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Are you looking forward to the holidays? How will you celebrate?


With the holidays coming, are you looking forward to them or are they a challenging time for you?  What support do you need through this time?  What encouragement can you offer to others?  Are you doing something fun?  We would love to hear your thoughts and share tips, experiences and encouragement with each other.



  • My husband and I and our two adult sons just finished decorating the tree. I used to call it the winter solstice tree. Sometimes I say "We decorate our tree at Christmastime." So many traditions are pagan traditions, like the Yule Log. I love thinking of the winter solstice, all around the northern hemisphere that's happening, while they have summer solstice in the south.  It's a shared experience, part of the natural world. I love to say 'Sol Invictus' the unconquered sun.  Spring will come again. 
  • It's rather quiet around here, so let me tell you about 2016. I had my hysterectomy in mid-November that year. It took me longer to recover than I thought, (well, I was 60 years old).  However, I love the Christmas culture, so my husband and I still did our shopping for gifts and buying special grocery items. (We don't buy a lot of gifts.)  The trick is of course, don't try to do everything in 2 or 3 days. Do just a little bit of shopping at a time, a little bit of baking at a time. 
  • Hi @Elsie13
    Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts about your solstice tree.  How nice that your adult sons were there so you could all do it together!  Your caution around not doing too much all at once is also very wise :).  Will you be hosting people during the holidays or visiting others?
  • I am grateful I will be alive for Xmas this year. After my diagnosis on Dec 20, 2018. My oncologists almost lost me last February, so although it’s been a very tough year, I’m truly grateful I get to spend another Xmas with my 20 year old son. I wish you all a beautiful Christmas.
  • I will enjoy a quiet Christmas with my husband this year and a little time with his family. My family all seem blissfully unaware of my status and wanting to forget what I’m going through, and why not? It’s a heavy load to bear, eight years and still going. I have to remind myself to be happy they’re pursuing their own ongoing lives, even this perhaps last Christmas for me. Blissfully unaware. 
  • @Marilyn , For our family, things will be fairly quiet. On the 25th, it will be me, hubby and our two young men, (or me and the three wise guys!).
    @Camsmom AND @Jule_P, I often wonder what's the right approach, when a friend or relative has been quite ill.  Do I say "So what's happening now, what are the doctors saying?"  Or just say "How are you?"  and the person will fill in details if they wish?  (I suppose this could be a new topic???)
  • Oh, I definitely prefer it when people don’t ask me outright about my latest medical status.  I find it invasive and sometimes triggering especially if I’m trying to enjoy myself. I prefer when asked how I am, just like anyone else, and leave it at that. Great question!
  • Hi  @Camsmom
    What beautiful thoughts you have shared with us!  I can feel the depth of your gratitude through your words. After such a difficult year I hope you do have a wonderful Christmas with your son - I’m sure it will be memorable for both of you! 
  • Hi @Jule_P
    after reading your post about your family being blissfully unaware of your situation my question is “What is that like for you?”  Does anyone know about your concern regarding a recurrence or that you are worried this may be your last Christmas? If not, is this something you would discuss with someone close to you?
  • @Elsie13 @Jule_P @Camsmom
    you might want to check out the real time chat at 7pm (Manitoba time) tomorrow night with @Flowergirl
  • Jackie
    Jackie Peer Support Vol
    I'm always grateful at Christmas.and I appreciate all the small things that make this time of year so special. I will never forget Christmas in 2011, that was the year I was diagnosed with cancer and referred to the Tom Baker Centre. I had my surgery on December 13, just a couple of weeks before Christmas. I was finally released from the hospital on Christmas Eve. As I left with my family though the busy lobby, I remember feeling so happy that it was all over, I knew I had a long difficult journey ahead of me, but at least I had made it through my surgery and was going home to rest and celebrate my survival. 
  • Flowergirl
    Thank you all for sharing. The holiday time can be a challenge, especially when you are not feeling well. I've tried to keep up with some baking - it is a good distraction and can be made better when you have helpers. It is nice to share recipes and stories - put on some holiday music - sure helps to lift the mood. Plus, many hands make light work and time spent with family and friends is the best gift.
  • Hi @Jackie! I can only imagine how you felt going home on Christmas Eve. I’m sure it was a special moment and leads to your appreciation of all the small things. And that was 8 years ago!  Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us. What are some of the little things that are enjoying this year?
  • Hi @Flowergirl. I love Christmas music too!  Do you have a favourite?  I have to listen to Handel’s Messiah every year or White Christmas by Bing Crosbie - I am probably aging myself there 😄. White Christmas is also my favourite Christmas movie?

    @Elsie13 @Jule_P @Camsmom. @Jackie

    do you favorite music or a movie at this time of year?
  • Jackie
    Jackie Peer Support Vol
    edited December 2019

    My favorite Christmas movie is definitely the classic black and white version of A Christmas Carol. The British actor Alastair Sim plays Scrooge and it was made in 1951. The acting is fantastic plus I think the whole atmosphere of Victorian England is captured so well. Some film critics have pointed out that England was still recovering from World War II when this movie was being made and that the hardships of that time in history might also be reflected in some of what we see on screen. 

  • @Jackie. Yes I forgot about that one. It’s my second favorite 😄. The scene when he wakes up and starts laughing and jumping around is awesome. Love it !  Good choice 👌   
  • I was diagnosed March 2018 given so little hope of leaving the hospital. But I did 2-3 rounds of carboplatium/ taxol. Set had hysterectomy ementom removal. More carbon taxol . Jan 2019, three more tumours arose. Caylyx 6 sessions then radiation from July to August . Some reduction of the three Tom outs but more had showed up. Back on taxol again. That is my Ca journey but not my story. My family, colleagues and  dearest friends keep me going. This is likely my last Christmas but my outlook is wow I get another Christmas. I have gotten so much support from my marvellous husband. I told I have to have him all trained for when I am gone with my ancestors. Keeping traditions alive is what I wish. For those of you who may think it’s your last Christmas, tell them; they will be very glad to share the time. 
  • Hi @michellematthews135
    thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and such an encouraging and supportive message. I’m so glad that are enjoying the time you have with your family and looking forward to Christmas. I hope it is a wonderful and joyful time for all of you. 
  • Elsie13
    edited January 2020
    You have a wonderful outlook on life, @michellematthews135.  What did you all do to celebrate New Year? Michelle M.   @Jackie, @Marilyn, @Jule_P, @Camsmom.
    I made apple crumble and chocolate eclairs, and we went to bed at 12:15 AM.  Best Wishes to all for 2020!
  • Hi @Elsie13
    Happy New Year!  Loved the bluegrass music. Made me want to get up and step dance even though I have no idea how !

    I had a lovely New Years. Pyjama and movie day 😄 then watched the ball drop and went to bed. It was great!

    @michellematthews135 @Flowergirl @Jackie
    @Jule_P @Camsmom. Hope all of you have enjoyed the holidays. Let us know how you are doing ...