gdc
Holidays and CancerWeb Exclusives

Tips for Patients with Cancer to Keep the Holiday Cheer

Find ways to keep your holiday traditions going and your mood upbeat.
Web Exclusives
John Parkinson

You well know that cancer does not take note of the calendar. It does not acknowledge seasons or holidays. During this time of year, people are excited about the impending holidays. For a patient with cancer undergoing treatment like you, or as a survivor who has finished treatment, your thoughts often go to cancer.

Even with cancer, it’s good for you to find ways to celebrate the holidays and keep the season’s cheer.

Keep up your holiday traditions
The first thing is to keep normal routines by trying to continue your holiday traditions. Always consult your provider when you are not sure if something is okay to do, but if you celebrate Christmas, and there is a certain weekend that you decorate your tree—do it again this year. The focus on the decorations and getting the house ready for Santa can help take your mind off cancer and change your mood. If you have a holiday show you see every year, buy tickets and go see it if you can.

Create a holiday mood
Create daily routines that remind you of the holidays. Play the holiday music, light the scented candles, trim the tree, and enjoy some eggnog.

Emotional support
Whether it is leaning on family and friends, or joining a support group, it is important to have people around you to air your feelings, your fears, and what this juggernaut called cancer has you thinking, especially during this time of year.

Treat yourself
Depending on where you are in your treatment phase (active treatment, survivorship), take time to enjoy the little things, such as a holiday food, or do something you have been wanting to do but haven’t because you were busy. Make these little things a priority.

Caregivers
Those of you who are taking care of someone with cancer, it is vital for you to do things for yourself. You carry a big responsibility, and you need to give yourself breaks from the disease as well.

Holiday celebrations
Along with getting the house ready for the holidays, make sure to stay connected with family and friends by attending holiday celebrations. Go on a holiday shopping lunch with friends; go to the office holiday party if you are employed; with your doctor’s approval, go on that holiday trip you’ve always wanted to take; and make sure to include yourself if your family or friends have a holiday party or get-together. Although your inclination may be to stay away from people, especially if you do not feel or look like yourself, be social and communicate with others. Being around happiness may affect you in a positive way and, in turn, may make you happier and provide hope.

Positive attitude
The most important thing is that this positive attitude can help your quality of life. It can be especially challenging for people with cancer, but finding life’s little joys and continuing the holiday traditions can be significant and change your perspective for the better. So, take a moment to savor your traditions this year!

How do you keep the spirits up during the holiday season? Share your tips with CONQUER: the patient voice!

Recommended For You
Cancer FundraisingSlideshowsWeb Exclusives
A New Leash on Life
Pets can help to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and other related expenses. Events such as dog walks are a fun way for pets and their people to spend a day doing good work and being together.
Brain CancerSlideshowsWeb Exclusives
May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month
View this slideshow to learn important facts about brain cancer, including statistics, causes and symptoms.
Brain CancerSurvivorshipWeb Exclusives
Demonstrating Mental Toughness and Emotional Maturity During a Harrowing Brain Tumor Scare
By John Parkinson
Nate Loch’s attitude and demeanor shaped his approach to a life-threatening brain tumor, subsequent complications, and the prospects of a long recovery while serving as a reminder about the fragility of life.
Family MembersHolidays and CancerWeb Exclusives
Honoring Mothers with Cancer on Mother's Day
By Yvette Florio Lane
If you're wondering how to honor a mother who has terminal cancer this Mother’s Day, we offer some suggestions for showing your love without bringing down the mood of the occasion.
Last modified: December 19, 2018

Subscribe to CONQUER: the patient voice® magazine

Receive timely cancer news & updates, patient stories, and more.

Country