One in two people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime according to Cancer Research UK. That means that nearly all of us will know at least one person with cancer. But for many of us, it’s still a taboo subject and we don’t know what to say or do for the best. Cancer Care Parcel * was set up by Dr Shara Cohen to address this issue, and to bring back a little calm into the lives of those suffering with cancer and its treatment.
Cancer Care Parcel
After Shara was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, she found there was very little time to just relax, take it all in and give herself some “me time”. Can you imagine all the appointments, liaising with work, trying to maintain a family life, telling the people who need to be told… After successfully undergoing treatment, she decided to set up Cancer Care Parcel as a way of helping fellow sufferers, but also helping friends and family who want to help but just don’t know how.
As some of you will know, I lost my beloved mother to cancer when I was 18. And I’ve lost my grandmother and two dear female friends to cancer too. Three members of my family have been diagnosed with cancer and are currently in remission. And one of these is also a Cancer Nurse Specialist. So when the opportunity to review one of Cancer Care Parcel’s boxes came along, I knew exactly which one I would choose.
Women’s Cancer Care Package
This gift package provides useful and comfort items for women with any cancer at any stage. The contents are therapy safe (including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery) and practical for dealing with the everyday stress of cancer and its treatments. So what’s in the box?
Beauty and pampering
Vaseline® lip therapy® – dry or chapped lips are a very common side effect of cancer treatments. So this lovely softening and soothing lip balm containing triple-purified Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly (clinically shown to be safe and to protect and moisturise dry skin) is ideal. It also has rose and almond oils, both well-known in skincare treatments.
Hand and nail cream – dry skin is another common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and sometimes soaps in hospital can be a little harsh. With sweet almond oil and shea butter, this Body Shop hand cream will moisturise hands and also condition nails, which chemotheraphy render very brittle.
Water bottle – keeping hydrated is very important when you have cancer, as well as flushing the therapy toxins from your your kidneys. Chemotherapy alters taste buds and can cause mouth sores that make eating certain foods more difficult. So this UK manufactured water bottle is eco-friendly and BPA free. And it’s easy to hold, with a wide neck for quick filling and cleaning.
Chocolate and ginger tea – ginger is often recommended to relieve symptoms of nausea. Chemotherapy alters the sense of smell so smells that are usually pleasant become unbearable or too strong to cancer patients and increase nausea. Shibui leaf tea is a lovely blend of warming ginger and delectable chocolate (yum!) as well as a 2016 Great Taste Award Winner. The teabags are naturally caffeine free and biodegradable as well.
Two supersoft neck cushions – these provide comfy support for the head, neck and shoulders in hospital, journeys, and at home. They’re filled with thousands of tiny microbeads which sculpt to the body’s shape. I have one that I use on airplane journeys and I love it. (Note: there was only one cushion in my box but I’m not complaining as it was a review box!)
Sleep mask – to help shut out the world and get some much-needed rest. This is made from soft, cushioned fabric with a padded nose bridge, so idea for sensitised skin.
Earphones – a set of spare earphones are included for relaxing/resting and blocking out the noise/world in bed or hospital or when waiting for appointments. They should fit phones, tablets, iPads, iPods, MP3 players or computers.
Portable power bank: how annoying is it when your phone, tablet or MP3 player runs out of battery? Particularly on hospital visits, overnight stays or convalescing. This little powerbank has a unique design, is fast, light and ultra-portable.
Access to cancer resources – lastly, there’s a leaflet with a link to some free resources created to support people affected by cancer (including parents, friends, family and carers).
The Women’s Cancer Care Package is priced at a very reasonable £59.99. You can include a personalised gift message, and you can even split the cost. So ideal for family members, work colleagues, or close friends to club together and contribute something really helpful and appropriate at a time of great stress.
Most people automatically think to send flowers to those in hospital or recovering at home. But I think the Cancer Care Parcel boxes are far more useful, thoughtful, and practical. Besides which, some hospitals won’t allow flowers due to allergies and fungal spores that place patients (especially blood and marrow transplant patients) at risk for infection.
There are currently 19 different care boxes to choose from for men, women, teenagers, and children, with worldwide delivery options. There are also box options for a specific type of cancer, or for chemotherapy, radiation and hospital stays. And Cancer Care Parcel is proud to have won the Live Better With Spotlight award for the best mind and brain product in 2017. The company also partners with UK charities, raising awareness, donating gift boxes, and helping with fundraising.
With someone in the UK being diagnosed with cancer every two minutes, it’s more important than ever to have somewhere to turn for informed and practical help. I know my mother would have loved one of these boxes if they’d been available at the time. And sadly, the friend I was going to give this box to after my review has very recently died. So I’m going to give this box to my Cancer Nurse Specialist relative to pass on to one of her patients. Because it’s such a well-thought out selection of gifts, and I’d like to think they’ll bring comfort to someone who really needs it.
* This box was sent to me in exchange for a review but all opinions are my own and this is an honest, unbiased review.