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Coping at Christmas

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

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Christmas is traditionally a time where all the family come together and celebrate. If you have a blood cancer however, this can sometimes make things difficult.

For example, you may tire more easily or, perhaps you feel pressure to overindulge even though you have lost your appetite, and be expected to join in with all the festivities even though you might not feel up to it.

Tucking into the turkey

Christmas is a time to tuck into some turkey or devour a delicious nut roast. But, if you’re experiencing loss of appetite as a side effect of treatment, feeling nauseous, or have a painful mouth it can be difficult. Here are a few of the things you can do to make the main event a little less daunting.

Feeling festive

Christmas is a busy time for everyone. But don’t feel embarrassed if you need to take a nap or have a rest for an hour or so on your own. Explain to family and friends how you are feeling and try not to pack too many activities into the Christmas period.

For many people, Christmas and the New Year period is a time to reflect on the year you’ve had. This can be upsetting and overwhelming for blood cancer patients as the year may not have been what you’d hoped for. Talking about how you feel with people around you can help with this or, our CARE Line is available 24/7, even on Christmas Day if you’d like to talk.

Prep and Plan

As a blood cancer patient, your medical team will be on hand when you need them, however, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for the festive season.

All wrapped up

The stress of shopping for Christmas gifts can be overwhelming if you’re not feeling well or if you are tired.  Why not shop online for gifts for your loved ones, or alternatively, ask a friend to help you with your shopping?

A blood cancer diagnosis can also put financial pressure on a family. As Christmas can be such an expensive time, why not agree on a budget with friends and family of how much you will spend on each other? Instead, why not organise your own Secret Santa and pick a name out of the hat to buy for this year?

Overall, Christmas for many people is a great time of year but remember to be patient with yourself and try to only do as much as you can manage.

If you’d like to speak to someone over the Christmas period, then our CARE Line is available to you 24/7 and whenever you need it, simply call 08088 010 444.

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