Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Coping With Cancer During the Holidays

Holidays are traditionally viewed as a time to celebrate. However, sometimes people with cancer and their loved ones feel “out of step” from the rest of the world during the holidays. In fact, the holiday season can prompt new questions, such as: How do I take care of the holiday rush and myself at the same time? How can I celebrate when I have so many other things on my mind? What will my life be like next year? Sharing your concerns with the people you love and who love you can help you feel more connected.

Five Ideas for Maintaining Holiday Cheer

In previous years, you may have been the one to do most of the holiday decorating, shopping, cooking, baking, and entertaining. This year, you might need to scale back your activities so you can focus on the one or two holiday traditions that matter the most. 

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Holiday Eating Tips

We all have wonderful food memories associated with the holidays. Maybe it is a favorite dish made by a loved one or a special memory of decorating cookies with your grandchildren. But during cancer treatment, visions of sugar plums may bring anxiety. When you are having trouble eating or keeping food down, the thought of holiday gatherings and meals can fill you with dread.

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Handling a Serious Illness During the Holidays

Even the jolliest of traditions lose their luster when you’re worried about your health care needs or those of someone you love.

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Helping Kids Cope

Holidays are times of excitement, tradition, and family togetherness. When a family must also face cancer during those times, the hectic but expected routine of these special days and occasions may well be challenged or changed.