Cancer patients: 5 ways to maintain holiday cheer

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The holidays can be difficult when you or a loved one is undergoing cancer treatment. But while your usual traditions may be interrupted, the holiday spirit can still be found.

We asked several survivors how they coped with cancer during the holidays and what advice they had for patients undergoing treatment during the holidays.

Here's what they had to say.

 Focus on what makes you happiest about the holidays
"Life has changed, and every holiday provides me with a deeper appreciation for being given another year. Cancer hasn't changed the way I celebrate holidays, but it makes being around family and friends much more special.

Find what makes you the happiest about the holidays and nourish it, feed it, water it. And then watch it grow, empower and inspire." 
Justin Ozuna, chronic myeloid leukemia survivor

Find a way to make the holidays work for you and your family

"The year following my cancer treatment, I made a conscious effort to be done with the hustle and bustle of the holidays early, allowing me to enjoy what's important and not stress over the tiny details that I thought would make the holiday perfect. At that point, perfection came from not being sick. So my advice is to find a way to make it work for you and your family. Do what makes you feels good."
Linda Ryan, cervical cancer survivor  

Help those in need

"The best part of the holidays has been engaging in service -- that is, the opportunity to give back to others who are less fortunate and in need. Including my children in these service efforts has been very rewarding for them and allows us to come together as a family and celebrate while also giving to others."
Andrew Davison, lung cancer survivor

Find something to be grateful for

"I find that I am continually more grateful and appreciative for things that at one time seemed completely expected or at least totally ordinary to me.


Stay in gratitude. That sounds pretty simple. But it really works. Every day, for every one of us, there is something -- something really specific -- we can be grateful for. We just have to take the time to recognize that. And, know and really believe that things will get better."  
Marcy Kurtz, breast and uterine cancer survivor


Focus on who you're with, not where you are
"The holidays are truly is the most wonderful time of year. Spending time with family and friends, reminiscing and enjoying time together is what I cherish. Wherever you celebrate, always remember it's who you're with that really matters, not where you are."
Lainie Jones, five-time cancer survivor

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