In 31 Days of Pink/ Cancer

31 Days of Pink: DIY Gift Basket for Breast Cancer Patients

 

Every good and perfect gift comes from above.”
James 1:17
Being diagnosed with breast cancer one week, and having surgery the next weekdid not leave a whole lot of time to research what all I would need after surgery. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I would show you all an easy way of personalizing a gift to include practical items that can be given to someone when returning home from the hospital!  This helped me a lot during my time of need.
Let me first share a little about my experience:
The day I got home from the hospital after having a bilateral mastectomy, I was so happy to see my children (who were five and nine years old at the time). However, I quickly realized that my weak condition concerned them and I felt helpless.  I called my friend Heather in tears, and asked if she could come pick them up after work and spend some time with them that night. She came to my rescue and brought them home hours later with bright faces and excitement, bearing gifts! She had taken them to the craft store to get a basket to decorate, along with some fun items packed inside.  Thank you, Heather, my side-kick since seventh grade, we have always rescued other, haven’t we? I love you deeply.

 

My basket made by Abby, Luke and Heather

 

My greatest gift throughout this time was knowing that God was taking care of me and my family. Having the reassurance that He was there with me and would never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6) meant more than any tangible gift I could ever receive. His loveand the love of my family and friendsare irreplaceable. Spending time with those we cherish is the best gift we can give to express that love. It shows the other person, that out of all the things you could do that day,  you choose to be with them. I think of all the people who made the choice to come and visit me, do my laundry, put dishes in dishwasher, take the children to activities, sit, talk and pray with me and my heart overflows. Thank you Lord Jesus, for loving us first. Amen.
On to the crafty portion!
To make a similar DIY basket, here is what you will need:
  • Basket of your choice
  • Monogram letters
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot glue gun
  • Something special to adorn the basket
Simply just paint the wooden letters, hot glue them in place and add adornment!
Practical items to go in the basket:

 

  • bendable straws—  with limited use of arms and upper body strength, along with taking lots of medication, these were so helpful to drink from.
  • medicine dispenser— realizing that you could not open a medicine bottle is quite alarming; I had someone leave the top loose because if I knew that I would sometimes be alone to take medicine. However, having a dispenser is much easier once you get on a regimen and are familiar with your medications.
  • notebook— can have all sorts of uses: keeping up with medication times, calls, messages, doctor appointments, etc. I kept one beside my bed. For a while, others kept up with noting this information and I would just glance over it! Shutterfly has custom notebooks that you can create for a loved one, with designs or pictures on it.
  • Post-its— reminders, reminders, reminders, I forgot everything unless I put a post-it on it!
  • pens— to go with the notepadI chose the pink ones of course!
  • calendar— a blank calendar is so important. The cancer process comes with many doctor appointments, procedures and treatments to keep up with. People also make plans to bring you meals. If you have children, life and activities still go on; keeping the calendar in a central location to let others write activities and appointments is a huge.
  • baby wipes— being unable to shower for a week after surgery called for creativity. A friend brought over baby wipes & fragrance spray which worked like a charm.
  • lotion and fragrance spray— light scent! After surgery I felt like the scented lotions and fragrance spray helped with the “hospital” smell in the room, it’s inevitable.
  • hand sanitizer— immunity purposes.
  • make-up wipes— not that I wore make-up every day, but considering the amount of visits to the hospital, it was several times a week. To get back in bed, and use a wipe to easily take off my make-up was perfect! 
  • other ideas to put in the basket: slippers, socks, PJs, t-shirts (short and long sleeve), yoga pants.
  • encouraging books, magazines.
  • vitamin water— stay hydrated!
  • gift card to favorite restaurants.

 

 

 

 

And here is the finished basket
I used mine beside my bed to put cards in that I received, all of them are still in there, more than I can count:) Oh, what love!
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 
1 Corinthians 13:13

 

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