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Spa treatments during chemo
1 Posts
Hi, my niece is undergoing chemo and I am looking for ways to give her some support. Wondered about a nice spa certificate for a pedicure or facial but concerned about increased risk of infection due to chemo. Comments?
6 Replies
162 Posts

@MLM that’s a tricky one! I would ask your niece if that’s something she would enjoy right now, given COVID and her immune system changes. She might have to ask her oncologist and/or care team.

It’s a super lovely thought on your part, thinking of something that she might like! Are you in the same city as she is? If you are, could you bring her some meals or help with around the house care? Chemo can make people pretty tired. It can also mess with their tastebuds too, so be prepared for that! If you are in a different city, what about a cleaning service for her or pick up laundry or meal service. Does she have someone who is her main caregiver that you could talk to about what she needs? Or even a care package of a cozy blanket, special water bottle, books, magazines to take to chemo?

If you feel comfortable, ask her how best you can support her. Maybe she needs rides to treatment and you could pay for her Uber or taxi? I’m spitballing here, trying to come up with ideas, but you know your niece. Cancer can take over a persons life. She may not know what she needs right now, she may be tired, she may be scared. She needs people in her life to show up and not avoid the hard conversations or she needs people to listen and hold her hand or give her a shoulder to cry on.

take care,


1193 Posts

Welcome to Cancer Connection. I am sorry for the reason that brings you here, but glad you found us.

Some of us have been told to avoid pedicures, manicures, and facials during chemo because of the risk of infection. However, others have been told it is ok as long as there is no pushing back of the cuticles, no cutting cuticles or hangnails, no abrasive dry skin removal, no dermabrasion, and no other spa treatments that can cause tiny nicks and cuts in the skin. Maybe ask your niece what she was told at the chemo clinic.

Does the spa offer reflexology of the hands and/or feet? I have heard a couple patients say they enjoyed that. Two of them said it was so relaxing that they went to sleep. Another patient said that she was glad to feel pampered while getting to keep all her clothes on because she was constantly cold.

It’s a very thoughtful gesture and your niece will appreciate that you thought about her and her comfort.

Wishing your niece the best possible outcome with her treatments.

2050 Posts

@MLM how lovely that you are thinking about your nice and something to give her pleasure in treatment. As @S2020 says there may be some limits on what she can do, depending on her treatment or she may wish to save it until after.

Great ideas from @JenG too.

A few from me -

how about an audible subscription for some books to listen to through treatment? I found I couldn’t cope with reading through treatment and sometimes at home recovering but I really enjoyed listening to books or podcasts.

a nice handcream - our hands and nails suffer through treatment

slippers to wear at clinic during treatment

whatever you give her I am sure she will appreciate the love and kindness behind it xx

What a lovely thought. One thing I was gifted when I was in treatment was a fruit and veggie box from a local subscription company. There are also tons of meal subscription companies now where the ingredients are all there to prepare an easy meal.

Whatever you decide, I have no doubt the gesture will be appreciated.


312 Posts

@MLM I avoided pedicures but loaded up on massages due to the aches and pains. And a head massage when you are bald feels AMAZING.

A great book I received as a gift was the Living Kitchen. It has recipes for during cancer treatment and recovery. Recipes are coded to manage side effects. I am addicted to the Tahini cookies.

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