7 Tips to Get You Through the Holiday Season

This time last year I had received my bladder cancer diagnosis and was awaiting my Radical Cystectomy, scheduled for the 30th January. I had the whole holiday season to get through. As if a cancer diagnosis wasn't hard enough, I was also going to have to deal with all the festivities. The extra food shopping, the present buying, family parties etc etc. My energy levels were extremely low and I had little or no appetite. Preparation I was taught is always the key. So I decided to make lists, to get myself organised, plus I could tick each little victory off as I achieved it.
My 7 tips for surviving the holidays:

1. Medication 

Ensure you have enough of your prescribed medicines to see you through the holiday season. Remembering to order early and to take into account that doctors, surgeries and pharmacies are probably going to be closed for a few days over the season.

2. Gifts 

This can be stressful enough under normal circumstances, let alone when you are dealing with the affects that cancer brings. So either decide perhaps not to bother this year, family and friends WILL understand, or maybe purchase gift cards for their favorite outlet instead.  As remember it's not just the purchasing of gifts, remember to take into account the wrapping! When your energy levels are low, conserve it for something better, like taking a shower, blow drying your hair and maybe even putting on some make up.

3. Cleaning 

We all like our homes to be spic and span, but having cancer can cause us undue frustration at not being able to do what we were once able. Consider enlisting the help of the family, put together a list of tasks and assign family members to each task. If you are not able to do this, consider employing a cleaning agency to do a one off deep clean. These can be surprisingly  reasonable.

4. Food 

Consider doing your grocery shopping on line. This saves a lot of time, but more importantly ENERGY. The delivery drivers will normal even carry it into your home for you. Arrange a delivery time when others will be in the house, or perhaps a friend is round so they can help you put that shopping "haul" away.

5. Food preparation 

Food preparation and cooking- there are a few ways you can deal with this. If you are the one who everyone comes too, guests will normally ask can they bring anything or help in anyway. Say YES, this year. Maybe get each person to bring a different meal component. Someone makes the starter, someone else prepares the veg, let your culinary stars make delicious desserts. Even get the youngsters involved, setting and clearing the table, and maybe make a game out of drawing lots for who gets to do the dishes. If you are going to be alone or there is only a couple of you, consider buying ready prepared soups, vegetables and meals. You can get some surprisingly good ones nowadays.

6. Parties 

These can be overwhelming if you are not feeling well. Explain in advance to the party host that you may need to leave earlier. This saves any embarrassment on the day as you have already made your host aware in advance.

7. REST 

This along with having enough medication is probably the most important. Put your feet up and rest whenever you feel the need. You need to keep yourself well rested so you can enjoy each day of the festive season.

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