You know what I bet she'd not be into? Inspiring cancer tchotchkes. Those are the worst and no one wants them.
Thank you for posting this!!!!! As a patient with cancer (almost five years now), I tried very hard to avoid these. One resolution I had when I was first diagnosed was that cancer was not going to become a "lifestyle." It's simply a part of a total life that consists of a great deal more than one illness. Not buying the tchotchkes was part of that resolution.
Some things I did love to receive that first 6 months...
My very understanding sister sent me a beautiful cotton nightgown and a box of scented soaps. These made me feel feminine and pretty right after the mastectomy. When it was her turn, I sent her a muumuu-style cotton dress from Vermont Country Store. I had bought several of these myself, as they are easy to put on and wear right after surgery. For radiation treatments, they may be easier to take off/put on, and being big and loose they might tend to be less irritating to already-tender skin.
DVD's or a Netflix gift certificate or an Amazon gift certificate are all great ideas. I treated myself to all the Charlie Chan DVD collections, and my daughter and I had a Charlie Chan marathon the day I came home from the hospital.
A small quilt or afghan for the sofa might be useful. These can also be brought to use during chemotherapy sessions -- not sure whether they can be used during radiation treatments.