As I remember from my navigating days, the breast clinics and chemo rooms got rather empty from before the holidays until a week or two into the new year.
It was, as if, most patients said, “I need a time out from breast cancer. I need a time to get away from talking about and thinking about breast cancer. I need to have a time when no one is examining me; a time to be free of being poked and stuck. I need a time not be nauseous and exhausted. I need just a little while to do things I enjoy, no matter how small with out feeling sick, or angry or sad.”
Many people don’t know what to say or do for a friend or loved one going through breast cancer treatment. This awkward feeling is almost always compound during the Christmas season. if you are the patient, make it easier on them by telling them how you feel and what would make you feel good during the holidays.
The best gift to receive during the holidays is the gift of sharing time with loved ones.
As a patient, let friends a family know you would enjoy the normalizing gift of a cancer time out by doing something you enjoy that will not be taxing when you have limited energy. Going to a movie, taking a ride to see the Christmas decorations around town, visiting with friends, or just playing a board game together might just be what is needed to lift your spirits.
If you are the friend or family member, ask about doing somethings that would make the holiday seem more festive. In addition to what is mentioned above, ask if you can come over and bake cookies, trim the tree or decorate the house and help with wrapping gifts. Offer to just be with the person and do whatever they feel up to doing.