Dealing with Cancer During the Holidays

By: Brandy (Korman) Haslam


Crowded shopping malls, Christmas carols and the smell of fresh baked cookies surround us as the holiday season comes into full swing.

For many, the holidays are a time to celebrate and spend time with family, but for those dealing with a cancer diagnosis, the season can be a time of overwhelming stress. Your usual traditions may be interrupted by treatment needs or unpleasant side effects.

Here are a few pointers to get you through the holiday season in one piece:

  • Give yourself permission to feel and express your feelings. Let yourself laugh or cry.
  • Take care of yourself! This means eating balanced meals and making time for exercise.
  • Allow yourself some simple pleasures. Hot baths, naps or favorite foods.
  • Find distractions like going to the movies, catching a show of the Nutcracker or even going to a comedy show.
  • Prepare ahead for the holidays. Decide if you want to keep certain traditions or if you want to make new ones.
  • Enlist support for organizing holiday gatherings, meal preparations and cleanup.
  • Don’t pressure yourself with unrealistic expectations.
  • Don’t plan too much per day
  • Don’t abandon healthy habits. Drink and eat in moderation.

Sometimes it helps to talk with other survivors for support and advice. To talk with a PRMA advocate, call 800.692.5565 or email [email protected]

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