The Realities of Cancer and Covid During The Holidays

Dec 18, 2020
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The 2020 holidays have been and will continue to be difficult for all of us. Not being able to travel, see our loved ones, or do many of our favorite traditions is going to be strange.

The Realities of Cancer and Covid During The Holidays

The 2020 holidays have been and will continue to be difficult for all of us. Not being able to travel, see our loved ones, or do many of our favorite traditions is going to be strange. While it might be hard, it might be incredibly beneficial for everyone going through and living with a cancer diagnosis.

Hello, warriors, friends, and dear readers! We know the holiday season can be incredibly difficult for you and for many reasons. While going through your cancer treatments you begin to ask those dark lurking questions; how will this affect my family? How long do I have left? Am I going to beat this? When the holidays come around, these questions tend to get a little darker; what will the holidays be like after I'm gone? Is this my last Christmas? How many more holidays do I have left? While we will try to do everything we can to help comfort and support you on this difficult journey, we also know that sometimes even the most comforting words and actions can't touch those dark places and dark thoughts. However, that doesn't mean we are going to stop our positivity and hope that we want to share with you anytime soon. This blog is going to be a few different things; something to help cheer you up, give you some hope, provide some insight to your loved ones and our readers, and to give everyone a little perspective. We've now all heard it one too many times, that this year is going to be different from all the rest. Through all the difficulties this year has given us, and the fact that this will be hard to spend the holidays apart, this might be something good for all of our warriors going through their treatments, diagnosis, and those living in their survivorship. 

The holidays without cancer are already hard difficult; you're constantly running around, shopping, worrying about seeing everyone, making plans, cooking, attending all the holiday events, and trying to make everyone happy. The holidays with cancer are even more difficult. Its all of your normal holiday stress combined with always being tired, feeling sick, having to say no to things and dealing with the guilt that comes with that, being sick, not being able to taste or eat your favorite foods, not being able to participate in your favorite activities, and more. It's a lot, and when your family and friends outside of your close and supportive care group and team don't quite understand this, it makes it even more difficult. We don't need to go into any more detail, because you already understand this. You're living this right now and you've been going through it ever since you were diagnosed. However, this year might be a little different

A Holiday To Pause

For the past nine months our lives, what's safe, and how we are living has all changed. For our warriors and those in survivorship and remission, you've had to be extra safe, as have your immediate members of your bubble and everyone who lives with you. You are making even fewer trips outside of your house, you could be working from home, seeing a very limited amount of people, you may have been going into doctors appointments and treatments alone, faced canceled and rescheduled doctors appointments, spent a lot of time on Zoom, and more. Now that the holidays are here and the pandemic numbers haven't improved but have instead continued to grow, everyone is starting to see changes. Our favorite Christmas gatherings have been canceled or made virtual, large gatherings are still not recommended, traveling is still not recommended, and it is still recommended that you limit your exposure and stay home as much as possible. While this is devastating for so many, this is something that needs to be observed by our warriors and their families.

While choosing to be healthy and staying healthy, you are also protecting others by limiting your exposure. You can take the opportunity of not being able to gather and travel this year to rest and enjoy the holidays how you choose instead of stressing yourself out. You can slow down and create new traditions with your loved ones inside your bubble and create unique ones with all the family you'll be seeing virtually this year. If your treatments are difficult over the holidays and you're sick, feeling ill, or are exhausted you don't have to make up any excuses or feel bad about not being able to attend a holiday function. As difficult as the holidays are, as difficult as this year has been, take this time to rest, recover, fight, heal, and keep yourself safe while the world is on pause. We do urge you to remember this: please understand to be even more conscious for our warriors who don't have the immune system or strength to battle off what we are all trying to fight off and avoid. Remember, they are already fighting a battle. Don't give them another one to fight. 

Remember, Please

To our dear care teams and family members who make up the family bubbles for all of our warriors, we know this time of year is difficult for you as well, and that 2020 has not made that any easier. Please continue to be safe and to practice all of your safety measures because this isn't just for you. You're doing all of this and being safe for them and everyone else you see this holiday season. Even if it is difficult to say no and you choose to celebrate safely this year, that is the best gift you can give to everyone. With that on your mind, we also wanted to share a few more ideas on how to help your loved ones going through this holiday. We also wanted to share some ideas and tips for our warriors to remember, too! 

  • Remember to set goals that are realistic for you and your loved ones to reach and for this current situation. The holidays won't be perfect, but you still have a holiday to share. 
  • Finances have already been difficult this year. Set an actual and reasonable budget and stick to it. Taking financial stress off of your loved ones right now is very important and needed. Minimize what they have to worry about right now. 
  • Instead of buying a bunch of expensive gifts, change it up this year. Do a secret Santa, do homemade gifts, donate to a cancer organization or food bank, be honest with your loved ones about what you financially need, and let them help you. Don't stress about giving, stress about being there, and loving one another. 
  • Without big gatherings and parties to worry about, create holiday menus full of food that your loved ones going through treatment can eat and enjoy without any difficulties. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. Make sure that if you need anything, that you ask for it. 
  • Find creative ways together to create special moments and a creative new fun and meaningful traditions. 
  • Continue to be open with one another about what you need mentally and physically. 
  • Continue to celebrate every triumph together big and small, and to cheer one another on through the hard days. 
  • With the ongoing and unknown future of cold weather and how that will affect cases, be prepared for your appointments to be changed and moved around for your safety. 
  • Be prepared. Avoid going out as much as possible. Have enough over the counter and prescription medications to last a month just in case, and stock up on all supplies and food in your home as well. 
  • Medications might be prescribed to help in between treatment appointments, as they might be spread out even more than they have been. 
  • Create a backup emergency contact list just in case. Include a few more names in different circles than you normally would. 


We know this time of year is difficult. We know this blog might come off a little strangely, but we are searching for and highlighting all the silver linings that we can find. We are here for you, fighting for you, and very much in this boat with you this holiday season. If anything, please remember these things when walking away from the blog today: 

  • Know and understand your risk
  • Choosing to stay apart is choosing to be safe and choosing your loved one's safety
  • Keep in communication with your loved ones. A virtual relationship might be strange, but they need it as much as they need you. 
  • If you are celebrating the holidays together this year, wear masks, keep your visits short, maintain social distance, and consider bringing your own food to avoid contact with others. 
  • Don't try to make the holidays any more than what they need to be for your family or children. They are just happy to have you during the holidays. 

Through the difficulties of this year, your battle with breast cancer and remission, the holidays, the pandemic, and everything in between, we are here. We are here to help comfort, help with your healing, and help you feel better in as many ways as possible. Keep searing for your silver linings and let's carry them into the new year!