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Happy Holidays

MANAGING THE HOLIDAYS WITH CANCER

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Holidays are traditionally viewed as a time to celebrate. Many people enjoy reuniting with family and friends giving and receiving gifts and celebrating religious traditions during this time.  Holiday time may seem like the worst time to have cancer in the family.  Even the happiest of traditions lose their enthusiasm when you’re worried about your health care needs or those of someone you love.  In fact, the holiday season can prompt new questions, such as how do I take care of myself while at the same time dealing with the holiday rush? How can I enjoy celebrating with my family and friends, when I have my health on my mind? What will the coming year be like for me and my family?

Here are some tips for coping with cancer during the holidays:

Create a holiday season tradition that makes the most of your energy.  Change your usual holiday activities so you relieve yourself of some of the pressures of entertaining. Have friends and family to each bring a dish for the meal, have someone else host the meal, or start a new tradition and find a restaurant that you and your family can enjoy your holiday meals at.

Discover new ways to shop and give gifts. Use catalog ordering, shop over the telephone, or try online shopping this year. You can also make a gift of sharing things you like to do, like crocheting, knitting or writing a nice letter to someone you haven’t been in touch with in a while.  You can also make some phone calls to family and dear loved ones wishing them well.

Keep a simple schedule. Commit only to events you feel are important or will be fun.  Say no to the rest.  Don’t try to attend every event you are invited to.  If you try to do it all, you may find yourself worn down and not able to enjoy the season.

Grieving.  If you are grieving, the holidays can be even more difficult.  Allow yourself to feel pain and whatever other emotions come along. It is also alright to give yourself a break from grieving by distracting yourself with activities you enjoy.  Try to use this time to forgive yourself for all the things you did or didn’t say or do.

Take care of yourself: Allow yourself simple pleasures – hot baths, naps, favorite foods that will help lift your mood.  Eat balanced meals and get in some exercise too. Physical activity is a good way to release tension. Try going to a movie, a ball game or playing cards with friends; or other activities you may enjoy.

Staying Connected During the Holidays

Calling. Talking on the phone is a great way to connect with loved ones.

E-mailing or texting. E-mail messages and text messages provide fast and easy communication.

Recording special occasions. Consider recording special events with friends, and family members, so that you can share your special celebration with others. Many cell phones have a built-in camera that allows you to film any event and then email it to share.

“Skyping” Skype is a technology that allows people to see and talk to each other online in real time, like a video telephone. Each person needs a web camera that is connected to the internet through his or her computer. Download Skype software from www.skype.com. The software is free, as is the cost of the call, of course, both parties must be using Skype in order for this to work.