While sitting with my daughter and helping her write her letter to Father Christmas this weekend, I remembered that there was one particular list I hadn’t written onto the website yet.
Being diagnosed with cancer at any time of year is horrendous but at Christmas, it can put a heavy tint on any festive glow, that can seriously dampen the spirits. Magic? What magic?
I was diagnosed at Christmas (exactly ten years ago this week) so I know how hard it can be and I wanted to post a little blog about the things I remember bringing a little magic back into my world, as I went through treatment.
A lot of people have asked me what they can buy friends and loved ones as they go through treatment or surgery. We can feel a bit useless and powerless to help, so below is a list of some useful ideas that might help bring some sparkle back!
1. A comfy pair of PJ’s or lounge wear. Nothing like a new shiny set of pjs!
2. A cashmere beany or lovely hat for anyone who is experiencing hair loss. (Accessorize is always a good one for this!)
3. A poncho or shawl to wrap up with or throw off depending on the hot flushes and seasonal heating!!
4. A lavender bag. One that you can heat up in the microwave and put around your neck to help stiffness, help keep cosy and calm and brilliant to have in hospital beds when you just can’t get the pillows right!
5. An itunes voucher or an amazon voucher.
6. Lavender oil; a multiple list of ways this can be helpful and I can’t live without it!
7. A few restorative yoga sessions at a nearby yoga studio or mindfulness course somewhere local. Get a few of you together and pitch in for an extra space and make it a group effort so there is something to look forward to each week in the new year.
8. A reflexology session with a good therapist or head massage. Some serious ME time.
9. A hamper of lovely home made food. Either make it yourself if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Jamie Oliver or buy a few select things at the supermarket.
10. Rosehip oil. Brilliant for treating scars and healing.
11. A Nutri Bullet for all those healthy smoothies!
12. Cashmere or cosy bed socks (good for the men too!)
13. A magazine subscription to keep those endless waiting rooms a little less tedious.
14. Some funky straws. After surgery it can be really lovely having your own straw to use when you can’t reach too far and want that slurp of juice.
15. The perfect card; these just know exactly what to say when you don’t. This website also has some fantastic ideas for gifts.
16. Skincare products. When we are taking care of our wellbeing through cancer we want to look after our skin with totally natural products. Any of the following are gorgeous and do exactly what they say on the tin! (Beauty Despite Cancer, Ruth Romano, Arbonne, Burts Bee’s) Male options available too! (Skin care blog coming in the new year!)
17. If you are buying for a lady, the Beauty Despite Cancer Recognise Yourself book is such a lovely bible to have to help anyone maintain their appearance and wellbeing as they go through surgery, chemo and radio. Really useful tips, beautiful photos and realistic advice. An essential book to have to hand.
18. An eye mask. Always useful!
19. A Coz-E-Reader huggable stand for tablet or kindle (male options too!)
20. Worthers Original toffee; a great way of taking that horrid metallic taste away and everyone needs a little sugar at Christmas! While on the subject, a few bars of Green and Black chocolate always go down well too.
Whatever you decide to pop in the stocking for someone close to you who might be unwell this Christmas, know that your love and friendship is the most important thing to that person. Knowing they are not going through this alone is the biggest gift of all. Believing in them, in my eyes, is what Christmas magic is made of. xxx