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cancer during the holidays

Make the Holidays a Little Easier

Sandra J. Victor, MD, radiation oncologist with OHC, Blogs, 0 comments
December 3, 2018


The holidays are often billed as the most wonderful time of the year. The season brings to mind delicious food, shopping, and parties. Of course, all the fun comes with a lot of stress – and that’s without adding cancer into the mix. Cancer patients can feel additional pressure to have fun and may experience guilt during the holidays for not being able to participate in holiday activities. Here are some simple tips to make the holidays a little easier.

For Patients

  • Be kind to yourself. Don’t worry about making the holidays just like every other year. Be thoughtful about your health and let someone else stay up late to make the sugar cookies this time around.
  • Take those shortcuts. Instead of going to a crowded mall and standing in line, shop online for gifts. Think about ordering in dinner or letting a friend host a holiday meal instead of spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions. It might be tempting to cheat just for a little while, but your health is still number one!
  • Don’t give in to guilt. You might not be able to do fancy vacations and big gifts you have in years past. That’s okay! Enjoy your family, friends, and loved ones.

For Caregivers

  • Be patient. The holidays can be tough, and patience is key. When things get a little crazy during this season, remember to take a deep breath and think about what’s really important.
  • You deserve kindness, too. It’s easy to remind yourself to be kind to others during the holidays – but remember to be kind to yourself, too. Your job isn’t easy.
  • Value every moment you have. The holidays are about being with family, friends, and loved ones. Recount favorite memories and take the time to create new ones.

For Friends

  • Reach out. Do you know someone with cancer? We know the holidays are busy for everyone, but it’s a perfect time to show you care. Offer to help prepare a dish, wrap gifts, or simply offer a listening ear. Even something as small as a card, a ride to the doctor, or even a thoughtful email can go a long way.
  • Include your friends with cancer. Even if they can’t attend, your friends with cancer like to be remembered, and it feels good to be included. It’s one of the best gifts you can give this holiday season.

For more ideas or information about cancer during the holidays, check with support organizations like Pink Ribbon Girls, your local chapter of the American Cancer Society, Cancer Family Care, Cancer Support Community and others. They are wonderful resources to help you, your family and friends cope with cancer.

OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) has been fighting cancer on the front lines for more than three decades. We are the region’s leading experts in the treatment of nearly every form of adult cancer and complex blood disorder. OHC offers the latest medical, gynecologic and radiation therapy, and is always seeking better treatment options through participation in clinical trials. OHC is certified by the American Society for Clinical Oncology in the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program, is an accredited Oncology Medical Home, and is one of only 179 practices nationally to be accepted into the Medicare Oncology Initiative. At its heart, our approach to cancer care is simple – to surround you with everything you need so you can focus on what matters most: beating cancer. For more information about services and careers at OHC, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit ohcare.com.


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