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Knickknacks and Doodads

(Inside Joke) But in all seriousness, here are some products I found helpful during surgery recoveries, hospital stays, and treatment with options linked. When I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer, a friend of mine, a legend who was going through her own battle with late stage PNET, made me the most thoughtful care package. It is often something that cancer patients do for others newly diagnosed to pay it forward in some small way. It included things that would ease symptoms, things that would be useful around the house, things that would make you pause and smile, and even things that had absolutely no use but were just so darn cute - the knickknacks and doodads. So, in honor and memory of Danielle Levesque Stone, who took a selfless, thoughtful moment away from her own fight to curate and gift wrap each individual item for me - this is my small version of her big gesture, and I will keep adding to it as I try more.


good for inpatient stays and recovery at home when you don't have the energy to shower or want a quick feeling of freshening up; speaking of which, Dry Shampoo (this one is also good on darker hair)

I don't always like the toothpaste, shampoos, deodorants, body wash options when I am inpatient and feeling well enough to, ya know, pay attention to my hygiene. So, for planned inpatient stays I sometimes pack a travel toiletries kit of things I like. You can assemble your own from travel size things you like, or here's an example of a pre-assembled one

good to use on radiation area of skin after radiation appointments, the skin gets sensitive as treatment progresses

good when you want an alternative to coffee, to warm up when you're not feeling well after chemo, to ease nausea, and to maintain hydration and good digestion

good to bring to the hospital on infusion/treatment days; the heated blankets at the hospital are great, but lose their heat fast

good to destress and unwind; Baths were great when cleared for it after surgery as long as I was mindful not to overheat and stay hydrated

good to block out the light during inpatient stays, and to use with lavender sleep spray at home for a good nights sleep or a nap, the silk is good too during chemo hair loss or regrowth

good for a little refresh, especially sheet masks when you're inpatient (sometimes you can or can't shower, it varies), and an at home "spa day" effect that just makes you feel good

Bose SleepBuds or the Like

good noise canceling when you're inpatient with preset soothing sound options, I use this product because its meant for side sleepers so the ear buds don't annoy you while you sleep, obviously there are other headphone options if you prefer your own music or sleep apps (highly recommend the Calm App for sleep stories as well); Edit: Bose has since discontinued, but former employees have acquired the trademark and started production of a cool new version here: Ozlo Sleepbuds (I kept the Amazon link to the Bose Sleepbuds I have, should one of the similar product suggestions work for you)

Audiobooks, Podcasts, Movies and Series to binge

Rokus and Amazon Firesticks were good back in the day before smart tv's were reasonably priced and there was an app for that, haha now I'm showing my age! I still bring my laptop when I am inpatient, there's only so much CSI and daytime talk shows I can handle on the hospital cable, and it's nice to have a bigger screen than my phone

Cordless Chargers or a Multi-Device Charger

always good to remember a charger during inpatient stays, cordless just gives you flexibility if the nearest wall socket isn't so convenient from the bed

good after surgery, sometimes during recovery its hard to raise your arms or take shirts on and off over your head, this offers the most flexibility and comfort, and you can get different fabrics depending on preference and purpose (cotton, silk, linen; daytime, sleep...) See also: Post Surgical Bras, Post Surgical Shirts with Drain Pockets

good after surgery when pulling pants on/off or bending down might be difficult; See also: Dressing Stick if you need additional assistance in that action (also works for shirts, and there are additional Occupational Therapy devices for getting socks on/off etc depending on your surgery recovery needs)

good when you want to feel polished but can't get a manicure during treatment, or lose some eyelashes (sometimes this is the case), in my personal opinion the nails are amazing, but the lashes magnetic eyeliner isn't as strong as I would like (alternative: Moxie Lashes)

Eyebrow Gels (tints)

good options if you lose some of your eyebrows, the dye will make them appear fuller for a couple weeks (this option lasts a couple days if you prefer more flexibility: Wunderbrow)

good ole Carmax works pretty well too, but this is good for chapped lips from chemotherapy

think Enterade for chemotherapy symptoms like Gatorade for a hangover ;)

Hand and Foot Lotion (non-greasy is best)

good for the dry hands/feet from chemotherapy, I'm sure you already have a body lotion you love and typically that's enough for the rest of ya!

has multiple shapes and components for positional relief depending on what you find most comfortable for your type of surgery and recovery

Additional Ideas that are not products (links included are ones I used locally and may not directly apply in your case, but the concept would be easy to tailor to your region or whether you're a patient or family/friend of a patient):

  • Take-out and Delivery Meals: Gift Certificates / Credits (Goldbelly)

  • Massages or Acupuncture: Gift Certificates or Hospital Resources (sometimes your Cancer Center will offer these to patients for free, I highly recommend acupuncture for symptom management - within a few sessions my nausea was so much better, and after 8 sessions I had no more hot flashes from my hormone therapy) (MGH Integrative Therapies Program)

  • IOUs that can be "cashed in" for home cooked meals (healthy/freezable/reheatable), laundry, clean-up and house chores

  • Classes/Lessons for make-up with hair loss (Look Good Feel Better)



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I started this blog because every time someone would ask me for advice, I would start from scratch and be afraid I missed something important. I would tailor it differently whether it was for a patient, a friend, or a family member. It just never occurred to me that I could put it all together in one place for anyone to access, re-access, share; an open and raw platform that I could build on and edit as an organic thing, learning as I go. Reflecting back on my journey from the start is not only helpful context, but also super cathartic to see how much I've grown and how much I have overcome. I hope you find this helpful in some way!!

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