I-Pod or other MP3 player or gift certificate to purchase electronic music.
Video game machines or laptop computers to entertain while in the hospital or at treatments (offer to lend an older one you aren't using).
E-book readers or gift certificate to buy the books. Be sure you know which reader they have so you get the certificate to the correct place.
Audiobooks or books on tape or CD.
Answering Machine (This helps to maintain some control over precious time at home).
A small stuffed animal or toy. (This is helpful for adults and children alike. It can be very comforting to hold during "down time" in the hospital).
Hats, scarves, baseball caps. (This is helpful for patients who will be losing their hair due to chemotherapy).
A Personal Calendar – electronic or old fashioned paper!
A single lottery ticket (To encourage the patient to think about statistics and how anything is possible -- things can turn around so quickly).
Small gifts that encourage the use of imagery. (For example one patient used wolves as a metaphor during his battle with cancer, his friends sent him many gifts with a wolf theme. Angels are also popular).
Bookmarkers with uplifting sayings on them.
Puzzle books such as crosswords and sodoku.
A prepaid phone card (Include a note that they may call you any time they feel like they need a little "pick me up").
Special drinking mugs- get one made with a picture of you and the friend.
A quiet activity to occupy their time such as a scrap book kit, cards or board games.
Easy-to-move luggage (with wheels- for trips to the hospital).