Holiday Words of Inspiration from Cancer Survivors

Dealing with cancer is never easy, but it can be even more difficult during the holidays. Here, some members of the online community WhatNext, developed with the participation of the American Cancer Society, share some of the insights that are helping them enjoy this time of year as they also face cancer.

  • “Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and we host a big family dinner including all my in- laws. This year it will just be our immediate family and no stress. I have completed my shopping and the gifts are wrapped and the tree will be going up the day after Thanksgiving, if I feel up to it. That's my motto, if I feel up to it.” -- Veronica (VeronVeronica), pancreatic cancer
  • “Try a new recipe and bring it to someone who needs a little love. This experience has taught me the best way for me to heal has been (is) to help someone else.” --Lynne McFarland (Paprika), breast cancer
  • “ENJOY the holidays as much as you can. Be with family and friends who support you and understand that if you have to skip the holiday meal because you need a nap, that is ok. You may have to forgo some old traditions and make some new ones depending on how you’re feeling. Smile...and count your are ALIVE!” --Lisa Lathrop (LisaLathrop), Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • “I think of 5 things I am thankful for. It sets my day in a positive direction.” -- Kokopelli1229, cervical cancer
  • “In the past year since diagnosis, have learned that time spent with loved ones is irreplaceable, and I plan on enjoying being with them.” --Patsy (Packerbacker), head &neck/throat cancer
  • “I think that cancer is a good excuse to back away from the commercialized Christmas and really give thanks for what you have, your life and your friends and supporters. Start new traditions that celebrate the things that matter most in your life.” -- Phillip Roll (Peroll), colon cancer
  • “I think many people build an image in their heads of what their ideal holiday should be, and they have unwritten rules for what it takes to have a good holiday compared to everyone else. … Mostly these rules are written by other people and have nothing to do with the things we really value… My advice is to break the rules and make your own holiday every day you're alive.” -- FreeBird, pancreatic cancer

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

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