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NWR: "Gift" Ideas

Hey all.

So the hubby's brother has recently been diagnosed with leukemia and lymphomia. He is in his early 30's with a 14 year old daughter. Due to the seriousness of his condition, he was taken to a larger hospital about 40 miles away. He will be there for at least a month while undergoing chemo, etc. We are trying to get there to visit at least 2-3 times a week based on work schedules.


My question, or what I am looking for, is ideas on things we can get him, or do for him, to make his hospital room feel more like home, to make him more comfortable, to help occupy all his time while he is confined to the same small room day in and day out.


My mom passed away from cancer 7 years ago but I'm finding trouble in finding "guy" ideas. A lot of people sent my mom flowers, and got her girlie things to pamper herself, etc.


The only thing I've come up with so far, is some soda. lame I know but they told him that when getting the biopsy's done, drinking some caffeine will help ease the pain. There are of course vending machines in the hospital, but he has to drag his IV, and wear a germ mask, etc just to get to the pop machine. So we'll take him a 12 pack next time we go so he has it close at hand if he so wants it.


Thanks in advance guys, excited to see the ideas you come up with!

Re: NWR: "Gift" Ideas

  • I would get cross word puzzle books, sudoku and or word search books. Maybe a newspaper or his favorite magazine.
  • This may be above budget, but I can imagine a laptop or tablet would be wonderful if I was holed up in the hospital for a long period of time. DVDs, books, maybe a journal in case he wants to write. Flowers still might be appreciated or maybe a plant. Sorry about your BIL, I hope he will be ok.
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  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
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    To pass the time: books, puzzles, brain teaser books, handheld games (they have things to play Sudoku and stuff like that that are electric, not sure what the price would be), magazines (for sports or whatever he likes), journal, deck of cards, DVDs, portable DVD player if there is none in the room, CDs and CD player or iPod (or iTunes gift card if he already has one) or Mp3 player.
    Food related: junk food (chocolate, candy, chips, etc.) because hospital food typically sucks, soda (you already got him some), bring him some good home-cooked food.
    Clothes: pajamas, robes, and slippers can be quite useful when having a long hospital stay.
    For his room: pictures of him with his family, a get well card that everyone signed, flowers are nice and not necessarily girly, ear plugs (hospitals can be noisy at night with machines beeping, people coughing etc.).
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Portable DVD player would be awesome - I know family members of mine who have had extended hospital stays have really enjoyed that.
  • I second the tablet/portable DVD player.  I've spent a fair amount of time in the hospital as a patient and it blows. A personalized blanket might be nice...like get a photo of the family and have it put on a throw blanket...Chemo can make you feel like you're freezing from the inside out.  

    Pictures, I liked coloring books, extension cord might be handy if he doesn't already have one...charging your phone is priceless, an iTunes gift card so he can get more games/music/movies, kindle/amazon gift card to get some reading done.  

    If he's doing chemo a nice soft/fleece hat could be nice also as we get into winter.
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  • What is he into? If this happened to my brother, I'd get a bunch of OSU stuff (he's a huge fan), like posters to hang on the wall, an OSU blanket, and apparel (hat & scarf for when he gets cold). Hospital rooms are so drab; it'd be nice to spruce it up. 

    I agree with PPs, a portable DVD player would be amazing. 
  • Guys like flowers...you could get him a plant for his room if you don't want to do flowers. If you want typical guy stuff though, what about a DVD player or a Netflix subscription? If he has a DVD player in his room already, what about some DVDs? Or a TV series he really likes so he can watch the whole thing. You can check these out for free from your public library also. If you're going to visit a few times a week, maybe you have a constantly rotating supply of movies, audio books and books from the library. Could you hook up your phone to the TV and stream a football game? Bring a tailgate to his room and watch his favorite team?

    My mom and dad both had cancer and while they were in the hospital, they just wanted simple stuff - like homemade food (sometimes their appetite wasn't up for it though) and a colorful blanket from home. 

  • AM26561AM26561 member
    Knottie Warrior 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited October 2013
    I work with these patients, so just some special information: if he is receiving chemo and/or a bone marrow/stem cell transplant, he will likely not be allowed to have fresh flowers, plants, fruits or vegetables...  (So, maybe balloons that say "get well" instead of a fresh bouquet with card.)  I'd also check with hospital staff or other family to verify what foods he can have.  Many of these patients require a low-bacteria diet, so certain foods are off limits (such as unpasteurized dairy goods, certain cheeses like moldy cheese, again, raw fruits/veg, raw nuts, etc.).

    Things that help "pass the time" are great.  Movies, books, puzzle books, puzzles themselves, games (cards, board games, etc.).  I really like the idea of a PP of a tablet/e-reader (based on your budget).  

    I've seen some patients go crazy over nice slippers they can walk around in (it's helpful if they have "grippy" bottoms to prevent slips/falls), or a nice robe or sweatshirt.  Something that is nicer than just regular pjs for when he actually cares to look presentable when walking about.  Hats/beanies are good too.

    Something for his daughter/family could be nice as well.  He's bearing the brunt of it all, but they're going through a lot too trying to be supportive.  You could get her something to occupy her time as well for when she visits him during long stretches.

    Then again, so many of these patients are just grateful to receive visitors and spend that time together.  :)

    Best of luck!

    EDIT: extra word
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