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  • Writer's pictureColleen M. Doumeng

Coping and thriving during the holiday season~tips for cancer patients and caregivers

Make a simple plan and pace yourself.

Choose the activities that are most important and put those on your task list. Pace yourself to complete your list. Be mindful to schedule activities when you have the most energy.

My client J is a wife, mom, nurse on a medical leave, and a braveheart in the thick of cancer treatments. She shared that “once upon a time” she enjoyed decorating her home for the holidays. In the past, J had so much energy that the holiday decorations were done in one day! Not this year though. Her chemo infusions zap her energy levels leaving her feeling very tired and without "holiday spirit."

J identified that decorating the house was something very important to her and so it was up there on her task list. However, the thoughts of accomplishing it all in one day (as she had done in the past), was a source of stress. J also became aware of when she had the most energy during the days following her infusions. J chose to let go of getting all the decorations up in just one day. Instead, she set an intention to decorate in seven days. She also gave herself permission to rest throughout the experience.

I AM so happy to tell you that J "gleefully" shared that her revised pace, in combination with tuning into how she felt physically and emotionally, resulted in the house being decorated this year all the while undergoing chemotherapy!

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