Recs for comforting gifts for parent going through cancer treatment
October 6, 2020 5:29 PM   Subscribe

My mom is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. For Christmas this year, I would like to get her some comfy and/or comforting things (blankets, lounge clothes, slippers, snacks/treats, skincare products, etc.) and am looking for recommendations.

I’d love some recommendations for your favorite comfy/comforting items. If you or a loved one went through (or are currently going through) treatment for cancer, I would also love to hear about some items that you/they found comfort in or enjoyed using.

Some info about my mom (hopefully this is helpful): she doesn’t do much to treat herself. Loves clothes with pockets. Doesn’t have a specific skincare routine/skincare preferences. She’s maintained a good appetite throughout her current course of chemo, and hasn’t had any adverse reactions to specific sweets/snacks.

Thanks in advance for any info!
posted by yeahyeahrealcute to Shopping (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Soft and cozy - Soft Surroundings has great robes and fabulously soft blankets.

Unscented hand cream - lots of patients are sensitive to fragrance during treatment.

Depending on what her treatments are like, if she could use an upgrade to a tablet/Kindle or headphones. Lots of my patients spend their infusions watching something on Netflix or reading. Good, comfortable headphones help the time go faster.
posted by honeybee413 at 6:13 PM on October 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

Have extra long charging cables for her phone and electronics, so that she doesn't need leave her bed.
posted by saturdaymornings at 6:42 PM on October 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

Okay so.... they are definitely not posh... but check out Oodies. They're like amazingly soft fleecy blankets made into oversized hoodies. I bought one recently to help me get through the upcoming pandemic winter, and it is one of the best things I have ever given myself. I have literally used the phrase life-changing to describe it. No, I don't own stocks in the company I just really really love my Oodie!
posted by DTMFA at 7:12 PM on October 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

Former cancer patient here. I suggest:
buckwheat pillow because they can be molded for reading in bed or supporting a post surgical body.
nice pretty pajamas , my favorites are from Soma or Eberjay.
Silk (not satin!) pillow cases because my skin was so dry and scalp was sensitive.
We loved it when people ordered dinner for us. Like just said, Hey go pick up food from this place at this time. It was nice that we didn't have to make a decision about food.
posted by Pleased_As_Punch at 7:44 PM on October 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I came here to suggest an oodie too, they're really warm and cozy.
Seconding silk pillowcases (with a zipper so they don't slide off).
World hair & skin products are really gentle and unscented ( - I especially like the Believe balm, it's really thick and soothing.
Linen pajamas feel so nice! I found a pair on Etsy with a stretchy waistband. You could probably find some with pockets!
It's so sweet you're doing this for your mom :) I'll bet that will make her feel best of all.
posted by bighappyhairydog at 8:01 PM on October 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Snoozies makes cute slippers/socks thingies that have grippy bottoms and fuzzy insides that can be turned inside out and throughly washed. They have lots of adorable asymmetrical appliqué decorations - mine have an owl on a branch that extends to a moon above the branch on the other foot. They are just warm enough to ward off a chill without being restrictive on my toes or ankles, and flexible enough to not give me the awful “wearing shoes on the furniture” feeling.
posted by Mizu at 8:44 PM on October 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

These are the things that brought my stepmom comfort during her cancer battle:
A sit-up pillow for bed (the kind with armrests)
A Kindle preloaded with book and her library app
Noise-cancelling headphones
Fuzzy socks
A moleskine notebook and nice pens
Locally-made artisan hand lotion
Comfort food (specifically, Hawkins Cheezies and a massive box of this special tea blend that you can only get at Christmas)
Seconding the extra-long charging cable
posted by Cat Face at 9:20 PM on October 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

My mom was SUPER light sensitive during her chemo treatment - I bought her really lightweight sunglasses and she wore them indoors on bright days.
posted by ersatzkat at 6:06 AM on October 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

A shawl for around her shoulders when she is sitting up in bed.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:23 AM on October 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

All of my recs are for if she's having a mastectomy:

Consider renting or borrowing an electric recliner for her so she can get up and down on her own. There's a group near me that loans them out for free to people undergoing medical treatment and they asked a bunch of questions to make sure the one they pick for you is a good fit, and they deliver them and picked them back up.

My mom really appreciated having a small pillow to put over her chest in the car, between her incision sites and the seat belt. She was given a thin heart-shaped one by a breast cancer group that she could wiggle and smush into place.

Pajamagram pajamas and oversize shirts that button down the front (we brought my mom a bunch of my husband's old flannel shirts) so she can get dressed mostly independently and nothing is too tight on incisions.
posted by SeedStitch at 6:31 AM on October 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

I recently went through chemo and surgery and this is going to sound silly, but my #1 item was a really fancy, bold lipstick that is low-maintenance (doesn't need touchups). I didn't wear a lot of lipstick before but lipstick made me feel less like an alien when I didn't have eyebrows and hair. It completely changed my mood! My favorite is YSL Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain.

Also, nice PJs that button up the front, like these.

For snacks, I loved bringing Larabars to chemo, they are healthy, filling, and taste good even if you're a bit nauseous. A big water bottle is also a great gift.
posted by beyond_pink at 6:37 AM on October 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am about to have a mastectomy, having finished my chemo. The thing I appreciated most was a small quilt some friends made, which I took with me to chemo. The room could be cold, and it really helped.
Post-mastectomy, make sure she has plenty of button-all-the-way-up shirts, there’s no raising ones arms above 45-90 degrees (depending on the surgery). Of course, this includes her pajamas.
Seconding the shawl.
posted by dbmcd at 8:55 AM on October 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Not for cancer, but this blanket went to the hospital with my wife when she was there for a couple days last year (she found the hospital to be chilly, so you may want to check with your mom about that). At home it's still the #1 choice for snuggling on the couch, and we have multiple throws to choose from.

(It also has a nice wide range of color/print choices. Ours is a rainbow stripe, which I don't think they have anymore, but I'm fighting off the urge to buy the "Chonky Cats" one now.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:00 PM on October 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

What about a nice cuticle oil? Her skin and nails will be so dry from treatment and it is a lovely form of self-care.
posted by jilloftrades at 12:48 PM on October 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

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