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62 Inspiring and Exciting Bucket List Ideas for Cancer Patients

bucket list ideas for cancer patients

Many people have dreams they want to accomplish before they die. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or is thinking about end-of-life care, you worry about the future. One thing you now know intimately is that time is fleeting. You should spend your remaining time enjoying life to its fullest, which is good advice for everyone. Below are some bucket list ideas for cancer patients so that you can get on the path to having more rewarding experiences in your life.

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Tips for Creating the Perfect Bucket List

A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Everyone’s bucket list will be unique. When deciding what to add to the list, consider your current situation. This means trying to achieve your dreams while also setting realistic goals.

Mobility and other physical limitations may prevent someone from easily participating in some of the activities on the list. That’s why we’ve created categories to help you brainstorm additional activities that can serve as alternates.

Another important aspect of creating a bucket list is your financial situation. It’s a good idea to ask family members for suggestions on what items to add to a bucket list. You may share some dreams that you can do together as a family.

Bucket List Ideas for Cancer Patients

The ideas for a bucket list are endless, and it’s up to you to tailor yours to find the activities that will mean the most to you.

Here are some ideas to inspire you in creating a bucket list:

Get the Adrenaline Pumping

Any physical activity that is exciting enough to get the adrenaline pumping is a great way to feel totally alive.

1. Skydive.
2. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
3. Give zip lining a try.
4. Think about bungee jumping.
5. Take a course in car racing at a track.
6. Learn to jet ski.
7. Train for and enter a mini-triathlon.
8. Go to a new restaurant to try an unfamiliar cuisine.
9. Get in the car and just start driving in any direction to see where it takes you.
10. Go on a rollercoaster ride.
11. Audition for a part in a theater group.

Fully Experience Nature

No one should underestimate the soothing and calming effects of nature. In addition, immersing yourself in the wonders of Mother Earth can help you feel more connected and at peace with the world.

12. Take up bird watching.
13. Learn how to ride a horse.
14. Go kayaking or canoeing on a lake or pond.
15. Take a hike near a waterfall.
16. Go to the botanical gardens or arboretum.
17. Give paddle boating a try.
18. Start a garden or grow plants in a window box.

Deepen Your Relationships

Personal relationships with family and friends are one of the most meaning parts of life, so make an effort to develop stronger bonds with the people that mean the most to you.

19. Reconnect with an old friend.
20. Research your family history or ancestry and create a family tree. Write down your findings for your children or grandchildren.
21. Become a mentor.
22. Share a secret with a family member or close friend.
23. Invite someone over just to talk.
24. Become pen pals with someone in another area.

Related: How to Say Goodbye When Your Loved One’s Time Is Near


Get In Touch With Your Creative Side

Even if you are not the arts and crafts type, exploring your creativity is something that will help you in broaden your mind and experience life in new, unexpected ways.

25. Write a poem about your feelings about having cancer.
26. Take a painting class or just buy paint, brushes, and canvases and self-teach.
27. Start playing a musical instrument you use to place or learn to place a new instrument.
28. Do scrapbooking with a family member.
29. Record stories of your life into a tape recorder for family members.
30. Learn how to knit, crochet, or quilt and make items for family and friends.
31. Go to a Build-A-Bear Workshop.
32. Learn origami.
33. Buy a camera and start taking photographs of things that appeal to you: nature, architecture, portraits of your family, etc.
34. Start a blog about a hobby.
35. Take a cooking class and learn new recipes.
36. Redecorate your home.

experience life in new, unexpected ways

Dedicate More to Having Fun

Focusing on your troubles is not going to put you on the path toward a fulfilling life. Spend your days having fun and letting go of the negative by doing the things that make you happy.

37. Binge watch a television show you missed.
38. Have a movie night at home with a theme such as romantic, action, comedy, or horror.
39. Throw a party for family and friends. You can celebrate one or more holidays or birthdays. 40. It’s your party, so do what you want.
41. Learn a foreign language.
42. Foster sheltered pets for a few months.
43. Visit a llama farm or an ostrich farm and hang out with the animals.
44. Go to a concert of your favorite singer.
45. Learn to play tennis or golf.
46. Take a class or workshop to learn something new and fun.
47. Have a picnic in the woods.
48. Learn to juggle.
49. Go shopping at a high-end store and try on designer clothes and diamond jewelry.
50. See a musical (Broadway if you can!).
51. Travel to a nearby town you’ve never been.
52. Learn ballroom dancing.

A Few Ideas You Can Do From Home for Those With Limited Mobility

63. Get a massage.
64. Watch a sunrise and sunset in the same day.
65. Sew something wearable.
66. Name a star.
67. Write a book.
68. Take a candlelit bubble bath.
69. Sell something online.
70. Attach a note to a balloon and release it.
71. Cut your hair really short.
72. Do a wine tasting.
73. Buy something from a stranger off their wish list, registry, or Kickstarter.

Find Meaning

Many people search for meaning or purpose in their lives as they try to understand their place in the world.

53. Try mindful meditation
54. Read the Bible, Torah, and Koran to gain a deeper understanding of these religions.
55. Read proverbs or sayings from cultures other than your own.
56. Read books about spirituality or philosophy.
57. Attend a religious service of your own religion or one that you are curious about.
58. Take a yoga class.
59. Volunteer at a charity that speaks to you: animal rights, adult illiteracy, homelessness, etc.
60. Join a book club.
61. Visit museums and art galleries.
62. Identify what it is that means the most to you and do that.

Related: Does Hospice Mean “The End”?

When you are facing death due to a terminal illness, you think about all the things you haven’t done yet. By creating a bucket list, and doing things you have always wanted to do, you create a more fulfilling and happier life.