How Celebrations Change After A Cancer Diagnosis

by Jackie Edwards

A Guest Post By Jackie Edwards

How Celebrations Change After A Cancer Diagnosis

No More Chemo Party

Palliative care provides relief for 90% of people living with late stage cancer, which leaves patients free to enjoy life as they always have. This means that you will likely have the privilege of celebrating your birthday, wedding anniversary, Christmas, or any other holiday which you normally mark annually. The cancer diagnosis might diminish your mood to partake in such occasions, but these events are more important than ever. You may, however, need to shift your perspective on how these occasions are celebrated and what the significance of them is.

Hold Smaller, More Intimate Gatherings

Living with cancer often means reduced energy, so you may not want to have the loud parties that you used to have. However, this is not a reason not to celebrate at all. Instead, your birthday, anniversary, and Christmas celebrations may be more intimate and involve only your closest friends and family.

With time being more valuable, special occasions become even more special. For example, each wedding anniversary may include thoughtful and symbolic gifts, such as using the Iron Anniversary to represent durability in your relationship during difficult times. Similarly, use your birthday to be with the people who mean the most to you, rather than having a large gathering of acquaintances. At this time, many people prefer to form closer bonds with their family and romantic partners. This should be viewed positively because it is helping each celebration to be more authentic and meaningful.

Value Time Spent Together Over Material Gifts

Being faced with a potentially terminal illness puts things into perspective. At this time, you may find that material objects fail to spark joy in the same way that they did before. This is an opportunity to change how you see birthday and holiday celebrations. People often view these events in terms of receiving gifts rather than a chance to spend time with others.

Family Talking

As the reality of your cancer diagnosis becomes more prominent in your mindset, you may find that you really appreciate having loved ones around you. Therefore, it makes more sense than ever to mark these milestones. Rather than gifts, you could suggest that people put their money towards providing you with experiences. This is the perfect time to write down a bucket list and spend your celebrations doing the things that you’d always dreamed of doing.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Many adults dread getting older, but for people with a terminal illness, age a precious gift. By marking your birthday, you are celebrating another year on Earth that you're lucky to have. Many choose to show gratitude for this gift by embracing a healthier lifestyle. While other people celebrate by overindulging in cake and alcohol, consider having a party which involves healthy food to show your commitment to getting better and inspire others to lower their risk of developing cancer.

Lifestyle Changes

Celebrations and parties after a cancer diagnosis are so important, but their role in your life may change. They are a chance to grow closer to friends and family, as well as to cross experiences off your bucket list. For many, this is an opportunity to use moments as a chance to be grateful for life, through embracing a healthy and positive lifestyle.

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