Here’s How the Thanksgiving Plans of Cancer Survivors and Caregivers Are Being Affected by Cancer and COVID-19


CURE® surveyed its audience to see if cancer and the COVID-19 virus are changing their Thanksgiving plans. Here’s what they had to say.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with it, comes family gatherings, long-distance travel, hearty meals and other traditions with loved ones that can sometimes be tricky for patients with cancer, survivors and their caregivers to navigate.

In a recent #CureConnect question, we asked the CURE® audience on social media, “Have Thanksgiving and the holiday season been impacted by cancer side effects and treatment? How have you had to change the way you celebrate?”

Keeping Traditions with Precautions

Quote from cancer caregiver, Debbie Legault: "Our family gatherings for holidays have been a closed circle for years (and as a result), we were able to be together (for the holidays). Cancer took so much but she still has this."

Cancer caregiver Debbie Legault shared her thoughts about holiday gatherings. "Cancer took so much, but she still has this."

“Our family gatherings for holidays have been a closed circle for years and because of proximity plus other family isolating prior to visits to protect her, we were able to be together. I know it would have broken her if we couldn’t. Cancer took so much but she still had this.” — Debbie Legault, a caregiver for her daughter who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 27 and CURE® contributor.

Caution with COVID-19

“Masking seems a thing of the past, which tells me to stay away from socializing until this monstrous virus is under control!” — Ron Cooper, a prostate cancer survivor and CURE® contributor.

“With COVID lurking, I don't want to (go to) places where there are large groups. In fact, I got anxious while we were sitting in a Golden Corral for Thanksgiving dinner!”—Chaurie V., a woman with stage 2 brain cancer.

“With people and businesses being ‘relaxed’ on mask protocol, I do not wish to be exposed to anything. All the medical facilities I visit now, no longer require masks of patients or staff.”— Diana L., a patient with breast cancer.

Scaling Down Celebrations

“I'm going to a friend's where it will just be three of us. I can't take a chance of getting sick and delaying surgery. Cancer has affected what and how much I can eat — less than a cup of food, in total. But I'll enjoy it.” — Perry L., a patient with GIST (a type of cancer that originates in the digestive system) and breast cancer.

“I won't be doing all the cooking, and our meal for two will be very simple. So, not too drastically.” — Becky J.

“No more large holiday gatherings.”- Mia S. and Sondra P., patients with breast cancer.

If you are not sure how to celebrate the holidays as a patient with cancer, you are not alone. Be sure to check out CURE®’s contributor page, which features blogs from other patients, survivors and caregivers.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.

Related Videos
Image of a woman with dark brown hair and round glasses wearing pearl earrings.
A man with a dark gray button-up shirt with glasses and cropped brown hair.
Woman with dark brown hair and pink lipstick wearing a light pink blouse with a light brown blazer. Patients should have conversations with their providers about treatments after receiving diagnoses.
Man in a navy suit with a purple tie. Dr. Saby George talks to CURE about how treatment with Opdivo could mitigate disparities in patients with kidney cancer.
Dr. Andrea Apolo in an interview with CURE
Dr. Kim in an interview with CURE