Chemo Gifts

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Welcome to Chemo Gifts

This page is for three types of people interested in chemo gifts:

  1. Cancer patients who have received a Chemo Gift such as the Inspiration Cards and want to print out additional cards or sets.
  2. Families and friends of cancer patients wanting resources and ideas to help support your loved ones.
  3. People wanting to help those going through chemotherapy by providing gifts and encouragement.

My Story

Gift tag design

I had this image made into a rubber stamp that I use on the gift tags that go with each Chemo Gift. The phrase came from a nurse who told it to my wife as she came out of cancer surgery.

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.

Chemo gifts - cards and tags

These are the bags and two types of cards along with the tags I stamp with the “logo” above as a reminder that good is still to come.

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:

  1. Chemo Gifts: Gloves

    We dyed simple cotton gloves in a variety of colors.

    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.

  2. 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.
  3. Scarves and Knit Hats – We’ve asked friends who sew to provide these warm items.

What You Can Do

Patients and families/friends:

Chemo gifts - card holders

These are some of the various card holders I’ve tried. Each set of cards includes a card holder.

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.
Chemo Gifts - card holders

These are the final card holders I will be including in the Chemo Gift bags with the cards based on voting by nurses at the chemo ward. People liked the natural texture of the branch disks.

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 gifts assortment

Here’s a painting I did for the wonderful staff plus gloves and bags surrounded by the medical supplies there at the chemo center.

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.

General:

Chemo Cards 1 – General

Chemo Cards 2 – General

Chemo Cards 3 – General

Chemo Cards 4 – General

Scripture:

Chemo Cards A – Christian

Chemo Cards B – Christian

Chemo Cards C – Christian

Chemo Cards D – Christian

Chemo Cards E – Christian

 

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5 Comments

  1. Wow! What a grand idea! You are an earth angel for sure! These are a few of my favorite quotes….
    Don’t Congeal! Welcome the rain. Love is an action. Practice love.
    We cannot see our reflection in running water…only when the water is still can we see our reflection. Healing prayers to your wife!

  2. Thanks for all this, Mary. These are great. But the one I don’t quite get is “Don’t Congeal.” Does that simply mean don’t become so inactive that you, well, congeal? It’s a great image. I just want to make sure I’m getting it correctly. Thanks again!

  3. Beautiful! Very Ann Voskamp-y. I love how you are finding God’s beauty in your broken. Love to you both!

    • Thanks, Elisa. The funny thing about all this is that until I read your message, I never would have thought of it as finding beauty in the broken. Instead, it just feels more like normal life, like that’s just the way things were meant to be during this particular season. Which I now realize is exactly what finding God’s beauty in the broken often is. Hmmm. This will give me something to think about for some time! But it again reminds me based on all the emails I’ve received about this that I think we’re all hungering to DO something in response to whatever life brings us. Something, as you note, beautiful. The biggest takeaway for me is just to do it. Don’t think too much about it. Just take a first step. Maybe something like She Did What She Could. Seriously, some of us are slow learners but all of this relates back to that: just do something small right now simply because you can. That’s enough. Thanks again.

  4. Love this Steve! Love the card holders too! I will give this more thought!

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