be of help.

Saving Lives One Ounce at a time,
D. Hendon, RDH, SMM
###-###-####
www.symmetrydirect.com/dhendon

Does she read? Try Chicken Soup for the Soul. I believe there is a there is a chichen soup book that is aimed at helping cancer patients. If you are not familuar with these books, they are a combination of writers that have touching and humourous stories.

Hi P.,

I am not sure what your plans are for on the wrapped hot water bottles are but please don't let her use it on the area that is undergoing the radiation. When someone in undergoing radiation for BC the area that is to be radiated should be kept as cool as possible after the radiation treatment. By keeping the area cool the less likely the skin in the area will burn.
I did not do this faithly enough so I burned really bad to the point that I starting bleeding in some of the area. Please note: all people have their own individual experiences, but I feel if I would have kept the area cooler after my treatment I would not have burned as bad.

A.

The Peaceful Company has a 12% discount today and tomorrow on their products. They have lavender robes, slippers, next pillows, etc. http://www.peacefulcompany.com/detail.aspx?ID=5221

I think that your idea sounds good. Maybe some yummy lavendar candles too.

hi P.,

May I suggest a massage for your mother-in-law? I am a certified oncology massage therapist in Marin County working out of my office and at Marin General Hospital. The patients really enjoy a relaxing non-invasive bodywork session where they can put their troubles aside. If done by an experienced and knowledgable massage therapsit, massage can help calm nausiation due to chemotherapy and help loosen the tissue caused by radiation (although I would not work in this area until she was done with her sessions), and help prevent lymphadema. Feel free to call me if you have any questions, as I have a list of excellence resources.

Have a lovely holiday!

D. Joan, CMT
###-###-####

Your mother in law is very lucky that her son married such a caring woman. I'm sorry to hear that she is not well. Good news- we found when my mother was undergoing radiation for breast cancer that she felt better than she expected to.

When my mother was sick for the first time I gave her a nice teddy bear that stayed with her all through her recovery. She kept it with her for fifteen years and I think it meant a lot to her. Now that she is gone I have it with me, and it has been a comfort.

Try to take a cue from her about what kind of attention she wants right now. Some people want to keep things light- she may want to go on as normally as possible, hearing about her grandchildren and other family news. She may want to talk about her fears, or share stories about her life. When someone is sick it's important to be a good talker and a good listener.

Obviously the greatest comfort you can give her is the gift of your time and care. Help with shopping and household chores may be appreciated. I'm sure she would enjoy some artwork by her grandchildren. When my mother was last in the hospital we brought a photo and a drawing by my son and she enjoyed that very much.

I think people here have lots of good ideas about ways to keep her warm and comfortable. It's a great way to show that you care about how she is feeling, and a nice blanket or pair of booties will be useful to her also when she gets better. People really do get better these days, because the treatments are so much better.

Many of us have been through this with loved ones. Your husband will also need your support during this time, though if he is like my husband he will not say so.

You may find that during radiation that she is up and around more than you think! Best wishes to you and to your mother in law.

I'm sorry to hear about your MIL. I don't know where she lives but the Women's Health Resource Center at California Pacific Medical Center has many resources and services available for cancer patients. Maybe she would like a nice massage every now and then. Check out their website.

http://www.cpmc.org/services/women/whrc/index.html

They are part of the Sutter Health Care Group so I would check her local Sutter hospital for something similar.

Here's a link to UCSF http://www.whrc.ucsf.edu/whrc/

Best Wishes.

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