Christmas is around the corner and it may be hard to know what to get the Chemo Queen in your life, especially something that could be useful and greatly appreciated.
During my cancer treatment, I felt absolutely cuddled by all the support I received. Every few days felt like my birthday as little packages came through the post from loved ones with little pressies. So I have compiled together a list of gifts I lovingly received and also things I needed and bought myself for each stage of cancer treatment. You can mix and match and put them into a nice basket and create a “Cancer Hamper” for your loved one. Cuddle the Chemo Queen in your life!
Chemotherapy / Hair-loss
- Accessories, Accessories, Accessories: that bald head needs all the company it can get! Claire’s Accessories and Accessorize have a great selection. If you fancy getting your Chemo Queen a show-stopping neck piece check out my favourite shop Blue Port Shop (119 Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8JA) and their online shop 365 Fashions. My favourite picks here.
- Cool funky winter hats as it gets pretty chilly with no hair! Hat-scarves are all the rage now . A “snood” I picked up in Penny’s/Primark was my go-to during the winter. See how I wore it.
- Lush products are handmade with natural goodness. Pick up a bright colourful lipstick and eye-shadow to make her lips and eyes pop, distracting from the lack of eyelashes.
- Eylure Eyebrow Tinting Kit from Boots in black (stay away from the awful “Colorsport” brand) to counteract dwindling eyebrows and define the eyes. Benefit Eye Brow “zings” Palette in Brown for filling in.
- Black Matt eye-shadow (not shimmery) & a stiff short round bronzer brush to create a fake “hair-shadow” to make the head looked shaved so no need for a wig! Bronzer to stop the never-ending forehead. Bellapierre does an awesome mineral foundation (natural ingredients) which I used over my foundation to blend my contouring and it gives the face a fantastic glow. I recommend the Cinnamon shade and it can be purchased on the Irish Biofresh Skincare website.
- See my “How not to Look like an Egg” makeup tutorial for how to apply the above.
- RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum (at Boots): I got the Eyelash one and applied it to both my eyelashes and eyebrows which worked a treat for me.
- Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Curl Mascara: might sound strange but those bad-boy eyelashes have to be trained to grow curled upwards instead of twisting and curling downwards. This mascara helps get them into shape as they grow.
- Lush Root Hair Treatment: tingling goodness to stimulate and awaken the roots.
- More on my Hair Regrowth tips here.
- Funky shoes: Radiotherapy is every day for 25 mins for 3 – 5 weeks so if walking to the hospital, bright new shoe wear makes the walk more enjoyable and it helps to ease back into exercise.
- Matcha Green Tea: A super-concentrated green tea leaf powder packed with antioxidants, nutrients and amino acids. Radiotherapy can be tiring so this tea a much needed energy booster and is a steadier hit than coffee. You will need a mini frother to mix the powder in to the hot water. The Matcha ‘Starter Kit’ would make a nice present.
- These essentials should be in every Chemo Queen’s cupboard: Organic Coconut Oil (Extra Virgin), Organic Raw/Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (with the “mother” in it), Himalayan Pink Salt and Bioglan Superfoods Supergreens Powder (Holland and Barretts). They say that Supergreens powder contains 81 Vital Ingredients which is equivalent to 10 portions of fruit and veg.
- More Radiotherapy tips here
- Comfy loose pj’s with buttons on the top for easy access during doctor rounds.
- Wetwipes, chunky warm floor socks, slippers, robe, wax earplugs and eye-mask are the tools to survive and sleep during a hospital stay.
- Soft post-op bra: I loved Irish Theya brand as their fabric is made from Bamboo so it’s anti-bacterial, breathable, more absorbent and super soft on stitches.
- Lush’s Honey & Cocoa bean (melt in your hand) massage bar called Soft Coeur is divine for some luxury self-care and to soften dry chemo skin.
- Irish Tanorganic Self-tan made from all natural products gives a citrus scent to a glowing tan and their Dry Oil smells like heaven in a bottle.
- Sally Hansen’s strengthening nail varnish and Foot spa/soak essentials (did you know you also can lose some nails from chemo?!)
- Toxic free Candles: I love Irish “Emma’s So Naturals Eco-Soy Candles” handmade from soya so you are able to relax and breath in guilt-free air.
Creative & Thoughtful
- Flowers: an unexpected and simple gesture is so lovingly received.
- Chemo Queen Bag: my dear friend sent me this after my Saturday Night Show appearance detailing the exact outfit I wore. It was incredibly touching. Irish “Totes Amazebags” create personalised bags made from vintage looking sack cloth material. Perfect to popping your bits and bobs into for your hospital visits.
- Cancer can get the creative juices flowing- a Masterclass in your Chemo Queen’s passion (poetry, writing, videography, music scoring etc) or Concert Tickets for their favourite singer or orchestra/ballet. My sister brought me to Hans Zimmer’s concert (my favourite film score composer) and when I reignited my love for the piano, I couldn’t believe it when my dear Aunt bought me a top-notch professional keyboard!
- Music to listen to while undergoing the 3 hour chemo sessions. My favourite band is For King and Country, upbeat and uplifting Christian music that speaks to the soul. Their 3 albums ‘Crave’, ‘Run Wild’ and ‘Burn the Ships’ will spiritually inspire any chemo session.
- Beautiful colourful notebooks for your Chemo Queen to jot down her thoughts, poetry and inner ponderings during chemo sessions.
- Lookbook: My sister-in-law very thoughtfully put my whole journey and some of my blog posts into a lookbook for me. A fantastic idea to document your Chemo Queen’s cancer chapter from the beginning to the end of treatment.
- Going for coffee or brunch or simply just sending a message – showing you are there to support means so much and is truly the best gift of all.
Happy Christmas everyone!
God bless you and your family,
If this period will be a challenging one for you, look up for strength, call on the Lord and you will overcome,
The above information is given for general informational purposes only. These are my own opinions so please do not consider them as a substitute for sound medical and/or professional advice. Although I try to be as accurate as possible with the information I provide, there may be unintentional errors.
2 Comments Add yours
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Fantastic site! you’ve made it even better. I love the little video. I forward it onto my long time Italian friend, Vince Coppola, whose family came from Sicily. We are going to his place for Christmas. He would like the little dog in the video. Here’s his. He always makes unbelievable meals in the tradition of the Italians and Sicilians. I heard from Conor that you and many many people will be together in Mallow at dinner. Tip a glass to them from me. Happy Holidays to you all 🎄🍷
Warm regards, Pegarty