Holiday Madness

Well, it's that time of year again, for joy, presents, family, and QUESTIONS. To me, it doesn't matter if you are a caregiver or patient; expect the questions. They will be coming. This year has been rough for me, not physically, but mentally.

How the holidays have changed...

Before cancer, my holiday madness was getting all those presents on time and getting them wrapped. These days, I have that done way before I should. I do this so I can sit in front of my Christmas tree and stare at the beautiful lights and wrapped presents. It takes me back to a simpler time. It takes me back to the good old days when we didn't have to worry about bills, finances, travel, or cancer. Some nights I sleep in the living room so I can just experience this nostalgia for long periods of time. I'm so glad I didn't know then, what lay ahead for me.

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Our Christmas traditions

Christmas is all about the birth of Christ in this household. My daughter often gets gifts before Christmas Day, so when the actual day comes along, she appreciates what it really is about and doesn't just think "presents!" I may not be the most traditional parent, but I do want to raise a daughter that appreciates God and the fact He gave His only son so we could be forgiven of our sins. She has a pretty good understanding of this, which makes me a very proud mother.

So, in the spirit of tradition, she will wake up here Christmas morning, open a few things. We will then go to her father's where she still gets the majority of presents in one day. And finally, while it's still early, we make the 5 hour trip up to Atlanta to visit with our family and friends.

Spending time with family

This is the best part of Christmas, visiting loved ones. It's also the hardest part. Some get emotional when they see me, fearing it may be the last time.  Some drill me with questions. What many don't understand is that I want to forget I have cancer over the holidays. I want to forget this disease is trying to eat me from the inside out. It's a very daunting and hard feat to accomplish if you have everyone asking you multitudes of questions. And then, they give the pity stare. Some even cry. I know this is all done out of the goodness of their hearts, but there are some things we must all remember.

Yes, I was given a semi-expiration date which I still haven't reached. So, I know to hold my loved ones close, repeat those "I love you's", and make every moment count. Never go to bed mad. This is a crazy world and anything can happen to turn your's upside down in the blink of an eye. I could outlive everyone reading at this point. It's possible for you to walk out of the door and get hit by a drunk driver. I know, not the best subject for Christmas talk, but it's real and honest and I've always promised to be that.

Promises and hope

I promised my daughter 6 years ago that I would fight against all odds to remain here with her. And I have, against so many hurdles, continued to survive. I also said I couldn't promise her I would survive, but I would do everything in my power to survive. That is exactly what I'm doing. I'm taking life one day at a time and I'm not being a negative Nancy about it. I joke around and continue to have a sense of humor. That, and my writing, are just small examples of things to get me by. And basically, I am just getting by with these drugs. But it's worth every minute. What a wonderful mess we live in.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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