When Kelly Whitton was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 44, her friends and family weren’t sure how to help. Whitton wasn’t sure either. After chemotherapy, 30 rounds of radiation and three surgeries, she founded CaraKit (carakit.com) to help other women living with cancer. The luxury gift company offers custom box sets, such as Chemo Care Kits ($95 to $395), Surgery Recovery Kits ($95 to $295) and Radiation Care Kits ($95 to $295), packed with quality products recommended by doctors, nurses and nutritionists. The Chemo Essential Healing Kit ($195), for example, features soft pajamas, a soothing lip balm, body cream, hydration drops, vitamin E oils, an essential oil roller, Epsom salt, sugar-free soft caramels and a planner.
Many people treated for cancer experience side effects such as mouth sores, loss of appetite and taste changes, which can lead to malnourishment, which in turn can affect treatment efficacy and survival. For quick relief, try these cold fruit smoothies, which are nutritious, easy to swallow and soothing to the mouth and throat. Daily Harvest (dailyharvest.com) offers several smoothie combos, including mint and cacao, strawberry and peach, and chocolate and blueberry ($5.99). The meal delivery service, which uses ethically sourced fruits and vegetables, offers more items that can be prepared in minutes, including harvest bowls, soups, snack scoops and more (prices vary).
Health journalist and breast cancer survivor Sharon Brock combines Western medicine with Eastern traditions in her book The LOVEE Method: 5 Mindfulness Practices for the Journey of Breast Cancer (meditationforbreastcancer.com). Brock encourages readers to start a meditation practice using her LOVEE (label, observe, value, embrace and equanimity) method. Brock writes about her personal cancer journey with honesty, humor and vulnerability, detailing her fear of death and her response to drastic changes to her body and how cancer affected her libido and love life.
Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments often make teeth and gums sensitive and prone to bleeding, and a regular toothbrush’s rough, plastic bristles can cause more discomfort. Instead, try the gentle Vegols toothbrush ($10.99 for a six-pack), which has 20,000 ultrasoft, flexible bristles designed to get to those hard-to-reach spots. The toothbrush is also equipped with a tongue scrubber to help minimize bad breath.
Men and women can experience hair loss and scalp sensitivity from cancer treatment. These cancer caps from Hello Courage (hellocourage.com) offer comfort and confidence to people in treatment as well as those growing their hair back. Made from bamboo, they’re breathable, lightweight, stretchy and soft. Plus, they come in different sizes ($67.90 for a four-pack; available in black, dark gray, heather gray and navy blue).
Find more products to make life easier: cancerhealth.com/good-stuff