Living with cancer blog

Inspiration for the holidays

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. December 20, 2012

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.


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Dec. 20, 2012