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The Best Holiday Gifts for a Girlfriend with Breast Cancer

For the healthy, the holiday season can be hectic and harried. For the “Breast Cancer Warrior,” it’s all that and more. As a Breast Cancer Warrior  since November 2005, our girlfriend Brooke Jones knows that holiday gift giving can be challenging. After learning that she had become the 5th of 6 women in her family to hear the words: “You have breast cancer” she created a unique website for women,, featuring crucial information, expert articles, links to the Internet’s most-respected breast cancer web sites, and…humor. She hopes to reach every girlfriend with knowledge, education and laughter. So listen on as she guides us through gifts worthy of giving to the girlfriends we love.

By Brooke Jones

If there’s a BC Warrior on your holiday list, you might be asking yourself this question: “What do you give to the person whose one wish is to live?” Though the question is deep, the answer is simple: You give YOU. (and no, I’m not talking organ donation, I’m talking ENERGY donation).

Breast Cancer Warriors frequently describe the exhaustion caused by treatment as ‘feeling like somebody yanked out my batteries”. Every shred of energy is suddenly gone. Who knew it takes energy to just close your eyes? Trust me — it does, and in the midst of chemo and radiation therapy that was almost more energy than I could muster. So, speaking from extensive personal experience, I say to you that one of the greatest gifts you can give to a Breast Cancer Warrior is hands-on assistance with the innumerable tasks of day-to-day living.

And so, I recommend the following free and fabulous holiday gift idea: a Gift Card, from The Store Of You. Made redeemable for any of the following, it will be a priceless gift for the Breast Cancer Warrior in your life:


If the BC Warrior in your life is the mother of youngsters, offer to watch the kids (in your home) on specific days, for specified hours.

Even better:

A Child-Free Weekend

Give her some time to heal, take the kids to spend a weekend with you in your home. That would give a BC Warrior an exquisite (and desperately needed) vacation. (Several friends can sign up for this or other gift cards and by doing so can share the actual giving of the gift, thus making the gift last much longer).

House Cleaning

Dust, mop, do laundry, change the sheets on the beds, and vacuum (vacuum cleaners are often just too heavy for BC Warriors to deal with). Do what you can to help your BC Warrior’s home be comfy, cozy and clean once a week or once every other week for a specified period of time.

Home-Cooked Meals

This gift works best when you cook the meals in your home and then bring the food to your BC Warrior’s home.

Important food note: Before you start cooking, check with your BC Warrior to learn what foods she should not be eating right now. For many BC Warriors, anything containing soy is a ‘no no’, for example. There are also specific food ‘no no’s’ for BC Warriors who are undergoing chemotherapy, so be sure to ask before you start cooking.

For specific information on this subject, go to:, click on the FOOD WISE category, and read the article entitled: “Foods To Avoid During Chemo”.

Secretarial Service

Breast Cancer Warriors tend to have stacks of paperwork that need tending to, but their chemo-fogged brains just aren’t up to the task. As a result, the bills; the insurance paperwork; the ‘unbalanced’ check book; the medical reports; the thank-you cards; the disability applications, etc, etc, etc, ad (truly) nauseum, are often stuffed into a drawer where, it is hoped, they will somehow sort themselves out. If you have a sneaky suspicion that this description fits the BC Warrior in your life, then your services as a part-time Secretary will be a godsend.

As are gift cards that are redeemable for:

Dog Walking

Daily (if you can) or trips to the dog park on the weekends, make a welcome reprieve from dog duty.

Pet Sitting

Take the four-legged to your home for a few days or take the furry family members to the groomer for a professional cleaning. BC Warriors frequently have compromised immune systems, so having clean pets becomes more a matter of protecting the health of your BC Warrior than about her having to live with the oh-so-common winter aroma of ‘wet dog’.

Grocery Shopping

Make a list of the foods she needs (don’t buy things that she shouldn’t eat), and do the weekly food shopping for her.


Drive your girlfriend to and from doctor’s appointments, or drive her children to and from their regular activities. (and, by the way, if your BC Warrior is going through chemotherapy, offer to stay with her during a session or two. Having you there with her will make the treatment session feel less like a prolonged medical procedure and more like a prolonged visit with a cherished friend.)

Girlfriend Therapy

A Gift Card can even include a FRIEND’S THERAPY SESSION (in person or by phone), during which your BC Warrior is allowed to vent, scream, cry, and whine without interruption or judgment for thirty minutes. This one can be a real life-saver.

Many BC Warriors bottle up their fear, pain and depression because they think that’s what’s expected of them. Each time a BC Warrior hears the words: “You are so brave”, she feels the need to live up to that label. She’ll dig down deep, put on a ‘brave’ face and tell you that she’s ‘fine’, even though, just under the surface, she’s coming unglued.

As research clearly shows, ‘stuffed’ emotions amplify within us, creating an overabundance of adrenaline and stomach acids that can actually feed the cancer we are trying so hard to fight. Knowing that a BC Warrior has a safe place to dump her fears – where nothing she says will go any farther and will never be thrown back in her face — will help more than you can imagine.

So…all that remains is to design your gift card, print it out, and put it in a box. Wrap the box in fun paper, and place it under your BC Warrior’s Christmas tree. (which reminds me – helping a BC Warrior decorate her tree, and then, after Christmas, ‘un-decorate’ it, pack up the ornaments, and get rid of the tree is another gift that will be enormously appreciated).

And…if you knit, by all means do make the Gift Card from The Store of You redeemable for a few warm, cozy, adorable KNIT HATS. BC Warriors who have lost their hair to Chemotherapy know how quickly body heat sneaks out of the body through a hairless head….so, for Breast Cancer Warriors, hats aren’t a ‘vanity accessory’ worn to hide baldness, they are an absolute necessity, especially during the winter. (Many BC Warriors even sleep in their knit hats!) Make one to match her PJ’s, and one to match her winter coat. She’ll love them!

…and, of course, every BC Warrior could use a warm and cozy BC Warrior Zip-Up Hoodie. They’re perfect for chemo day and available online at the BC Warrior Gift Shop at

So, this holiday season, what should you give the BC Warrior in your life? Give the gift of YOU — your love, your laughter, your prayers and your positive energy. (And please do tell your BC Warrior about The information and the laughter she will find there will be a gift unto itself)

Brooke Jones is a former stand-up comedian, Los Angeles radio personality and screenwriter. Now, in addition to fighting cancer, Brooke is the creator and editor-in-chief of — the internet’s unique breast cancer web Site, featuring crucial information, expert articles, links to the Internet’s most-respected breast cancer web sites, and …humor.

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  1. [...] The Best Holiday Gifts for a Girlfriend with Breast Cancer [...]

    Pingback by Our 10 Favorite Posts of 2009 | Girlfriend Celebrations — December 30, 2009 @ 11:36 am

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