Managing Breast Cancer During The Holidays


Dr. Debra Barton offers tips for those affected by breast cancer and their families and friends.

While the holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends, the season can quickly go from joyful to stressful for women and men with breast cancer. Whether trying to juggle holiday responsibilities or struggling with social expectations when feeling anything but festive, you and your loved ones can find this time of year challenging and end up feeling overwhelmed, disconnected or depressed.

Confronting a serious illness or a change in health, even if things are going well, can change a person’s perspectives, priorities and energy level. Sometimes people just need a little more quiet thinking time. Other times, they need a little more companionship or closeness with those important to them. Whenever you go through truly challenging situations, even when things are looking up, you may experience losses along the way that can lead to a need to grieve. It is normal and healthy to grieve losses throughout life, and it is natural to feel disappointed and frustrated with unexpected turns and journeys.

Three key words to remember for both people diagnosed with cancer and their family/significant others are acceptance, communication, and flexibility. If you or someone close to you is going through or recently completed treatment, consider these tips for helping through the holidays.


Article and image courtesy of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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