Christmas is coming! With exactly 2 weeks to Christmas, you might be struggling to decide what is the best gift to give to somebody who will spend their Christmas with cancer.
Christmas is supposed to be a joyous occasion with family, friends, and loved ones. But for those diagnosed with cancer, can it still be a joyous occasion?
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
It is stated that at the birth of Jesus, three wise men came bearing gifts, namely gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Many people consider the ‘gold’ as a reference to turmeric, a potent healing herb with a vibrant gold colour, but for the remaining two gifts, the reference is clear. Why these three items? Could it be because of the amazing healing properties?
Take a look at the video below; Truth About Cancer founder Ty M. Bollinger discusses the health benefits of these ‘miraculous spices’ with Dr Sunil Pai, M.D.
An Emotional Time Of Year
I don’t know about you, but I have always found Christmas to be an emotional occasion, (I wasn’t always a Muslim); whether it be based on your faith, remembrance of loved ones, or the feeling that for at least one day in the year, there is actually ‘peace on earth‘. But for cancer patients, it’s a different story; it is not only their physical health that is affected but also their mental well-being. Being diagnosed with cancer can have a tremendous affect on their emotional state and those around them; these feelings and emotions are without doubt intensified during this ‘joyous’ time of year.
The fear of death, fear of the unknown, knowing the suffering associated with cancer, the feeling that you’re alone; these can all lead to feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness, even depression. For those close to a cancer patient, the feeling that they may lose a loved one can create an enormous emotional stress. All of these feelings and emotions are normal and expected, but the key is to manage those emotions and feelings and most of all to generate hope.
The Importance of Hope
I firmly believe that a positive psychological state of a cancer patient can have a positive impact on their battle with cancer, and without getting all evangelical about it, I consider that my faith played a part in my healing. What is certain, is that negative thoughts and stress do nothing to help; there are a multitude of studies on this subject.
Hope is a very positive emotional state and in this day and age, with the ongoing research to understand cancer, the amount of publicly available information regarding holistic therapies, and the numerous testimonials from survivors who have gone through both conventional and alternative approaches, all give reason to hope.
And it is for this aspect of a cancer patient’s life I’d like to share with you some of what I consider to be the best Christmas gifts for giving hope and boosting the spirit. I’ve tried to select the best ideas that are appropriate, practical, and may even help to relieve the condition of the patient.
Reading about people who are leading active lives despite their cancer are always inspirational. Survival stories, practical living tips, motivational ideas, all help to increase hope and develop a positive mind set
Everything Changes, is targeted at younger adults in their 20’s to 30’s; it reveals the stories of 25 strangers and their experiences in fighting cancer. Kairol Rosenthal has a unique writing style and addresses the soul-searching questions and concerns that a young adult cancer patient may have. By revealing the highs and lows of each person’s experience, this book provides useful ‘how to’ resources, information, and expert advice, in a powerful and compelling narrative. Everything Changes will open a patient’s eyes and heart, giving knowledge and comfort with the realisation that they are not alone and there are many others on similar journeys that have survived.
Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: 2013 Edition was first published in 1999: now into its 4th Edition, it addresses new research and includes a section to discuss and plan a holistic approach to fighting and treating cancer.
This book provides a wealth of knowledge lots of simple common sense things that can help. Recognising that healing is a lot more than just treatments and surgery, there are lots of mind and body attitudes that can make a huge difference between living a quality life or feeling hopeless and powerless. By providing a guide to cancer recovery, this book offers an inspiring, action-oriented roadmap for those who choose to take charge of their diagnosis. The author has also written “Breast Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do” in which the information is pretty much the same.
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery is an award-winning cookbook with science-backed recipes designed to give patients the much needed nutrition that they need to boost their immune system. The recipes help to stimulate the appetite and help to alleviate some of the side effects of cancer and its treatment.
Not just for people fighting cancer, this book provides phenomenal flavours to keep the body healthy. Some 150 recipes (not all of which need to done with a stove), cover soups, vegetable dishes, proteins, and sweet/savoury snacks all with the intention to deliver the vital nutrient, minerals, and phytochemical required for all phases of treatment.
Essential Oils for Cancer Therapy
Increasing research suggests that Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils can be effective in preventing cancer and also helping to fight cancer and its side effects. While much of the research has only been conducted in laboratory conditions, and further research is required to determine the true effect on live humans, it is not a reason to totally dismiss the potential health benefits.
Turmeric Essential Oil is antiallergic, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, antiviral, and antiworm. It is also used to relieve anxiety and stress. Research at Kyoto University in Japan has found that the key components of turmeric, curcumin and turmerone, abolished colon cancer cells in mice when applied by mouth.
Frankincense Essential Oil
is made from the resin or sap from different types of Boswellia trees found in Asia and the Middle East. It has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicines for centuries to treat a number of ailments, including cancer. Recent research is beginning to support its use as an anticancer agent both in human bladder cancer cells and human pancreatic tumours; in both cases, the essential oil appeared to cause substantial levels of cancer cell death.
Myrrh Essential Oilsare botanically related to Frankincense; the sap or resin comes from a tree found in Africa and again in the Middle East. The tree is called Commiphora myrrha, common in Africa or the Middle East.
As with other essential oils, it has become the subject of research into its curative properties and more interestingly its potential to heal cancer, which is purported to be more effective than Frankincense.
There are many essential oils available, all with beneficial, therapeutic, and medicinal properties. These include lavender, clary sage, lemongrass, tea tree, peppermint, spearmint, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chamomile, bergamot, and more; a Google search will reveal numerous research papers reflecting the potential benefits against cancer and other ailments.
Novelty Gift Ideas
If you’re still stuck for ideas, you could consider simple novelty gifts such as mugs, clothing or bracelets and the like. These are readily available and are ideal for promoting awareness, celebrating life as a survivor, or simply making a defiant stand against cancer.
The Best Things in Life Are Free
At the end of the day, the most important gift than can be given is social support. Your love, empathy, and time can play a powerful part in boosting hope and providing relief from the torments that a cancer patient suffers. Spend time watching a fun movie together, give a massage, go for walks, or just enjoy each others company.
‘Tis the season to be jolly’… even if you can’t find it within yourself to be jolly, at least remain hopeful and give hope to those who will spend their Christmas with cancer.
I wish you all Seasons Greetings and pray for the best for you on your journey. Don’t forget to drop me an email or leave comments or questions below if you want to know more. Feel free to suggest other gifts that you think are suitable for cancer patients or cancer survivors.