Going through Christmas and New Year when you have cancer can be a strange thing. It becomes more poignant, more emotional, more lovely, more sad, more everything… I know from first hand that heightened emotions that come from big occasions and family get-together can therefore become a little stressful and require a lot more planning. That’s why I wrote about attending any big occasion in my book, but with Christmas tomorrow (how is it here already) I thought I would share a couple of Top Tips that I found made Christmas easier…
1. THINK THE DAY THROUGH
In your mind, walk through the day so you can get your head around how the day is expected to play out. For example if you are visiting your parents for the day it may be something like:
- It’s a two-hour drive there and I will need to take painkillers during that time so I must have some water and fruit with me in the car
- I’ll wear something comfy in the car and change into my outfit when I get there so I need to pack my outfit
- We aren’t eating until 4pm but I will need a snack to take medication with at lunchtime so I will take some nuts for then
- I need to change plasters at 2pm but we will be having a pre-lunch walk then so I need to make sure I do it before we leave for our walk and take plasters with me.
- So on…
Doing this should help take out the element of surprise and make it less nerve-racking.
FABULOUS TIP – I find it easy to remember to take medication when I am at home but when I come out of my normal routine I easily forget. Set a reminder on your phone to make sure you don’t lose track of what you need to be taking and when.
2. YOUR HANDBAG
This will be your home away from home whilst at an event, but to save you walking around with a bag that is gong to break your shoulder, I would go for the cute little bag that holds your phone and the bits that you would normally take out with you and then a second bag for medical supplies, change of outfit, whatever it may be, that you can leave in the car / under the table for if and when you need it.
FABULOUS TIP – Take double the number of the essentials you need. If you know you will need two painkillers during the time period, take four. That way if you get caught in traffic or end up staying later than planned or anything like that, you know you’re covered.
3. YOUR OUTFIT
If you need to change bandages or plasters, make sure they are easily accessible in what you are wearing – or that you will be able to go somewhere and change when needed.
Have your outfit completely ready to go before-hand and that means everything – tights, fascinator, coat, underwear, wig, scarf, literally the whole outfit from top to bottom, including everything that you need in your handbag. Will save you panicking on the day because you can’t find the right denier tights.
4. KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE
Don’t feel like you have to be the last one to leave. Do as much as you can and when you start to feel like it is enough, tell your host that you are starting to feel unwell and have to leave.
I found tiredness would creep up on me and suddenly I would be beyond exhausted. Once I was at that point of exhaustion, I would be knocked out for the next few days and the pain would then be difficult to stay on top of, so it was always best for me to leave before that point.
5. LET IT GO
Having said that, we all need a blow out every now and then – especially when going through something like cancer, so don’t feel bad if you do get caught up in the moment and spend the next few days paying for it, just enjoy yourself, you definitely deserve it!