Bonnie Annis is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2014 with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer/blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
The holiday season is upon us. For the person with cancer, this can be a daunting time. One cancer survivor shares a few tips and tricks for surviving and thriving this unique holiday season.
This year’s holiday season will definitely be different for many as we continue to push through the COVID-19 pandemic. Feelings of stress and isolation have caused us to react differently to public gatherings, even though gathering with friends and family is usually a time of celebration. Most of us would agree we need social interaction, but with the continued spread of COVID-19, modifications will be necessary through the end of the year and more than likely into next year’s season.
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention published guidelines for holiday celebrations and small gatherings. In that publication, recommendations were made to provide a safer environment for all. Larger gatherings, according to the article, provided more opportunities for COVID-19 transmissions. In order to reduce risks, the CDC felt it best to limit the size of gatherings to members of one household. For larger groups, they asked people to continue with social distancing and the wearing of face masks. At risk individuals, like those undergoing treatment for severe illnesses such as cancer, were advised against attending in-person gatherings.
As I read the information, I was prompted to write a few helpful tips of my own. My tips focus more on individuals currently in treatment for cancer, or for those who’ve recently completed treatment, such as my experience.
Everyone looks forward to the day things return to normal, but for now, virtual holidays may be the safest way to celebrate and thankfully, we have that option. Technology has become so advanced it’s the next best thing to being there.