After all, she’s going through a lot and you want to give her as much support as possible. But it can be hard to know where to begin.
For those who need some help in the gift-buying department, Macmillan cancer support nurse Donna Munro has suggested some simple present ideas that’ll enable you to show your appreciation for your mum and help her cope with cancer in the process.
1. A little bag of happiness
“These very affordable little bags contain trinkets and beautiful sentiments,” says Munro. “They can be purchased from notanotherbunchofflowers.com with the full amount being donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.”
2. Lip balm
“If your mum is having chemotherapy it can dry out her lips and make them sore so buying her a lip balm is a thoughtful gift,” says Munro.
“It’s best to use products that are natural and gentle during treatment. You can find helpful information on what cosmetic products to use and which ones to avoid here.”
3. Headphones and music
“Music is the food of the soul and buying it – and headphones to listen to it on – is a thoughtful present,” says Munro.
“Headphones can serve a double purpose: listening to music or relaxation tracks will help your friend or family member relax and pass the time, it can also help block out the hospital sounds which are a real source of stress for many.”
4. Garden voucher
“How about making your mum a homemade voucher to take her to a garden? There are some beautiful gardens to visit as part of the National Garden Scheme,” says Munro.
“Gardens can be peaceful and relaxing and it’s a day out together you can enjoy with your mum – and something to look forward to. It can also be a great opportunity to take a stroll in the open air and get some exercise.
“The National Garden Scheme has worked in partnership with Macmillan for over thirty years and is the charity’s largest single donor. To find out more visit www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden.”
5. Aromatherapy bath oil
“If your mum is feeling sick from chemotherapy or other cancer treatment, a soothing smell can be really comforting,” explains Munro.
“Many people find the smell of oils relaxing. If you buy oils, tell your mum to alternate them so they can avoid associating the smell with having treatment.
“Some oils can have physical effects on the body and can affect some cancer treatments so it is important to check with your mum’s doctor or nurse what might be suitable.”
6. An adult colouring book
“A relaxing way for your mum to pass the time when attending chemotherapy appointments or when they are at home,” says Munro.
“Full of intricate and detailed patterns to colour, it’s a great way to calm the mind and concentrating on the repetitive action of colouring can also help block negative thoughts.
“All profits from this colouring book priced at £7.99 will go to Macmillan Cancer Support, to help other people affected by cancer.”
7. A scrapbook
Munro says: “You may have made a scrapbook as a child – perhaps even with your mum! Buy your mum a scrapbook and ask your family to each create a few pages of a scrapbook full of fun and family memories, adding photos and messages.
“Leave extra pages so you can continue to add to the scrapbook as a family. It will be a nice memento she can look back at on hard days.”
8. Comfy clothing and a blanket
“People with cancer can feel the cold more and they may have to spend days in hospital if they are having intravenous chemotherapy,” explains Munro.
“Buying your mum, a soft cosy blanket or a large scarf could be a welcome gift.”
9. A murder mystery kit
“Surprise your mum by making her the Lady of the Manor for the day – as part of your very own murder mystery get together with friends,” says Munro.
“‘Whodunnit?’ is Macmillan Cancer Support’s brilliant new Murder Mystery fundraising game, which promises an evening of mystery, accusations and outrageous over-acting.
“Taking place on Saturday 25th March, all money raised will help Macmillan continue to provide support to people affected by cancer.”
“Flowers are always a safe bet,” says Munro. “Peter Beales flower shop have created a Macmillan Nurse rose. These flowers have large, old-fashioned rosette-style blooms of white and occasionally flushed peach, borne in clusters. This could be a nice reminder to your mum that she has support.”
Macmillan provides a range of support including a telephone support line, website with information and advice. For more information visit macmillan.org.uk or call 0808 808 00 00.