Recently, a co-worker was telling my friend Caroline and me about his mom. He had just found out that she had leukemia and she had been undergoing treatment for it since they found out. Needless to say, our co-worker was pretty stressed.
People Who Care
Unbeknownst to me, Caroline was spinning this around in her mind. She was concerned about our co-worker and concerned about his mom, and all the trials that they and their family would go through during this. She wanted to do something for him to help relieve his stress or make him feel better in some way.
So she came to me with her idea: do you want to help put together a care kit for his mom? Well, the answer was “yes” of course, but I was impressed she had thought to do this. Some people just have it in them to go the extra mile when they see a need. Caroline is like that.
So she and I pooled our money together with two other co-workers, and that night, Caroline went shopping for our co-worker’s mom. She had googled about this earlier, so she had some ideas of what should go into this care kit. Here are some of the things (and why) that went into the kit.
What to Put in a Cancer Patient Care Package
This is just some of the stuff in the package Caroline created. Your list of things might vary especially the more you know the person, the more you will want to personalize it as much as possible.
- Chapstick: radiation therapy patients really deal with dry lips.
- Scarf for a woman, hat or skull cap for a guy: for women, you can pick a nice colorful scarf, or if you know their color preferences, you can choose based on that. But the idea is just to have something “pretty” in the kit. For both men and women, it’s good for warmth, or to cover up hospital “bedhead” if they know they are getting a visitor.
- Books of games like crosswords, sudoko, wordhunts, etc: these are good for the patient to help pass the time, but they are also good for the patient’s visitors, if they are spending a lot of time at the hospital with their loved one. Caroline picked up several of these books, including a picture book where you are supposed to find the differences between two similar pictures. These are great and can even be played with a teammate.
- Antibacterial hand gel.
- Hand lotion
- Mints to help fight dry mouth and nausea.
- Journal and pens
- Folder or organizer to organize all the paperwork your loved one will be receiving.
- Cards and stamps: many patients might want to take the time to thank someone for a gift or for stopping by to visit. They also just might want to write someone. Having the cards and stamps ready makes it easy for your loved one to do this.
- Books: Caroline chose some nice National Geographic magazines and a book with short stories about unique animal relationships. These are stories that visitors can read and also that can bring a smile to your loved one. The magazines provide material that can simply be “looked at” for those times when there’s not enough energy to really read.