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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas and Cancer

Two words that should never be in the same sentence... but they are, for too many of our loved ones.

Celebrating Christmas with cancer, there is no right (or wrong) way.

Every cancer journey is completely personal. Some are very private and others very open.

Mom was willing to share her story because she wanted her pain to matter. And I know she prayed it might be of help to other pancreatic cancer patients.

She was also very practical and she faced that first Christmas with a grim determination and a huge dose of grace.  With a prognosis of 3-6 months, we all knew this might be her last Christmas with us... and how exactly do you celebrate that kind of Christmas??  

Too much pressure in the midst of excruciating and nauseating treatments... celebrating anything wasn't really in the cards.

Maybe you are feeling the same.  Or perhaps you have a loved one just diagnosed.

It can be incredibly hard to get into the Christmas spirit.

If mom could, I know she'd want to offer a bit of advice.  A way through the minefield of expectations and parties and years of family traditions... a bit of grace to lighten your load.

To begin she would tell you to give yourself permission... permission to put  yourself first.

Know, and then honor, your limits.  This year might mean limiting your list.  Choosing to prioritize one or two things that are especially meaningful to you and then let go of the rest.

Someone once told her to cut her list in half, and then cut it in half again. Excellent advice!

The best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones is time spent well with them.  It is the gift of presence.  And it means the world to the ones who love you.

May this Christmas bring moments of unexpected graces and quiet joys to see you through even the hardest days.

My Love, Always,

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