Father’s Day- a special day to let dad know you’re thinking of him! But what can you do if he’s currently going through a cancer diagnosis?
Although you may think he’s not in the right mind set to celebrate Father’s Day, it may be just what the doctor ordered! Spending time with family and loved ones is often what is needed during these challenging days. Whether just diagnosed or in the middle of surgery or treatment, having those closest around you can be helpful and offer some much-needed distraction to those everyday thoughts waning heavily on his mind. Bringing family together helps to find some “normalcy” to what is everything but that!
In addition to the gift of being there… what are some other gifts that may be helpful for dad during his cancer diagnosis? Keep in mind, different gifts may be more helpful depending on the type of cancer diagnosis and treatment. During a Male Breast Cancer diagnosis, men may have limited use of their arms and upper body, while during a Prostate treatment, they may be less capable of walking and standing. Whatever the cancer diagnosis, here’s a variety of suggestions that may be helpful!
Help around the house- This may mean you personally or if you’re not the handiest person, hire a handyman for the day to assist with that “To Do” fix it list or summer clean up. Often you can locate someone by asking for a referral from a friend or neighbor or check out your local community board or newspaper for listings. Not only will this help to check it off his list of things completed, it’ll take a lot of pressure off too!
Sending a meal- nutrition is so important during treatment and rehabilitation and having a meal delivered or meal subscription such as Blue Apron can help so much! The days and weeks can be very tiring with doctor appointments and treatments and knowing there is a nutritious meal waiting for them without having to shop and prepare can be the perfect thing for him and his wife or caretaker. With so many of the food prep companies, supermarket deliveries and home take out delivery apps available, helping with nutrition is very easy! I’ve recently also had the pleasure of experiencing meal delivery where friends have signed up with MealTrain to help keep it all scheduled and suggest some of my favorite restaurants that deliver in the area.
A journal or planner- makes a great gift and can be great therapy during this difficult time. In addition to writing about how you feel physically and emotionally, it can be a helpful tool to keep your notes to share in the future with your doctors or support groups and keep a schedule of appointments organized. While a nice leather book always smells so good, there’s nothing wrong with providing a great app to help organize your thoughts and appointments on your computer or phone if this is their preferred method.
A camera – is another way to capture the moments! When I was together with family and friends I found it so important to take pictures! I wanted pictures before I lost my hair (eyebrows/eyelashes etc.), before my mastectomy, pictures with my "new look", pictures when I felt healthier and happy times to remember. I also continually used the camera throughout surgery and treatments to help document where I was along my journey. “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
Books- help pass the time during chemotherapy treatments or while recuperating. Often it’s very hard to focus with so much on our mind during this time or from the pain medicines needed. Whether you choose a good old hard back book, a few magazines, or a kindle type reader, all are helpful! I especially found listening to audio books to be very helpful when I couldn’t focus on reading.
Games and puzzles- are another great mindless activity to pass the time. Again, these can be in a form found on an app or a simple word search with a pencil! Adult coloring books are another great way to de-stress! Puzzles are also very therapeutic and were a big help during my sleepless nights. My husband and I enjoyed working on these together or on our own. And it’s great see the finished product and feel some accomplishment!
A cozy blanket- isn’t just for babies and children! What is better than taking a nap with a nice soft blanket at any age? And after surgery, naps and rest are very important! Plus, if chemotherapy is taking place, these units are often kept very cold so bringing a warm blanket with is very helpful (and comforting). Cozy slipper socks are also nice!
Music- to rest the mind. There are so many great apps to download; Pandora, iTunes, Spotify and Sirius just to name a few! You can share your favorite playlist or help dad create a playlist of his very own! Add in a set of ear buds and he can listen any time of day or night (when he’s not sleeping well) or take with during his scheduled treatments.
Comfy clothing- is always appreciated! So, he may not be needing that “tie” right now, but a comfortable soft button down shirt that’s easy to put on and off and relaxed lounging pants are always nice! And it may seem cliché but now would be a good time for those new P. J’s, robe or slippers! Right now, it’s all about comfort and ease!
A little help- we know how men don’t like to ask for it! Of course, there are many women and men who prefer to do things themselves, however this is a time when asking is needed more than ever but isn’t always easy. Don’t wait for dad to ask you! Don’t say, let me know if there’s something I can do, just do it! Take note to what you think your dad might need and if you get/bring/give it to him, I know he’ll appreciate it! We don’t always know what it is we need during this difficult time but when “it” is provided, we’re very grateful, especially knowing we didn’t have to ask!
Whether you choose a gift that is more tangible, a nutritious meal, a favorite photo, a helping hand or sharing a few hours of your time to sit and watch a favorite movie together, Father’s Day like every day, should be celebrated. So even if dad is feeling at his worst, there are many ways to brighten his spirits, remind him of your love and how life can continue to be enjoyed and appreciated. And remember to take a picture and capture the moment.
Happy and Healthy Father’s Day!
Please note, if you’re making any purchases on amazon, please go to smile.amazon and choose HIS Breast Cancer Awareness as your charity of choice. Then when you shop, amazon will donate. Use this link to assist you- smile.amazon.com/ch/27-1352739
Modeh Ani- I Am Thankful