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Finding Joy in the Holidays When You Have Cancer

joy in the holidays with cancer

Don’t Let Cancer Treatments Steal the Joy From Your Holidays

The holidays are here. With them comes pressure. The pressure to celebrate. The pressure to decorate. The pressure to cook and bake everyone’s traditional favorites. The pressure to be joyful, thankful, and grateful. The pressure to live up to expectations of past holidays.

But, when you have cancer, these and other expectations might not be realistic. The pressure to meet or exceed them can become overwhelming, causing a level of stress and anxiety that can ruin the holidays. Don’t let that happen.

If you or someone you care about is getting treatment for cancer, please read and share these tips from Cure Magazine for navigating the holidays during treatment. Life is too short to have a bad holiday.


  • Talk to your friends. Talk to your loved ones. Share your feelings and do so honestly. This is not a time to pretend everything is ok if it’s not. If you are sad, stressed, overwhelmed, or conflicted, say so.

Accept help.

  • People want to help. If they offer, say yes. If they ask for suggestions on how they can help, provide specific tasks or guidance. Especially during the holidays, giving help makes people feel good. By letting people help you, you are providing a gift to them in addition to easing some of your own burdens.

Practice mindfulness.

  • Try to learn ways to be present and enjoy each moment as it comes. By not focusing on the future or what things “should be,” you can find more fulfillment in each day.

Set priorities.

  • You might not be able to accomplish everything. Consider what is most important to you and to those around you.

Make lists.

  • Chemo brain and just feeling overwhelmed can make it difficult to remember or get organized. Make lists of tasks to accomplish in order of importance, and be sure to cross things off when they are complete—set expectations for yourself about what must and should get done.

Set limits.

  • Help your family members and friends understand how you feel so you can set limits on what you can and can’t do. Acting like everything is fine means you might be expected to do it all. This can lead to resentment and exhaustion, neither of which are good for you.

Don’t isolate yourself.

  • Surround yourself with others-on zoom, on the phone, or when it is safe, in person. Allow people to comfort you.

Stay positive.

There is no magic solution for getting through the holidays when you have cancer. Keeping some of these things in mind can help. Being mindful of your emotions and needs and sharing them with people you love can help everyone enjoy the holidays in a meaningful and less stressful way.

Send Helpful Cancer Gift Boxes

At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.


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