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For Everyone Touched By Cancer

Cancer and Mothers Day: Celebrating With A Mother Who Has Cancer

Written by Natalie Murphy on 
14th March, 2019
Updated: 29th January, 2024
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Mothers day, or mothering Sunday has become an occasion for honouring maternal bonds, the influence of mother’s in society, motherhood and mothers.  Mothers everywhere will be visited with gifts.

In this article we discuss how cancer with its treatment and side effects can affect Mother’s Day and how you can help a mother with cancer celebrate.


Mothers everywhere will be looking forward to visits from their children and other’s whose lives they’ve touched such as godchildren, nieces and nephews.  You could begin your visit by saying “It’s good to see you”.  Cancer and it’s treatment can be tiring so you could try to coordinate visits when Mum is not exhausted.  With a bit of planning, Mum can have a steady stream of visitors and can avoid having a large gathering which may be too draining.  Talk to Mum about hobbies, interests and things that are not related to cancer as cancer patients sometimes need a break from talking about the disease.   Some friends or family may not be able to visit for various reasons, as Mum may not be up to longer journeys and large gatherings.   You could suggest video chats, texts, social media or email.


Gifts for relaxation and stress relief are always welcome.  Cancer treatment can dry out lips making them sore so lip balm may be an idea.  You could try to find products that are natural and gentle.  Headphones and music may be an idea as Mum may appreciate having music to listen to while in the hospital for treatments and admissions and also just for relaxing.   Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can be long, Mum may be thankful for things to make her more comfortable during chemotherapy treatment such as comfy slippers and clothes she can sleep in.  She may need things to occupy her time in general, not just during chemotherapy and you may find that she will be glad for a journal to write in, a book, or maybe an Ipad or Kindle.  Sweets such as mints, hard candy and lemon drops may be welcome for chemotherapy sessions and these could be homemade.  Do remember that if your mother is having chemotherapy that flowers are not a suitable gift.

Chemotherapy is not the only treatment for cancer, however, and some people with cancer may just be convalescing or having no treatment.  A gift for comfort and pampering could be welcome and she may appreciate a gift that is totally unrelated, like an appropriate beauty treatment.

Eating and Drinking

Cancer patients undergoing treatment sometimes experience loss of appetite, feeling sick and changes in taste and may not be able to eat and drink as much as usual.  Discuss dietary requirements ahead of time and have some snacks available.  Mum may be grateful for being taken out for Mother’s Day lunch or for afternoon tea.


Alcohol is not usually an issue but do check as alcohol can affect how some cancer drugs work and can make some cancer patients feel very sick.


Mum may enjoy a visit to gardens, museums, an afternoon walk or a country drive.  She may want to visit other friends and family and may welcome being driven there.  If an overnight stay is an option, this could help to minimise tiredness which is often part of cancer and it’s treatment.


Offer to go to the theatre, cinema or a drive thereby avoiding activities requiring lots of energy, standing and walking and large gatherings.

Further Reading

Who is Mother’s Day for?

Cancer Gifts for Mothers day

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

Our Cancer Gifts Suitable For Mums On Mother's Day

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We strongly advise you to talk with a health care professional about specific medical conditions and treatments. The information on our site is meant to be helpful and educational but is not a substitute for medical advice.

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