updated 12/05/2012 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/06/2012 AT 11:15 AM ET
In her PEOPLE.com blog, Diem Brown, the Real World/Road Rules Challenge contestant recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the second time, opens up about her desire for a child and the ups and downs of cancer and fertility procedures.
‘Tis the season, and I know if you could give the gift of health to a loved one going through illness, you would. So, I thought blogging about a few great gift ideas for patients or caregivers of patients would be a nice holiday treat.
Everyone is different but most patients – whether they’re fighting cancer or recovering from a car accident – spend a lot of time either at home or at the hospital. So think about giving a gift that helps make being at home or the hospital easier.
Here are my suggestions!
Look Good, Feel Good Gifts
For starters, gifting cute pajama sets is a perfect patient gift! Matching PJ’s are comfortable and make you feel put together and pretty as you rest around the house rather than lounging in over-sized, old sweats. Gifting anything that makes a patient feel better about themselves is a priceless gift. When you think you look good, you feel good! Look Good, Feel Good gifts could also include a cute sweater wrap to wear at the hospital, a manicure/pedicure gift card, fun slippers or a pretty head scarf.
A group of sweet women made me a quilt to take to my chemo treatments, as you get extreme COLD flashes during a chemo infusion. The blanket is not only functional, but when it’s on me I instantly think of the women who made it with so much love. Other homemade gifts could be: A knitted hat, scarf, a picture album, or a decorated jar filled with sweet notes and inspirational quotes.
Household Chore Gifts
Whether it’s a patient or a caregiver of a patient, their home becomes their headquarters and office space. The first time I had cancer I remember feeling so gross because everywhere I looked, there was a huge mess. Yet, I had no desire or energy to change it. One day, I got a knock on the door and one of my favorite couples had sent over a cleaning service! I was blown away! There is nothing like looking around and seeing a clean organized place. For that moment, you don’t have to feel sick and slovenly. Someone has instantly knocked a “to do” item off your never-ending list.
A free alternative to gifting a cleaning service would be helping a patient do laundry, mowing the grass, walking the dog or helping organize their bills. Anything you can do to eliminate a daily chore is a tremendous weight lifted.