The Perfect Gift to Make for a Friend Going Through Breast Cancer Radiation Treatments.
My friend Mary was getting ready to begin her radiation treatments, and I wanted to surprise her by doing something fun and special for her.
Mary’s already been through surgery and chemotherapy. It’s been a long journey for her. And I know she’s ready to finish the active treatment phase of her journey.
I remember that feeling well. And I remember by the time I reached radiation, all the cards, notes, gifts, and phone calls from friends and family had started to wane. Thankfully, a couple of friends who had been through it continued to offer encouragement along the way. It helped a lot.
Radiation is a tough thing to go through, it’s harder than chemo in some ways. The amount of time is shorter, and you don’t have as many side effects, but it’s every day. It causes you to feel fatigued, and as your treatments progress, your skin feels more burned and tender. These side effects can make you feel irritable.
For those reasons, I wanted to give my friend something she could look forward to every day she was going through radiation.
I created a “Radiation Countdown Gift Tower” for her with 30 individual boxes filled with gifts (one for every day of treatment) plus an additional boxed gift for when she completed her last radiation treatment!
It turned out so cute, and Mary loves it.
So, of course, I couldn’t wait to share this idea with you.
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How to Make the Radiation Treatments Countdown Gift Tower
Here’s what you’ll need to create the Radiation Countdown Gift Tower.
Because everyone’s treatments are different, you’ll need to find out how many radiation treatments your friend or loved one will be receiving. That’s how many little gifts you’ll need to make for them. Plus, add one more to celebrate completing radiation.
For Mary, that meant 31 boxes.
Next, you’ll need to choose small gifts for each day of treatment. These can be small, inexpensive gifts, like sample size lotions, candies, magnets, jewelry, etc. Try to select a variety of items to make it more interesting.
Make sure the items will fit in the boxes you purchase. Better yet, choose the gifts first and decide on the size box you want to use afterward.
I chose a 3x3x3” white box for the countdown. I purchased that size because, with 31 boxes, I didn’t want the total gift to be too large. However, I discovered too late that it’s challenging to find small enough items to fit in that size box. The next time I will choose the 4x4x4” box when making the Radiation Countdown Gift. The extra inch will give me more gift options without significantly increasing the overall size.
Once you have your boxes and gifts, place each gift in a box with some shredded paper to cushion it. Then the only thing left to do is label these from 1-30 (or however many treatments your friend is receiving) and one box labeled ‘You Did It’ or something similar.
Mary chose the bumblebee to symbolize strength and persistence throughout her cancer journey. So, I made labels with a bee, a number, and a cute saying on each—phrases like “Bee Brave,” “Bee Strong,” etc.
I’ve added these printable labels to the resource library for your use. I also added two other sets of labels, one with hot pink numbers and border and another with black numbers and border. These labels are designed to use with the Avery 2.5″ Round Labels (5294).
How to Arrange the Boxes in the Radiation Treatment Countdown Gift
Once your boxes are complete, decide how you wish to arrange them. It will depend on how many boxes are in your gift and if you will be hand-delivering or shipping it.
If you deliver your gift, you may want to create a tower or rectangle (similar to those Christmas countdown or advent calendars you see in stores) to do this. Secure the boxes together with glue or double-sided tape. It’s a good idea to lay the boxes on their side with the labels attached to the lid so the recipient can open each gift without disturbing the tower.
The tower or rectangular shape may not work if you plan on shipping the package. Instead, pack the boxes in the shipping container. Attach a note telling the recipient to open the highest-numbered box first and then count down to the final gift.
I decided to place the boxes in a large gift bag and deliver them to Mary them to her that way. Mary’s so creative; I knew she would enjoy making a tower that fit in her home. And she did. She even used a cake plate to create the base for her tower. It fit perfectly on a counter between her kitchen and family room.
Remember, since you’re counting down the treatments, the gift with the highest number goes on top. You then work your way down to gift #1. The “You Did It Gift” will be the last box on the bottom row. This box is to open after your last Radiation Treatment.
Ideal as a Chemotherapy Treatment Countdown Gift Too
The Radiation Treatment Countdown Gift is a wonderful, surprising way to let someone know you are thinking of them every day during their treatments. And while I created this for my friend going through radiation treatments, It could easily work for someone going through chemotherapy treatments. Also, since there are usually fewer chemotherapy treatments than radiation treatments, you can give bigger gifts and use larger boxes.
Whether using this for radiation or chemotherapy, one thing’s for sure; the recipients will love this surprising countdown gift!
If you like this idea, then be sure to check out this Box of Sunshine Gift Idea.
I’d love to hear what you think about this DIY Radiation Treatment Countdown Gift. Please drop me a line in the comments below.
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