Thank you for subscribing to Cancer
Care, an Avera eNewsletter that provides
you with useful information about cancer care
and prevention. To learn more about our services
and community events, or to find a physician,
With a Mix of Emotions During the
The holidays can be an emotionally charged
time. While they can be very joyful, it's also
common for people to feel sadness, depression or
fear. For people dealing with an illness such as
cancer, these emotions can be even more complex.
If you or a loved one has cancer, be prepared to
understand and deal with these feelings during
the holiday season.
First, it's important
to recognize and acknowledge what you feel,
whether it is excitement, numbness or sadness.
Allow yourself to cry, laugh or express your
feelings as they come. Take time for yourself.
Read a book, go to a movie or exercise. If you
start to feel overwhelmed, opt out of activities
or gatherings. You need not make apologies for
Planning ahead can help you
enjoy the holidays more. Decide with your family
what traditions you'll participate in. Consider
changing or modifying your activities if it will
help make your celebrations more pleasant.
Sometimes new activities can help people
transcend feelings of loss or grief. Most of
all, focus on the moment. Try not to dwell on
past celebrations that might seem happier; every
celebration can be joyful in its own
Back to top^
a Plan If You're Receiving Treatments
Receiving cancer treatments is difficult at
any time of year, but it can be especially tough
during the holiday season. If you are going
through treatments, be sure to take care of
yourself during this season.
Take a break.
It's common for people to be extremely tired
during cancer treatments. Although holidays
typically include more celebrations and
activities than usual, don't overdo it. Rest as
much as possible.
Scale back as needed.
Be willing to do less gift wrapping,
decorating, baking or other activities that you
typically do during the holidays. Do less if it
makes you feel better overall. If holiday
traditions are important to you, don't be afraid
to ask friends and family for help with
If you're not able to attend gatherings
with friends and family, find other ways to keep
in touch. Make phone calls or e-mail as much as
you feel up to it. Consider being part of an
online cancer support group or a volunteer group
such as the American Cancer Society's Reach to
Recovery, which connects cancer survivors with
people more recently diagnosed with the disease.
A cancer survivor may be able to understand your
feelings in a way family members may
illness, but try not to dwell. Know
before celebrations how you'd like to talk to
others about your cancer. Some people will be
more receptive than others to hear about your
treatments, so try to consider the emotions of
both yourself and others. You are dealing with a
serious illness, so it's important to talk about
it if you are comfortable with that. However,
try not to make cancer the focus of the
Back to top^