4 Cancer Advantages During the Holidays

by Brian English

They’re back. Yes, those wonderful, stressful, relaxing, nostalgic, magical, and frustrating times are here. It’s the holiday season again. And they can be tough for everyone to get through. And like most things in life, when you factor your cancer into the mix, it’s not like it gets any easier.

4 Cancer Advantages During The Holidays

But this holiday, why not let your illness allow you take advantage of the holidays in ways that you never have before? It’s not as crazy as it sounds; it’s all about attitude. Cancer has already helped you see so many things in a new light, and it can help you bring some joy and perspective to the holidays that you’ve had before.

Here are four “cancer advantages” things that patients get during the holiday season:


Family Together During The Holidays

You’ve probably seen a lot of your family since your diagnosis. Maybe more than usual. And those visits have likely been very emotional and stressful. But the holidays are different – this is a family gathering that’s not about your illness. For once, the focus is not you and your cancer – which can be quite a relief. Embrace this. Enjoy being with loved ones and just seeing them interact with one another, remembering family stories and other holidays. This time of year is about reconnecting and warmth. A few days of this without all the cancer talk will do you a world of good.


Holidays With Cancer Pajamas

All of us have a tendency to push ourselves this time of year. Whether it’s putting up decorations or going crazy with shopping, it’s easy to get carried away. And if you’re being treated for cancer, that’s not always something you’ll have the capacity or energy for. So relax. Let the season wash over you. Do your shopping online. Simplify your decorating. Take some time to watch some holiday movies. Let other family members pick up the slack. It’s not sitting this holiday out, it’s just slowing down. You have the ultimate excuse. Use it. When you realize how much more pleasant the holidays were without all the stress – like when you were a kid – you’ll want to make this slowing down thing a new tradition. Even after you’re NED.


Snoopy, Feelings At Christmas

Sometimes in all of the running around and entertaining associated with the holidays, we can often lose sight of what this time of year is all about. It’s supposed to be about happiness. This can cut both ways for patients: you may not be feeling especially festive, or you maybe be wanting to really go all out for the season. Either way, you’re good. Feel free to express your emotions and share your feelings. It’s an emotional time of year, and you’ll have a lot of feelings stirred up. Don’t be afraid to have a down moment, or to get especially mushy and lovey toward your family.


Cleaning For Family

Friends, neighbors, and loved ones will be offering lots of help this season. Maybe they’ll offer to help with shopping. Or decorating. Or cooking. Let them. Put your pride and your “I-can-handle-it” aside, and accept the help. They’ll want to make this holiday easy for you, so why stop them? You’ll feel relieved to have all that help (and may even wonder why you never asked for help before), and everyone who offers will feel great about lending a hand. It’s win-win. So kickback with a cup of cocoa and let it happen.

How has undergoing cancer treatment changed your approach to the holidays this year? Share your stories at WhatNext.

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