I debated with myself for days about doing this post. I try really hard not to complain a lot, although I’ve been told I have plenty to complain about. But I thought if I could write about my experience, maybe other folks won’t feel like they are going through this alone, and I’ll feel better getting some stuff off my chest.
So we’re headed into the holiday season, and like a lot of other folks, I consider myself pretty festive; I love eating too much at Thanksgiving, decorating, cooking and gift-wrapping. But this year there are a few other things happening. Since my (second) cancer diagnosis in July I have been handling issues both medical and financial on a daily basis. Not to mention dealing with myself as well; I have never been on more of a roller coaster ride with my physical feelings than with this diagnosis. One day you feel pretty good, the next you’re so exhausted you can barely walk across a room without wanting to lay down and take a nap. And the next day you’re feeling somewhere in between.
Needless to say, this doesn’t leave much room for things like Christmas shopping, spending time with friends and family, and going to holiday events around town. It’s not so much that I am depressed, because emotionally I feel fine. It’s just that I haven’t been able to dive into my usual holiday feels that I’ve always had in the past. And honestly, it’s kind of getting to me. I would love to go pick out our Christmas cards for this year (I’m pretty picky), but I’m sure I wouldn’t make it to the display without having to stop and sit down. A few things have been helping me through. I keep in mind that this stage of my illness isn’t going to last forever, and that helps a bit. I’m also grateful for having the important part of the holidays, family and loved ones. Recently I’ve been looking forward to get-togethers and debating about what to get for Mr. 5th Food Group – he is so hard to shop for.
I do want to say on a more positive note, that as we get closer to the holidays, my mood has definitely been lifting. I’ve even made a few holiday party plans that I am really looking forward to. I suppose this post is almost as much about dealing with holiday doldrums as it is a statement: you can overcome those feelings with a little personal determination and a little help from your friends.
Again, I hope I didn’t moan too much. I left out quite a bit for that purpose, and as I said, I just wanted to share my experience with others who might not be feeling all that jolly either. If you are currently dealing with any kind of chronic illness and have any tips on keeping those holiday spirits up, leave them in the comments below.