Care Package Ideas for a family dealing with cancer - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-07-2011, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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A mom on our street was diagnosed with cancer - she has 2 children - and will start intensive treatment next week both chemo and radiation.  I want to help out.  I have offered to look after the kids if she ever needs it.  I will bring her meals - I know that she may not have an appetite but thinking about the kids.  I was thinking about putting together a littl care package - things for her and things for the kids like bubbles, books, and the like.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me?  I know that she may have upwards of 9 weeks of treatment.  I am not sure about how much support she has but I don't think that it is really much.  Her husband works nights and her brother will be helping look after the kids but he is also disabled.  Thanks for any input, I wasn't really sure if this was the right forum to put this...

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#2 of 8 Old 04-07-2011, 09:20 PM
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There is a website that helps organize meals. Maybe others on your street or congregation or the kids class might like to help. Sometimes people just need a push. I would mKe sure she knoes you really can watch the kids.

I can watch the kids Wednesday. When is the best time tp pick them up.

You csn have pizza delivered. See if she needs rides for treatments or afterwards.

Your a wonderful neighbor.

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#3 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 12:52 PM
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Other than meals and transportation, I imagine gas cards and grocery store cards would be useful. They'll be traveling a lot more, and gas prices are high. A lot of costs will go up in their life, depending on their insurance, and help with grocery/household items would I'm sure be appreciated.


Just some ideas...

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The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. - Albert Einstein

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#4 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 09:20 PM
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We really appreciated meals during my cancer treatment.  Having someone else coordinate it is a big help.


I also found that when people offered to watch the kids or help out in some ways, I would sometimes take them up on it, but if they offered something really concrete like "let me take your kids to the zoo with mine this afternoon" it was much easier to say yes.  I really, really appreciated very concrete offers like that. 

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#5 of 8 Old 04-10-2011, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you for the replies.Letitia, what kind of meals did you appreciate?

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#6 of 8 Old 04-17-2011, 08:39 PM
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Find her some inspirational books, maybe, too. I had cancer when I was 15 and the stupid psychologist sent me home with some books... some of them were about how to deal with DYING from cancer. I was 15 and had a 95% chance / cure rate. I was really mad she gave me those. I had some people give me a statue of a saint, too, and I think I got a journal. Of course I was only 15. I think the meals and such are a great idea. And watching the kids. She is going to be tired and feel pretty bad at times. If you offer, make sure you follow up with calls once in awhile or maybe go over and offer to take the kids to a local park or something like that? They may not actually call when they really could use some help. I wonder if you could give a small gift certificate for a maid service to come over and clean once or twice? I don't know if they would like to have someone like that come over... It is going to be hard for her to keep the house clean, do laundry, etc. I could eat almost anything, but if I had chemo everything made me nauseous. I still have an issue with chicken/cheese casserole. I loved it and then my mom was re heating it for me while I was really sick and I still hate the smell!


I also like the idea for grocery / gas gift cards. 

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#7 of 8 Old 04-21-2011, 07:47 AM
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A friend of mine is going through chemo/ surgery and soon radiation right now, and I'm learning all of this with her.  It seems to me that the most important thing is to make sure people support her and that she knows people are thinking about her.  Some things she is doing, which are really inspirational is a charm bracelet that she adds to every time she completes a milestone (i.e. she puts a charm of a devil for the nick-named chemo drug 'red devil' or adriamiycin when she completes that part) you could maybe give her a kit to do on her own, and get one for yourself so you can do it with her.  This is hers: She also has a piece of jewelry she wears at every treatment as a 'good luck charm'.  If she doesn't already have something like this, this could be good also.


Then, in general, things that seem to be helpful are:


surgical friendly shirts that fit drains under if she's having surgery

cute hats and scarves

inspirational and funny shirts to keep the attitude positive

Meals, both warm and frozen for later  (when she started chemo her taste buds changed and she could only tolerate certain ask often what sounds good.  I have sent her a list of meal choices to her and asked her to pick from there as well, so she doesn't have to come up with something on her own)


Then, I also agree with the other posts in planning the specific event.  I think it's a lot harder to leave the ball in her hands to come to you than to just say..hey we're going to the park, can I take the kids with me? 


You are a very generous/caring person to want to be so involved.  It's a lot easier to pretend you don't know what is going on then to just get in there and make sure your neighbors/friends/family know that there are people out there who care and want to help!

Student nurse Mamma to Kaylum (3/01/2007) and wife to computer nerd DH .

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#8 of 8 Old 04-22-2011, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SandyBeachBums View Post

There is a website that helps organize meals. Maybe others on your street or congregation or the kids class might like to help. Sometimes people just need a push. I would mKe sure she knoes you really can watch the kids.

I can watch the kids Wednesday. When is the best time tp pick them up.



I really agree with that. If you leave it as "I will watch the kids if you ever need it", she might not feel well enough to call, might not want to impose, etc.


How old are the children? Are they in any activities like soccer, etc? I bet a big help would be taking her kids to and from the activity. One of my friends did that for me after I had my youngest child, she took my older two to swim lessons each Tues and Thurs for 3 or 4 weeks. It was great! 


And for meals, find out how much food they really need. People might hear it's a family of 4 plus her brother and bring over huge casseroles that would feed 3 adults and 2 teen boys. But the reality might be that her husband is eating at work, she won't want to eat much at all and the kids are 2 and 4 and barely eat. This happened to my BIL, he said they ended up throwing out a lot of food because they just couldn't eat the amount people brought over.


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