Great Chemotherapy Gift Ideas And How To Create Your Own Chemo Goody Bag

By Margot Malin, CEO, President and Founder of Lots To Live  For, Inc.

We often receive questions from friends and relatives of cancer patients about the best gifts for chemotherapy patients.  In this blog piece we share our best ideas and reasons why we choose to highlight these items.  If you are a patient, give yourself permission to create a wish list or put together a self gift. All the items we have chosen to include will enhance your physical, spiritual and emotional comfort during chemotherapy.

PRODUCTS FOR THE PHYSICAL SIDE EFFECTS

During and after chemotherapy your senses may feel like they have gone haywire. Taste changes are a very common side effect of chemotherapy (technically called dysgeusia). Your sense of smell might also change, and you might become overly sensitive to fragrances.  You might get chills frequently or constantly feel cold. Your mouth may develop sores and feel very dry. You may feel nauseous. We offer a variety of products to add to your goody bag to reduce these uncomfortable physical side effects.

Warmth:  Be sure to include a warm fuzzy blanket, soft and warm socks, fuzzy gloves, a hat or other head cover such as a scarf or head wrap.  Wear comfortable clothes.

Oral Care:  Drink plenty of fluids. Carry a water bottle. Bring a thermos with organic tea or broth. Mouth moisturizer products such as Mouth Kote oral moisturizer and Biotene dry mouth gum can help dry mouth.  Be sure to include a lip balm or lip moisturizing product because you lips can get very dry. Bring a disposable toothbrush for gentle brushing and hydration.

Skin Care:  Different chemotherapy medications can cause a variety of skin issues.  Dry skin is very common. We suggest a hand moisturizer such as a tube of Atopalm Moisturizing Hand Treatment. If you are experiencing hand/foot syndrome we suggest Soothing Balm by Lindiskin Lindiskin face serums (lavender or citrus) are very helpful for acneform rash. Don’t forget to pack a small hand sanitizer.

Antinausea Products (to combat CINV):  Biobands are clinically proven, effective acupressure wristbands that provide relief of nausea associated with chemotherapy. Queasy Drops are also an effective way to relieve nausea associated with chemo. They also help to alleviate dry mouth symptoms.

Overall Comfort:  Bring a large tote bag with compartments to organize and carry all of your items. Bring a travel pillow.  Don’t forget individual packs of tissues.

THE MENTAL, SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL

In addition to personal care products to alleviate physical discomfort, we offer a few products to boost your mental, spiritual and emotional state of mind.

To Pass the Time:  Ask a friend to accompany you to treatment on occasion.  If you will be alone, be sure to bring a variety of things that can help you pass the time.  You might not feel like concentrating too deeply so bring a variety of different types of distractions – some that might require focus, some that require less engagement.  Choose as many or as few of the following:  An ipod, an ipad or tablet, a Kindle, a book, magazines, and/or a journal. If you like to draw, bring a sketchbook. We also suggest bringing pictures on electronic media or a photo album to surround yourself with pictures of loved ones.

Spiritual and Breathing: There are a number of CD’s, ipod downloads, and cell phone apps that can help with visualization and breathing.  Both can be very helpful during chemotherapy treatment.  Whip Cancer is an example of a visualization app which can help empower patients and reduce stress. The Breathe With Purpose CD is helpful for stress reduction, visualization, and meditation. There are numerous other apps for visualization, stress reduction, and meditation to explore.

A FEW NO-NO’S

Many oncologists recommend that cancer patients avoid refined sugar. Therefore we do not suggest baked goods or candy. They are often recommended by others, but we feel strongly that more healthy food options should be considered.  Sugary drinks are not recommended either.

A cancer patient may become very sensitive to smells so we do not suggest perfumes or flowers of any kind.

IN CONCLUSION

We have researched and reviewed products for many years to find personal care products that are effective in reducing and relieving the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy treatment. We invite you to visit our website at www.LotsToLiveFor.com to see all of the products that meet our high standards. We hope that the suggestions in this blog piece will help to make your chemotherapy journey more tolerable and comfortable.

Related Article:

About Margot Malin: Intellectually cMargot Malinurious and fiercely independent, Margot Malin has a passion for knowledge.  After receiving her MBA from The Wharton School, she launched her career by analyzing and evaluating businesses.  In 2002 she embarked on the “creative reinvention” phase of her career with the intention of “giving back”. Margot founded Lots To Live For, Inc., an internet retailer that sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation.

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6 Gift Ideas For Someone Diagnosed With Cancer

Organic Gift Basket For Breast CancerBy Breast Cancer Yoga Staff

The Big Question – choosing a gift for someone with cancer. Maybe a gift basket or a flower arrangement? How do you decide what to send, or which company to use from the thousands of registered on–line gift and basket companies? Most of us will use a search engine. Be specific; ask for organic gifts or spa gifts before you type in ‘gift baskets’.

Here Are Six Suggestions.

Food – When is it applicable to send food? There absolutely is a time and a place for food.  Send a platter of fresh sandwiches, or home baked goods but be aware of dietary restrictions such as diabetes, allergies or just loss of appetite.

Flowers – Consider flowers a gift to be sent from close family. A perennial is great if you go for a home or hospital visit because they come back each year and their growth and bloom will always be a comfort.

Body Products – We often get requests for unscented body products, particularly if someone is sensitive to any smell following chemotherapy. Whatever you chose, we always advise to avoid heavy fruity smells, and choose light fragrances of lavender (aids sleep), rose, cotton, and linen. Stay away from chemicals and strong scents.

Books and Music – Most people enjoy the gift of a book or journal.  Journal writing has become increasingly popular especially in the process of any type of recovery.  Self help books are always relevant. Include a book on exercise, recovery tips or specific cookbooks. These are all relevant and extremely helpful. Breathing exercises and meditation CD’s is generally found to be relaxing and appreciated.

Throws and Clothing – A comforting gift is a good quality throw!  Always send a mixed blended cotton so it is easy to wash and dry. Never send wool – because it can be itchy and uncomfortable.

Pre-made Gift Baskets – Beware of overstuffed, over decorated baskets with little to shout about inside. Look at the sort of quality those basket products are.  For example a $45 gift basket with 8 body items means the products cost around $2.50 each. We won’t be talking quality and quality is most important. Increasingly breast cancer companies are assembling their own baskets which you can order from their web sites like www.breastcanceryoga.com.

Where should I send my gift?  For an illness it is always recommend sending to the home and NOT the hospital. The basket can either be hand carried to the hospital by a visitor or be waiting for them when they get home.  This is preferred for two reasons.  Firstly the address must be very specific and always have a room number to aid a delivery in a hospital, but more importantly discharge dates are often earlier than anticipated.  It is a lot of work tracking down a delivery which has been bounced back to ‘receiving’ due to a patient’s discharge, and getting it picked up and redelivered to a new address. Remember, what goes into hospital has to come home from hospital!  Balancing one more flower arrangement or gift basket can be frustrating.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Relax & Detox in a Pink Salt Bath For Breast Cancer Recovery

Pink Salt Bath Crystals

By Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

Yes, bathing in a warm Himalayan crystal “pink salt” bath for 20+ minutes does promote deep relaxation, plus helps to detox your body too. This healthy salt bath can be considered as a complementary therapy if used with the intention to restore the body with its active 84 essential minerals and 11 trace minerals. This salt is the oldest and purest salt on the planet. It is spoken of as the “good salt.”

Your skin is known as the third kidney, or the Wei Chi and toxins are excreted through the third kidney by sweating. A detox bath, or “solay” bath is used to assist your body in eliminating toxins through the skin as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients.  Most of all, it’ll leave you feeling refreshed and awakened.

Relax & Detox Bath Instructions
Schedule this special quiet time for yourself.
Fill Tub with hot water and melt the salt first, then add water. Not too hot please.
Add 1 cup of “Pink Salt” aka Himalayan Salt to receive its healing benefits.
Enter bath slowly and soak for at least 20 minute however, 30 is recommended.
Add background relaxation items listed below.

Options to Add Relaxation to Bath Time
Mist the bath area with a “Lavender” aromatherapy hydrosol, and breathe in the beautiful therapeutic scent and relax.
Light a candle to add room soft lighting.
Use a dry brush to help stimulate the lymphatic system and to remove dry dead skin. Nothing feels better than this dry brush massage.

Additional Options to Consider During Bath Time
Set up audio player to listen and practice therapeutic breathing exercises. Learning and practicing breathing exercises can help manage stress, promote relaxation and aide in sleeping disorders.
Sip a “Calm” medicinal herbal tea blend during your bath. Our Breast Cancer Yoga “Calm” tea blend contains Oatstraw and Chamomille, both of which are proven medicinal relaxation herbs.

After Bath Care
Be sure to stand up slowly and with care. Baths can make a person feel dizzy or lightheaded. Have a towel ready. Be sure to drink plenty of water afterwards to rehydrate the healthy relaxed cells.

Pink Salt Offered By Breast Cancer Yoga
Visit Breast Cancer Yoga and try our Pink Salt bath crystals. Breast Cancer Yoga also offers therapeutic gift baskets that include all the above mentioned products. Try these wonderful gift baskets or show how much care and share a basket with a friend.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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