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For Everyone Touched By Cancer

Last Chemo Celebration - Six Best Gift Ideas For A Chemotherapy Survivor: For Celebration & Recovery

Written by Dr Shara Cohen on 
24th January, 2018
Updated: 3rd March, 2024
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you know someone who is a chemotherapy survivor or perhaps just coming to the end of their chemotherapy it is natural to think that a celebration is due. Whilst this true, and it would be good to mark the end with a happy celebration or token of celebration, time for recovery is still needed.

Recovery is still needed

Everyone responds differently, but it can take up to six months for the chemicals to get out of the system after chemotherapy.  And people recover from the different chemotherapy side effects at different stages.

For example,

  • it can take anywhere from about 21 to 28 days for the immune system to recover
  • new hair growth starts to be seen approximately two weeks after the end of the treatment
  • normal taste returns within 1-2 months.

People feel different emotions when cancer treatment ends.

Some people get on with life easily when their treatment finishes and find it easy to put the experience behind them.  However, others find the physical and emotional impact of their cancer hits home when it's all over.  They may experience difficult feelings such as anxiety, anger or depression.

Everyone responds differently, but it can take up to six months for the chemicals to get out of the system after chemotherapy. And people recover from the different chemotherapy side effects at different stages.

What does your friend need when chemotherapy has ended?

You know your friend better than we do, but with the above knowledge a full-blown party, alcohol, champagne are probably not the best things at this stage of your friend's journey. It might just be a time for them to put their feet up and rest.  They may need time to digest what they have been through and look towards the future.

Six suggested gift ideas for you to help your friend

1.Your time and a listening ear

The best gift you can give your friend is your time.  They may need you to run errands if they are still suffering from chemo side-effects.  They may need to talk things through or just have someone there in silence as company.  Being there for comfort and a chat, just to watch some movies together or for practical help is important at this stage.  It is common that after chemotherapy or any cancer treatment people feel abandoned.  Friends disappear as they think its all over and the medical profession and other support is not as easily available.  If you can be there for them at this stage it might be all they need.

2. Home cooking after chemotherapy

Nausea and the bad taste side effects of chemotherapy may still be present for a while after chemo has ended.  So you could make some special small, bland meals, appropriate to their needs. We have an article here about chemotherapy nausea and the food that helps.  Your home cooking doesn't just help with the continued symptoms, it also shows that you are still there for them even after treatment.

3. Celebratory uplifting/motivational/inspirational gifts

There are many suitable gifts big and small that provide a bit of humour and motivation/inspiration for someone recovering from chemotherapy. Here are a few examples:-

Nausea and the bad taste side effects of chemotherapy may still be present for a while after chemo has ended.

4. Comforting and pampering gifts for a chemotherapy survivor

The comfort of a soft neck pillow or the pampering of a foot massage can ease the stress and slowly bring your friend back to a peaceful place.  Soft music for calm perhaps?  A meditation candle? Pampering and comfort items should do a treat at this stage.  But avoid anything strong smelling for now as they may still have chemotherapy nausea.  And stay off the chocolates, rich and sugary foods unless they tell you they are OK.

5. Practical items to help your friend heal

Everyone is different and everyone heals at different stages.  There is no right gift for healing.  If you can't judge what your friend might need we find that a fancy water bottle is never the wrong thing to get.  It's important to stay hydrated at all times, whether you are ill or not and, in our opinion, you cant have too many water bottles around.

6. A Gift hamper created specifically for chemotherapy survivors

Cancer Care Parcel's End Of Chemotherapy Gift is packed with comforting, useful, inspirational and pampering items.  Suitable for anyone who has survived chemotherapy.  We have put these thoughtful items together so you don't have to.

If you want to make sure that you are getting an appropriate gift hamper, please check out our special end-of-chemo gift hamper.

As always we welcome your comments, good and bad. If you don't agree with our suggestions or have some of your own please let us know.

Thoughtful Therapy Safe End Of Chemotherapy Gifts

Further Reading

Different Ways You Can Help Someone Who Has Cancer

Don’t Say It With Flowers: Why You Shouldn't Buy Flowers For Chemotherapy Patients

67 Best Gifts For Cancer Patients: From Free Presents To Care Packages

78 Best Gift Ideas For A Chemotherapy Patient

Thoughtful Chemo Gifts

How To Choose Useful & Comforting Gifts For Chemo Patients

How To Support Someone Going Through Chemo: Easy and Not So Easy Tips

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56 comments on “Last Chemo Celebration - Six Best Gift Ideas For A Chemotherapy Survivor: For Celebration & Recovery”

    1. I have to have 4 months of chemo, but if they can get my protein levels down before then, im being fast tracked as im top priority, to get the stem cell transplant x

    2. My last Chemo is Thursday at the Beatson Glasgow no 6!!. Having a Break , going to Cyprus, for a week, then 33 Radios ! Cancer is not in my body !!

    3. Alex Reid hope you don't mind me asking is your insurance high for your holiday? My last chemo next Friday 6th July then I got a break before radiotherapy and would love a little holiday xx

    4. Norma Bye pretty sure insurance will be high. My oncologist wouldn’t let me leave the country while having chemo as infection risk too high. As it turns out he made a good call as I was neutropenic from the first few days after treatment started. Be very careful and good luck.

    5. I have just spent 5 weeks in Belfast City Hospital, having at last , a Stemcell Transplant, been home a few weeks, so exhausted, but woopie I'm cancer free x

  1. It's fine,i'm over the worst i hope, sobbed at the start, was so scared but met so many wonderful people & i am responding well.My girls gave me strenght to fight it all.I'm lucky, i can be treated although not curable but i'm here & getting stronger.Will see you all later in the yr hopefully.xx

  2. As I speak ! I am getting Chemotherapy ! For the last time ! I am so Greatful ! For the free Treatment ! 30 mins to go ! Then Cancer is no longer in my Body ! Thankyou Universe ! And The Secret Team, and Esther and Jerry Hicks, for passing on this Information from Abraham ! I'm in an Attitude of Gratitude !

  3. I got diagnosed with breast cancer 11 months ago 1 op followed by radiotherapy & I'm all good but just when I finished it my mum was diagnosed same thing she wasn't as lucky as me but she only has 1 lot of chemo to go so fingers crossed xx

  4. My husdand died 2006 after 8 months of treaement chemo did not work 2 weeks later I got d out had Breast cancer 16 chemo and 12 Radiation later I survived been 10 years now I am a suriver xx

  5. 16 years bowel cancer survivor. My 33 year old daughter diagnosed 8 weeks ago with AML. Been 7 weeks out of the 8 in hospital. One more round of chemo. Then stem cell transplant. X

  6. You might pass this info on to cancer care in Tuam. I needed help with household cleaning windows cleaned etc 3 young kids all they offered was free therapies I did not want, it's practical things like a cleaner for a few hours a babysitter a driver to collect kids and feed them and no hospital parking fees. My opinion only. And so much money donated to them to help cancer patients? They built a new building? What was that money donated for? Another shambles.

  7. I am delighted that ye are doing it for people that are going through cancer and came true it like my self but never had anything like that but best of look to all of ye God bless ye all xx

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