What's the best gift for a cancer patient or caregiver?
Finding the right gift for your friends and family can be tough. It can be even tougher if they're undergoing cancer treatment or are caring for someone who is. After all, you may be trying to make the holidays extra special for them during a difficult time.
So, we asked our some of our bloggers -- who are cancer patients, survivors and caregivers themselves -- for their holiday gift recommendations. Here's what they said.
Books and magazines
"Days become long in the hospital, so a good book helps to pass the time and get your mind off of things," says Jennifer Martin, a melanoma caregiver. Books and magazines -- as well as tablets and other e-readers -- can be a great gift for patients and caregivers alike.
Wireless Bluetooth speaker or radio
Harley Hudson, a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patient, used his wireless radio almost daily while he was in the hospital recovering from a stem cell transplant. The music helped lighten the mood and made him feel at home while staying in the hospital.
"I think gift baskets with a little bit of this and that make the gift feel more personal," says Brittany Hurst, an ovarian cancer survivor. Brittany recommends stuffing baskets with slippers, a comfy robe, hand sanitizer, a good moisturizing lotion, books, restaurant gift cards, a journal, framed pictures of family and friends, a soft and comfy blanket and handwritten letters.
"When I received a gift basket or care package, I almost felt like a little kid on Christmas morning," Brittany says. "Looking over all the little items, I almost felt as though the people who got me gift baskets knew me better than I knew myself. I'd rather get a gift basket full of little goodies than one big item. Gift baskets just feel more personal."
One-time house cleaning
While she was undergoing anal cancer treatment, Michele Longabough's church bought her a one-time house cleaning.
"The house cleaning was an amazing gift that touched more than me," she says. "It helped my caregivers as well. It was a much needed gift for the whole team -- my sister, my husband, my daughter, my family. It helped us all!"
A rolling suitcase
Gail Morse, a breast cancer survivor, recommends giving a rolling suitcase or tote bag, so patients and caregivers can carry their books, tablets, blankets and anything else they need through the halls of MD Anderson.
The same gift you'd give if they weren't going through cancer treatment
"Above all, give a gift the person would like if they weren't going through treatment," says Amanda Woodward, a melanoma survivor. "A baseball cap or jersey for your sports enthusiast, nail polish or makeup for your beauty guru, a must-have top or pair of shoes for your fashionista, fishing lures or ammo for your outdoorsman, etc. They're still the same person."