What are you hoping for this holiday season?

By Bonney Elliott on December 13 / 2017

[Cancer, Cancer Coaching, Caregivers, Families]Comments

As a cancer coach, I listen to the hopes and dreams of people living with cancer and their families. Hope means different things to different people, but here are some holiday gift ideas to consider when the life of someone you care about has been touched by cancer, based on some of the hopes that people share with me.

Hope for answers. People want to better understand cancer, to get the best possible treatment and prevent recurrence. Ask if there is a particular book or resource they have been looking for. Offer to go with them to a talk on cancer or drive them to an appointment.

Hope for a good night’s sleep. Worrying and coping with symptoms and side effects of treatment can keep people up at all hours. Consider the gift of a massage or a Reiki session. Lend them your cottage for a weekend getaway. Take their dog for a walk. Pay for a housecleaning service or a special meal. Surprise them with a shoveled driveway or a manicured lawn.

Hope for quality time with people they care about. Often, the best gift you can give is your presence, even just to go for a walk, play cards or watch a funny movie together. Let them know they are not facing cancer alone. Remind others to do the same.

Hope for their children. People living with cancer worry about the impact on their children. They hope to keep their kids’ lives as normal as possible while they are going through treatment. Offer to drive their kids to an activity or help them with their homework.

Hope for meaning. Cancer is life changing. Give a gift that helps them express their thoughts and feelings, and make sense of their experience. A beautiful journal. A tattoo. The opportunity to run a marathon, go on a spiritual retreat, or inspire others with their story.

Hope for the future. Ask them about their hopes and dreams, where they would like to travel to, what experiences they would like to have, who they would like to meet or reconnect with. You may want to share some of those experiences with them.

Hope for a cure.  Survival rates for many cancers are ever improving due to improved screening techniques and more targeted treatments. Consider making a donation in their name to cancer research.

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