Did you know there is no nationally recognized cancer for the month of December? Wondering why not?
Maybe they just ran out of cancers? Nope. There are over 450 types of cancers.
Or, is it because patients and families can take a break from facing their cancer during the holidays? Unfortunately, no. Cancer doesn't take a month off. If anything, this can be one of the hardest time of the year for patients, caregivers, and their families.
So this December let's recognize everyone who has been affected by cancer, whether they are a patient, caregiver, or friend or family of a patient. Let's remember all those who have previously passed and the lasting memories we have with them.
To do this, we ask you to reflect and put yourself into the shoes of others...
This time of year a cancer patient is rushing to and from doctor appointments and treatments, trying to squeeze in the time to go holiday shopping and attend parties. And of course, finding as much time as possible to spend with their family and friends. Through all this, they experience a ton of (sometimes conflicting) emotions. They are physically exhausted, tired from the festivities and treatment(TREET-MINT) — Techniques to help eliminate or control a disease, and must decide where to spend their limited energy.
If you are a patient yourself, remember you don't have to do everything—just do what you want and can. And remember you’re allowed to:
- Say “No”
- Take a nap
- Enjoy yourself
- Make memories
- Smile, laugh and cry (because it’s not the holidays until someone cries)
What can you do to help bring joy and happiness to a patient this holiday season?
Like patients, their caregivers are also on an emotional rollercoaster. They continue to join their loved ones at appointments and treatments, but they also must fit in their normal holiday routine. All the while, in the back of their head, some may be wondering if this could be the last holiday they spend with their loved one.
What can you do to give a caregiver a break—a moment to breathe—this holiday season?
Friends and family of patients who have died look back and remember the ones they have lost. They recall the happy memories of the person, but also the pain of losing them. They miss them dearly as they continue on with their holiday traditions with an empty seat at the table.
What can you do to help a family celebrate the life of a passed loved one this holiday?
Finally, while the holiday season can be very hard for patients, caregivers, and their families, it can also be one of the most memorable times of the year.