I was diagnosed with cancer on December 19th (also my youngest son's birthday) and had my surgery for breast cancer on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, "cancer has its own calendar". So I understand the additional stress and depression that affects cancer patients and their families on top of the normal holiday blues. Below are a few suggestions from a Chapter entitled How to Support a Loved One With Cancer, from my newest book, Cancer Has Its Privileges: Stories of Hope & Laughter, will help your loved one with cancer have a wonderful holiday season --- one that shall forever remain etched in their memories as one of their best...
Cancer at Christmas...Could the Timing Be Any Worse?
Plan to do something for the patient to acknowledge the holidays despite their protests to the contrary. Bring over a small tree, a wreath for the door, decorations for hospital rooms or homes. Help address and mail holiday greeting cards, and the biggest gift of all? Take the decorations down after the holiday season comes to an end!
Create Holiday Cheer at the Hospital for Your Loved Ones
Facing surgery during the holidays can be very depressing for the entire family. Organize a "comfort party" at the hospital or home, complete with carolers and holiday treats. Bring food and beverages along with a holiday guest book for visitors to sign.
Cooking for Comfort and Holiday Cheer
The thought of cooking a holiday meal at the end of the day after having treatments can send even the most positive cancer patient into a downward spiral. Bring a holiday feast, complete with a holiday tablecloth and napkins. Come bake cookies for the day and let the aroma of freshly baked treats fill the house with the smells of the season.
Create a Concert for the Heart
Music can help relax any cancer patient and help take their mind off upcoming treatments or surgery. Post operation, it can soothe anxieties and help patients fall asleep. Bring over some holiday music or arrange for a musician to come play the piano, guitar or just sing carols for the cancer patient. The patient will appreciate the gesture and may even hum or sing along!
Christine Clifford, CSP, is the author of four books including Not Now...I'm Having a No Hair Day! And Our Family Has Cancer, Too!, written especially for children. Her company, The Cancer Club, offers over forty holiday gift items for cancer patients including books, videotapes, audio cassettes, PC Software, custom jewelry, t-shirts, ornaments, posters, etc. Visit The Cancer Club or order Christine's books at: www.cancerclub.com
Don't forget to laugh! TM
Warm regards, Christine