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The holidays are upon us ... along with all of the sentiments that get tied up with the season.
Some days you may feel joy, happiness and cheer, while other days you feel stress and pressure. As a cancer survivor, you may need to reduce stress, conserve energy and focus on more important things — your health.
I think we can all agree it's important to consider what the holiday season is all about. It should be about giving thanks, sending joy to others and connecting with family and friends.
The tradition of giving gifts is part of the season; however, remember that your greatest gift to others can be your spirit and presence.
Take time to reflect on the special gifts that you share with others — it might be your ability to make the best coffee, play music, bake, knit, quilt, paint or make others laugh. Sometimes very little is needed to create the perfect gift to others in your life.
One of my favorite gifts is a collection of family recipes that I started when I was a teenager. My mother gave me a box with a few of her favorite recipes in it and I've been collecting them ever since. When I get out this box and look through each card, I love the memories and thoughts that come to mind. Special recipes include my mom's chocolate sauce, my aunt's ginger cookies and my grandmother's oatmeal cake. I love to feel connected with family members and traditions in this special way.
Reflect on the last time you received a gift that was just perfect — what made it perfect? Many times, it's the thought that counts. Maybe someone gave you a little gift just when you needed a little boost of feeling special.
What gifts inspire you this holiday season? Feel free to share your favorites with each other on the blog. Follow me on Twitter at @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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The University of Washington has announced this week it will award Nolan Roquet with a well-deserved degree. Unfortunately, the dean-listed student with graduate school offers from Stanford and MIT isn’t alive today to accept it. Roquet died September 4, 2012 at the age of 24 after a nearly six-year battle with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Although Roquet was diagnosed the summer of his freshman year in 2006, The Seattle Times reported Roquet excelled as an engineering student, volunteered at a Ronald McDonald House for children hospitalized with life threatening illnesses, and tutored high school students for the SAT. Roquet was only a few credits from graduating before his death, prompting the Uuiversity to award a rarely given posthumous degree.Empirical recognizes the courageous life of Nolan Roquet in our first daily edition of Our Pacific Northwest: http://empiricalmag.blogspot.com/2013/01/our-pacific-northwest-nolan-roquet.html
This is for Lori. I know exactly what you mean. My family did the same to me this Christmas. I had just gotten a lobe taken out in Sept. but my family expected Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner. Plus gifts for all of them totalling 13 adults, teenagers, and kids. My gift from them was a $10 bottle of perfume. It made me wonder how I could have raised such a selfish bunch. But when anyone else needs help, they are the first to respond. This is my last Family Holiday. Happy New Year to All of You!!!
My father is a leukemia patient.My way of relishing time with him is to-value his intelligence,practical wisdom,which I neglected in the past-but which I appreciate now.We also go out together often for a cup of coffee and a snack to a club which he loves.
I love what you said about taking time and gifts when you are a survivor which I am. Unfortunately my family forgets that I need to take it easy and expects me to be the same and do the same around the holidays like it never happened or didn't effect me. I remind them and they remember for a second and then the same thing goes on. I was a little dissapointed and very tired after Christmas. It's not that i want anyone to feel sorry for me, it's that I can't do what I used to be able to do and I do realize what is important. I guess you don't know unless you've been there.
This year I was given the gift if life. In trying to find the source of all the inflammation in my body and abnormal lab work, I wassent to aan oncologist to rule out leukemia or lymphoma. In doing a CT scan, I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. On 12/19 I had a oartial nephrectomy of my left kidney. The diagnosis was confirmed as stage 2 renal cell carcinoma. If not for the pain I had been going thru, the cancer never would have been discovered before it spread. I thank God daily for this discovery and for all the wonderful information I got from the Mayo Clinic site which helped let me know what to expect and what questions to ask my doctor. Thank you so much for this site.
I have to agree with you. They are the simple things in life that truly make a difference. Spending time together and doing enjoyable things together are more important than expensive gifts. This Christmas give the gift of togetherness through prayer.
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