a sad snowman has tears dripping down its face

Christmas Cancer

It’s been said the once someone gets cancer, the whole family gets it. Truer words were never spoken. I guess in my case, I was fortunate enough to be diagnosed in January, so it gave my family a full year to adjust to the fact that I was sick, so when that first Christmas came around the mood wasn’t too somber. But there was a different feel in the air.

I was thankful that I was able to celebrate

From my point of view, the holidays presented a completely different perspective. I was so much more thankful that I was able to celebrate with my kids and grandkids, but I really wasn’t sure if this would be the last one. As positive as the medical professional were that I’d be around for many more, there was always the nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t be so lucky. We didn’t ignore the fact that the cancer was there, but we tried not to dwell on it all that much. I became very emotional when I spoke at the dinner table. Seeing the faces of the people I loved more than anything in the world all together was a mixed blessing. I was thankful they were all there, but I was also terrified that I wouldn’t be seeing them for much longer. It sounds irrational, but cancer does that to you.

A noticeable change in my kids

Leading up to the holidays there was a noticeable change in my kids. My daughter was terrified; she pulled back, and I had very little contact with her. My son was also scared but was reticent about getting too close to me. I understood their feelings, but it still hurt. But when it came time for us to gather for Christmas, we pulled together. My grandkids made it easier, too; they were too young to understand what was happening, and their joy and excitement about Santa and presents took the edge off the situation.

Trying to put a positive spin on the situation

I tried my best to put a positive spin on the situation telling the family I had no intention of going anywhere and that I would not allow my cancer to interfere with our lives. When all was said and done, we “got through” that first Christmas, and there have been seven since, each better than the last.

Looking back on all those years, I would have to say having my family that close to me through the ups and downs, especially over the holidays, was crucial in my battle. A battle that I have won and continue to win. Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.

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