Top 10 Gifts for Cancer Patients

According to the Amercian Cancer Society, “more than 1 million people in the United States get cancer each year.” That is a HUGE number! It’s safe to assume, then, that you know someone affected by the dreaded, 6-letter beast.

If someone you know is fighting cancer, here are some easy and creative ways you can show them some holiday cheer this Christmas.

Great list of gift ideas for cancer patients...from someone who's been there! |


1. Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift cards
Cancer treatment typically means little energy and a lot of “lying around” time. If he’s a reader, your friend or family member will appreciate gift cards from Amazon or B&N to stock his bookshelf, Nook, or Kindle.

ushakable bookStories of those who have battled cancer (and won!) are especially encouraging to someone in the midst of the fight. My story of overcoming “non-curative,” stage-four cancer and wrestling with my faith through the battle are told in my book Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. It’s available in paperback or Kindle and would make a great gift for someone facing  cancer!

2. i-Tunes gift cards
Nothing soothes the soul and lifts the spirits like some good music. It’s the gift that will be treasured again and again!

3. Accessories 
What better time to play with fun accessories than when chemo treatments force you to do so. If you are comfortable shopping for her tastes, she’ll appreciate some fabulous new hats, scarves, and jewelry when the time comes.

4. Etsy gift cards
If you aren’t comfortable shopping that specifically, Etsy gift cards are a great option. She will find an overwhelming selection of unique hats, scarves and other accessories at

5. Soft, cozy blanket, sweater, hoodie
There is nothing like warm, soft, coziness while going through cancer treatment, especially when the weather turns cold. And having a great sweater or hoodie for those “not-feeling-so-great” days is priceless!

6. Restaurant gift cards
Even on a “great” day, the thought of cooking dinner can seem overwhelming and exhausting. Being able to order in without worrying about extra cost is a great luxury. And for those days when she feels like getting out, she’ll appreciate having that option, too!

7. “Treat” Baskets
Cancer treatment can mess with your appetite and your taste buds. Sometimes nothing sounds good. Sometimes something in particular sounds really good. Gifts baskets of his favorite baked goods, candies, coffees, teas, etc. can come in handy on those days when his appetite returns.

8. Yourself
Your love and friendship is the greatest gift of all. Send a note, a card, an e-mail or a text. Offer to take her to lunch (if she’s feeling up to it). Stop by to visit for awhile. I guarantee those are the things she will treasure more than any gift you can wrap.

9. Your services
Do you make a mean lasagna? Is scrubbing toilets your specialty? Do you love to take in extra children? Offer these services to your friend. Bring a meal. Offer to clean her home. Take her kids out for a play date. An extra hand or two on the days she’s barely scraping by is worth more than anything you can put a bow on!

10. Prayer and encouragement 
More than any packaged gift, I treasure the prayers of my friends and family. I am truly humbled when someone says they are praying for me. I do not take it for granted. I especially like the written prayers and words of encouragement…sent in a card, a note, an e-mail, or a text. Those are the ones I go back and read on the hard days. They snap me out of my “funk” and help me get up to fight another day.

Image by Compassion that Compels, used with permission

Many of these items are found in the Compassion Bags from Compassion That Compels. Consider blessing your friend or family member with a Compassion Bag, or donate to sponsor Compassion Bags for other cancer overcomers!

No one wins a battle alone. The greatest warriors have a dedicated army backing them up. You may not be able to fight the battle for your friend, but every word, every prayer, every act of kindness and generosity gives her the strength she needs to stay in the fight.


4 thoughts on “Top 10 Gifts for Cancer Patients

  1. Wonderful list Nancy – the gift of yourself is honestly the best. Not as a guest to be entertained, but as a friend and support that fills in the space. Totally great. Thank you for sharing with Cozy Reading Spot.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *