The treatment of cancer goes on every day of the year. Some patients find themselves in treatment during the holidays, at a time many patients and caregivers are already overwhelmed. The staff of Turville Bay Radiation Oncology Center offer this advice for patients and caregivers during this time of year.
Take Care of You
Self-care is a priority, and never more so than during illness. Eating healthy food is the first step. “An important second step is exercise, it reduces stress and boosts your mood,” says Dr. James Richardson. Getting outdoors and breathing fresh air is helpful. Meditation and yoga practice can reduce stress instantly.
It’s Ok to Say No
“Recognizing the signs of “too much” helps ward off the fatigue the holidays can bring,” says Dr. June Kim, Radiation Oncologist at Turville Bay. Knowing yourself and your limits is important when you are fighting an illness like cancer.
Live in Gratitude
Cancer can turn our thoughts inward. “But, living a life of gratitude can help you emotionally. Look for the good each day,” says Barb Thiermann, Cancer Center Administrator of Turville Bay, and a cancer survivor herself. Barb found that staying focused on the positives and living fully each day lifted her spirits. “Make it your mission to accept and relish those moments of joy.”
Support Is Here
Talking things over with the staff at Turville Bay can help. “Because we see our patients every day we become part of each other’s world,” says Radiation Oncology Manager Kim Bangert. “We also encourage visits to Gilda’s Club. Patients often tell us how wonderful it is to listen and also share with others. A visit to Gilda’s is a gift you give yourself.”
The Gift of Time
Shopping can be exhausting. And to many of the patients we serve, the best gifts they give and receive are gifts of time. One patient began cooking meals together with friends. Another joined a neighbor for tea. A final thought from Barb, “Time with those you care about has the most meaning and involves little or no shopping, and the memories are priceless.”