• How to handle holidays

    Asked by greensmythe on Saturday, November 24, 2012

    How to handle holidays

    I am trying to handle the holidays in a positive manner, but have noticed others in my family are tip toeing around me- how is everyone handling the holidays this year?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Hi Greensmythe, I know it's tough. I remember my last time being diagnosed, it was my third time. I was diagnosed in Oct., then couldn't see the oncologist until Dec. I was in a serious funk, went shopping with my Wife and her Sister and all I could see was all the people walking around all happy without a care in the world. Made me mad, got depressed. But as the Holiday's went on, I started feeling lucky to be here, and started looking positive.

      Here is one of our recent blogs on this very subject, it doesn't answer all the questions, but it's a start, and I'm sure some of our great Members here will have some input for you.

      Hope you get to feeling better about it.
      Take a look at this: https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/don-t-let-cancer-dampen-your-holidays

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Actually, one of the biggest benefits I've found from having cancer is that it has finally taught me not to sweat the small stuff....and the holidays are small stuff. I don't stress myself out shopping, sending out cards, putting up decorations, etc. I can finally relax and enjoy the simpler and more important aspects of the holidays like just enjoying and spending time with family and friends.

      over 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      It's a good question. The way I see it, you are doing the right things. Try to set the tone. But, they love you so they will be concerned. So far, the most positive thing you can talk about regarding the cancer is that second opinion. Tell them that the doctor believes it can be treated and that you will know more later. Laugh, if you can, about the awful way the first doctor handled it.

      No matter how many Thanksgivings or Christmases you have left to share with them, try to make this one one that will be remembered fondly.

      And, make sure they know you love them. Win, lose, or draw that's the important part.

      over 4 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar
      packerbacker

      Hi greensmythe! So sorry you have to go through this. I was diagnosed about 15 months ago with the same, NSCLC, stage 4 with mets to the bone. I have my good days and bad, as people here can attest to. But, one positive thing I have learned is to realize how precious our time is and to appreciate and love from and for the people around us. Thanksgiving was not the best regarding eating for me, but I loved the company of family!

      Like Nancy says, don't sweat the small stuff. What we are facing is difficult, and we deserve to find and enjoy our pleasures in life. As for people who "tip-toe," I just show them that this is me, because I'm the same as I used to be, and if need be, mention that this is all weird for you too. Maybe talking about it with them, or just show them that you haven't changed much are a couple ways to handle things and people. I wish you all the best on your journey. Keep us posted, and enjoy the holidays! Many hugs your way!

      over 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      Well, there goes my gift from Nancy. I was hoping for a case of Osteo La Vista ACV Plus, Osteoeverything Alleviator with bonus holiday ornament and travel flask. That's a clever cat.

      I love the old world traditions of celebrating the end of the wheel of the year, the cycle of life. But I'm not a big fan of the holidays and all of the strange present-day rituals, and what it does to peoples' wallets and emotional life. I'd rather see people celebrate the season in a way that's meaningful to them as individuals. I'm going through it for dad, because it's important to him.

      So, I think just take it one day at a time, and make your own rules for what it takes to have a good time. Don't stress yourself out over what are really silly things in the big picture. Sit back, relax, spend time with the people in your life, and enjoy watching the weirdness of this holiday. Think about this---- if you were an alien landing here on Earth for the first time, how strange would Christmas be? People all over the planet, at the same time, are copying each others behavior, cutting down trees and bringing them into their homes to decorate---- OR using artificial plastic trees. They they tell their kids that an old fat elf in a red suit, travelling by flying reindeers, is going to come into their homes in the middle of the night and stuff toys into their socks. Someone must have been on special chemotherapy when they thought that one up.

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar
      JennyMiller

      I was diagnosed in November 2011 and had my surgery Dec 5, 2011 --so last Christmas was one as you are describing -- with family tip toeing around me -- regardless of their loving attempts, I still felt isolated. I was now in the world of cancer - a sort of "twilight zone" -- through the power of prayer, I found the strength to participate in the family celebrations -- to be positive and even laugh along with them. The tears came when I was alone in the darkness of the night. With treatment over, I am certainly not the same person but I am returning to my family and their world. I have learned to appreciate each day -- holidays included. We may know about our cancer -- but how about that guy who is celebrating & enjoying the Holiday that does not know about some lurking condition or accident that will take over in the near future - it is in "the knowing" that we lose our appreciation & enjoyment. I am making up for my feelings of last Christmas this year - the tree and decorations went up early and I am determined to not let the thoughts of cancer interfere with this precious family time. I wish you the best -- and pray that you will find the strength to participate and to find peace this Christmas.

      over 4 years ago
    • tombo's Avatar
      tombo

      thats easy,,when your all in a room together,,tell them,HEY,,you guys,,dont treat me any differnent than you did beforemmit makes me uncomfortable,,,AND,, dont plan on leaving this planet,,,anytime soon,,,cheers to you greensmythe,,,,,have a nice holiday,,i wil pray and think about you,,,

      over 4 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar
      princess123

      I live in another state than my family. On my last visit my old friends from school (we graduated 40 years ago) all got together. It was great. I just told them how well my treatments were going and said "hey, I'm going to outlive all of you". They all laughed and loosened up. Then I told my family the same. I'm going to be around another 20 years. The adults may know better but loosened up anyway. The kids aren't as worried about it. Everything seemed to go back to normal. Put on a great big smile and jokingly tell them they can't get rid of you that easy. The joking will put them at ease. I am getting ready to die within the year as far as getting things ready but expecting to have to deal with "life" and it's finances for up to 10 years.
      Hang in there and don't get to serious aout it.:)

      over 4 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar
      princess123

      I live in another state than my family. On my last visit my old friends from school (we graduated 40 years ago) all got together. It was great. I just told them how well my treatments were going and said "hey, I'm going to outlive all of you". They all laughed and loosened up. Then I told my family the same. I'm going to be around another 20 years. The adults may know better but loosened up anyway. The kids aren't as worried about it. Everything seemed to go back to normal. Put on a great big smile and jokingly tell them they can't get rid of you that easy. The joking will put them at ease. I am getting ready to die within the year as far as getting things ready but expecting to have to deal with "life" and it's finances for up to 10 years.
      Hang in there and don't get to serious aout it.:)

      over 4 years ago
    • tombo's Avatar
      tombo

      my spelling is awfull,,now thats the small stuff,,so what i was trying to say before,,is just be honest with your friends and family,,tell them what you want to tell them,,the one thing cancer gave me ,,is,,i can say what i want,,and i dont mean,,,being mean to people,,i mean,,being nice,,i to looked around,when i was first diagnised,,and was very angry,,i no longer am,,just fighting for my life now,,and i am happy to be able to tell the people i love,,,that i love them,,jeeze,,i wonder why that was so hard before,,as i see it now,,we have a gift,,a sorta strange freedom,,so make the most of it when your not tired,,and have fun as best as you can,,sleep when you have to,,and dont feel guilty,,laugh at all the dumb stuff you have done,,,pray to not be in pain,,pray for your friends,,try to stay positive,,eat healthy most the time,,go into chemo with a smile on your face,,it helps all the others that are soooo afraid,,cry when you have too,,bye,,have a nice day,,,xo,,mike

      over 4 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar
      LisaLathrop

      The best way to get your family members to NOT tip-toe around you is to stay positive! Let them know you appreciate their understanding in what you are going through and hey, if they are good family members and great friends, they'll appreciate your honesty. Go about the holidays as you normally would....but take it slow, ask for help in decorating, or have everyone bring something for dinner - or better yet, if you've been the host year after year, ask someone else to host this time around. Have a cookie exchange so you don't have to bake more than a few dozen and everyone gets to share each others tasty treats and recipes. Be HONEST! Excuse yourself to take a nap if necessary....they'll understand...and ask them to wait until you get back while they decorate your tree, visit, or just address your Xmas cards for you. Send a friend out with a shopping list for your kids....or craft items to make your own gifts this year. It's all good....life is good....and so will Christmas be if you just change it up a bit. Relax and enjoy time visiting with simple pleasures like a cup of hot tea by the fireplace.

      over 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      One of the most horrid errors that medicine makes is to parcel out time to patients. The acceptance of those limits is a terrible mistake of patients.

      NO ONE knows the moment or the day or the month or the year of their passing until afterward when it no longer matters. We are promised nothing, not even our next step or breath.

      I was under the impression that families share both good times and bad times. I am further under the impression that perception is what places good or bad values on those times.

      Perhaps it is time for a family round table. It would be just awful if you had to spend your "last" days taking care of someone in your family who lost their balance and broke a limb while tip toeing down a staircase. Some lovely other person on the forum said something like stop worrying, I'm already sick, it isn't like you can make it worse so lets just enjoy ourselves.

      BTW, I'm about 23 years past my 'deadline'.

      Happy year end holidays.

      over 4 years ago
    • greensmythe's Avatar
      greensmythe

      I think one of the luckiest thing to have happened since my diagnosis was finding this site! Not a question- just a heartfelt thanks!

      over 4 years ago
    • ScrapbookerKay's Avatar
      ScrapbookerKay

      Be direct! Tell them you don't like being treated differently. That sick or not, you're still the same person. My doctor made a point of telling me to stay away from sick people and babies that received a "live" vaccination. My nephew was due to get a vaccination right before our "family" Christmas. I informed my sister that if he got the shot then, I wouldn't be attending. Their pediatrition said it wouldn't hurt anything. But I said I was going to follow my oncologist's advice. They decided to get the shot right after the New Year, that 2 week's wouldn't make a difference on his health. Put your health first. Tell people you love visitors, but if they are running a fever or contagious, please reschedule.

      over 4 years ago
    • BrownCounty's Avatar
      BrownCounty

      I had so much fun. Baked turkey and all the trimmings for my kids and grands. Had them, their friends and exteended families in our little country home. If things don't turn out well, I want good memories for my family. I was tired, but my husband helped me put the house back. We even did our usual volunteering - delivering meals to homebound. My 62 birthday was yesterday. Had more drop in visitors. Today I stayed in bed just resting and watching Sponge Bob Square Pants. Have a scan Wed. Hoping for good news.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar
      Lirasgirl33

      I think so far I've been able to keep the holidays as close to what they were before. I have never really been the type of person to pay too much attention to other people's actions, looks, etc. Could be that some of them have been tip toeing around me too, I just haven't noticed. I'm just me, and what I show them is that I am happy to be alive, I'm still having fun, and I'm surrounding myself with people who I love and that love me back.

      I of course wasn't able to pig out as I usually do for Thanksgiving Day, but that's ok. I was able to share time with my family, have some laughs, and that's what's most important after all. I'd say just be you, keep the positive going, don't take others concern for negativity, they love you. Keep showing them that you are alive and kicking! :) Sending hugs your way.

      over 4 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      I was diagnosed on December 8th, right before the holidays. My husband and I decided to prioritize; what was most important to me because we couldnt do it all. In the end we decided to make Christmas a "cancer free" day. We would not speak of it that day. it make for a very enjoyable day for us

      over 4 years ago
    • oleshiquitillo's Avatar
      oleshiquitillo

      My mother was just diagnosed with lung cancer a little over a month ago. She's already had a lobectomy and will begin adjuvant chemo starting December 17.

      I have to admit it's probably going to be a weird feeling going through the holidays this year. Fortunately I am currently living with my parents and acting as my mother's primary caregiver, so spending time with her and being there for her isn't an issue. However, it's going to be a challenge going through this holiday season knowing things are different because of my mother's cancer. Plus, she will be starting her first chemo treatment just a week before Christmas. It remains unknown how the first session will go and how bad the side effects will be. More than anything, I just hope the side effects won't be so bad that they hinder her ability to enjoy some of the festivities. Nevertheless, all we can do is try to make the most of it. Even though this recent cancer diagnosis is no picnic, we've had worse holidays.

      over 4 years ago

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