What to Give Someone Going Through Chemo: Comfort Essentials

When someone you know is going through cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, it can be hard to know what to do or say to help comfort them. Chemotherapy can be tough emotionally and physically, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. But there’s a lot you can do to help. The right gift can show that you care and provide some much-needed comfort. This article will provide some ideas for comforting essentials to give to someone going through chemotherapy.

Clothing and Accessories

Chemotherapy can cause fatigue, nausea, and changes in body temperature, making comfortable clothing and accessories a thoughtful gift. Here are some ideas:

1. Soft blankets and throws

A cozy blanket or throw can provide warmth and comfort during chemotherapy appointments or at home. Look for blankets made from soft materials like fleece or cashmere that won’t irritate sensitive skin.

2. Comfortable clothing

Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing can help during periods of swelling or discomfort. Consider gifting comfy pajamas, sweatpants, or t-shirts in soft, breathable fabrics like cotton.

3. Chemo caps, hats, and scarves

Hair loss is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. A chemo cap, hat, or scarf can help cover the head and provide comfort and style during this time. Look for comfortable, easy-to-wear options like soft headscarves, knit caps, or summer hats that can help protect against the sun.

Comforting Beauty and Spa Products

Chemotherapy can be hard on the skin, hair, and nails. Gifting comforting beauty and spa products can help provide some much-needed relief. Here are some ideas:

4. Skin care products

Chemotherapy can cause dry, irritated skin. Look for non-irritating moisturizers and creams that can soothe and hydrate the skin. Avoid products with harsh ingredients like fragrance or alcohol. Calming ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, or chamomile can be effective.

5. Nail care products

Chemotherapy can cause brittle or discolored nails. Consider gifting nail care products like nail oil, cuticle cream, or a gentle nail file to help keep nails strong and healthy.

6. Aromatherapy products

Aromatherapy can help soothe and calm the mind and body. Consider gifting an essential oil diffuser or essential oils like lavender, basil, or peppermint, which can be effective for reducing anxiety and pain.

Books and Entertainment

Chemotherapy can be a long and intense process, and finding ways to pass the time and distract the mind can be helpful. Here are some ideas:

7. Entertainment subscriptions

Consider gifting subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, which can provide hours of entertainment during chemotherapy sessions or at home. Audiobook or ebook subscriptions can also be a thoughtful choice.

8. Inspirational or entertaining books

A good book can be a good distraction from the stresses of chemotherapy. Consider gifting books that are inspiring, entertaining, or educational. Avoid books that focus too much on cancer or illness unless specifically requested.

9. Coloring books and puzzles

Activities like coloring books and puzzles can help keep the mind engaged and provide a sense of accomplishment. Consider gifting books or puzzles appropriate for the person’s skill level.

Practical Gifts

Practical gifts can make life easier for someone going through chemotherapy. Here are some ideas:

10. Meal delivery services

During chemotherapy, it can be difficult to find the energy to cook. Consider gifting meal delivery services, which can provide healthy, nourishing meals without the added stress of cooking or meal planning.

11. Transportation assistance

Transportation to and from chemotherapy appointments can be difficult, especially if the person is experiencing fatigue or other side effects. Consider gifting transportation services like Uber, Lyft, or a prepaid gas card to help make transportation easier.

12. Cleaning services

During chemotherapy, household chores like cleaning can become more challenging. Consider gifting cleaning services, which can help take some of the burden off of the person going through treatment.

Supportive Cards and Messages

Perhaps one of the most important gifts you can give someone going through chemotherapy is your support and encouragement. Here are some ideas:

13. Greeting cards

Small gestures like a handwritten note or greeting card can mean a lot to someone going through chemotherapy. Look for cards with uplifting messages or inspirational quotes.

14. Supportive messages

Text messages, emails, or phone calls can help provide emotional support during chemotherapy. Consider sending messages of encouragement or offering to listen if the person needs to talk.

15. Care packages

A care package can be a thoughtful way to show that you care. Consider including some of the items listed above, as well as personalized items like favorite snacks, lotion, or other favorite items.


Q: How can I be supportive during chemotherapy without imposing?

A: Offer support, but try not to impose. Let the person guide the conversation and tell you what they need. Don’t take it personally if they don’t want to talk or accept help.

Q: What are some things to avoid when giving gifts during chemotherapy?

A: Be mindful of the person’s sensitivity to smells and tastes. Avoid strongly scented candles or foods with strong flavors or spices. Be sensitive to any dietary restrictions or preferences.

Q: How can I help if I don’t live nearby?

A: Stay in touch by phone, email, or text message, and offer to help in other ways like sending care packages or arranging for delivery services.

Q: Is it appropriate to ask about the person’s cancer treatment?

A: It’s ok to ask, but be sensitive to the person’s comfort level. Some people prefer not to talk about their illness, while others may be open to discussing it.


Chemotherapy can be a difficult and overwhelming process, but the right gift can provide comfort and show that you care. Whether it’s a cozy blanket, a thoughtful card, or supportive messages, small gestures can make a big difference in helping someone through a tough time.


  • https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/hair-loss/wigs
  • https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/chemotherapy/your-feelings/chemo-brain.html
  • https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/essential-oil
  • http://www.nationalityinworldhistory.net/bsh-digital-identity/why-coloring-books-are-good-for-you/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/hair-loss-from-chemotherapy#treatment
  • https://www.nccn.org/patients/resources/life_with_cancer/managing_symptoms/chemo_brain.aspx

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