When someone is battling cancer, they are usually overwhelmed and a thoughtful, useful gift can make a big difference in their daily life or comfort level.

I came up with a series of lists because I realized that a lot of people are unsure of what to give or do for a cancer patient but they really want to find a way to help. Some gifts may not feel like gifts but really are very useful. I always appreciate useful.

Each person is a unique being, so make sure you are listening to their needs and likes. Some of these may not go over well with someone you know and sometimes they may not even know what they need/want. For instance, if your loved one does NOT want company and you push yourself on them and are in their space too much, that is not really a thoughtful gift now, is it? If they are managing to eat and keep down only junk food to keep their weight up, they probably won’t appreciate a freshly made salad or a Vitamix blender as such foods may just cause endless nights on the porcelain throne or a blockage. Not all of us can tolerate a “healthy” diet anymore and we are all so very different, even those with the same diagnosis. You can usually fish for hints at what they would like most if you just talk to them and listen carefully.

You can also use these lists to make a nice care package for someone by picking multiple things and giving them in a nice photo box, basket, etc.

My lists became rather large, but I still did not feel that they were complete, so I asked for suggestions in my support group. The list continues to grow as people chime in with excellent ideas. I have divided them into categories. We’re starting with the list everyone always wants to know, what to bring when you go into the hospital.

I’d love to know what you think of as a key essential so that we can improve these lists. Just drop a message in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

  • be their designated “updater” where you post regular updates to their social media, or make calls
  • reusable water bottle
  • magazines
  • super long mobile/cell phone charger
  • loaded digital picture frame
  • mobile/cell phone tripod so they can face time loved ones without holding the phone
  • pet cam and set it up so they can check in on their fur babies
  • surge protector power strip
  • mini bluetooth speaker
  • nice rolling suitcase
  • luggable loo if they have to travel long distance or often

If they are in the hospital, or will be repeatedly, make them an easy grab photo board with pictures of their loved ones, pets, view from their home and so on – a comfort board.

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you have other ideas for gifts for patients when they’re away from home on the hospital.