Welcome to Chemo Gifts
This page is for three types of people interested in chemo gifts:
- Cancer patients who have received a Chemo Gift such as the Inspiration Cards and want to print out additional cards or sets.
- Families and friends of cancer patients wanting resources and ideas to help support your loved ones.
- People wanting to help those going through chemotherapy by providing gifts and encouragement.
My wife was diagnosed a year ago with breast cancer. She’s spent most of this year going through chemo and radiation treatments. As I spent time with her going through the process and talking to other patients at the chemo ward, I came to realize several things about chemotherapy.
First, it’s horrible. Obviously chemo isn’t worse than the cancer it is fighting, but it can feel that way.
Second, it’s beautiful. Well, not chemo itself but the people going through it. I have encountered more authentic, incredible individuals during this process than I ever imaged possible. When all the superficials are stripped away and we’re confronted with life and death issues, you engage on a much deeper level. That is a beautiful thing.
Third, we need each other. We can’t do this alone. Thus, anything I can do to support and encourage others is worth doing. Hence this page.
My wife received a free scarf and some inspirational verses at various times during her treatment. Small phrases that at any other time might have seemed trite were now profound and helpful. I decided then to do something similar. I have now developed three gifts that we’re providing to our local chemo wards:
Inspirational Cards – These are small cards with short quotes. We put 27 in a deck, tied it with an elastic ribbon and put it into a small burlap bag with a label and a small card holder.
- Cotton Gloves – When asking the nurses what people needed, one item that came up was soft, light cotton gloves to keep your hands warm during chemotherapy. We purchased dozens of white archivist gloves and have dyed them various colors to make them more fun and attractive for both men and women.
- Scarves and Knit Hats – We’ve asked friends who sew to provide these warm items.
What You Can Do
Patients and families/friends:
If you’ve received one of the card packs and want other sets, I’ve made these available as downloads below so you can print out and cut out additional cards. There are two basic sets of cards, general cancer-related inspirational quotes for everyone and Scripture verses from the Old and New Testaments for people wanting more faith-based encouragement. Each 8.5″ by 11″ sheet contains nine cards. Feel free to download and print as many as you’d like. Most of the quotes came from various websites related to cancer survivors so some will be familiar but some will be new.
People wanting to help:
Over time, I’ll be adding stories and “design challenges” to encourage anyone to think of additional ways to create products that will help those going through chemotherapy. My hope is to encourage creativity for the purpose of helping others. More on this soon, but for now, think about chemo gifts you might make for the hospital or clinic near you. Check first with your local chemo ward but here are some general ideas:
- Scarves (both head scarves and warm ones around your neck)
- Knitted caps
- Inspirational Quotes – I made decks of cards with words and simple designs. But I’ve seen tiny scrolls, decorative boxes, jars with folded messages, etc.
- Puzzles and Games – Anyone who’s sat through 4-6 hours of chemo knows that it can get boring. So small puzzles or games that people can play together can often be welcome relief.
- Books and Magazines – Most people bring their own, but ask if your clinic needs additional copies for people to read. If you’ve found a particular book or article helpful in your own journey, consider making copies of that available for others.
- Services – Massage, pedicures and manicures, coffee bars – all of these are possibilities that people have done to provide special services to those undergoing chemo.
I’ll add more ideas over time, but please let me know what you’ve done, what’s worked, what hasn’t, etc. If you’ve found great quotes, please share them as well since I’d love to add more cards. Use the comments field below or contact form to share your ideas. The goal is to be as creative, but mostly, as helpful and encouraging as possible to those going through a very tough time. And most of all, if there are ways I can be helpful to you in any of this, please let me know.
Chemo Cards Downloads
Each set contains an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet with 9 cards that you can cut out with a paper cutter (I used a mat cutter due to cutting through card stock) or even scissors. I chose the size so it fits any printer. I disregard the rather bright colors of some of the design elements since I print in black and white.
Thanks to Helen Carter at SelfExam.org for sending in this list of great articles for those impacted by cancer: