Hi All, how are people feeling about the 2022 festive season.
We had a similar thread last year which, if you want to, you can look at on this link.
How are people feeling during this festive season? - General chat - Blood Cancer UK Forum.
I am purposely not looking at it as I want to focus on my thoughts and feelings now, so apologies in advance for any repetition.
Firstly, I realise that this time of year brings up so many varying thoughts and feelings. There is no right or wrong responses on this thread.
My thoughts and feelings are a mixture, right now there is a sort of anger inside of me about the media hype and images of happy families celebrating the festive season.
Don’t they realise that Covid numbers appear to be increasing, what about the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable?
I was diagnosed just before Christmas in 2003 and all those myriads of shock, fear, disbelief and a feeling of being in a bubble with everyone around me celebrating come flooding back.
Now I sort of celebrate my Cancerversary. with spoiling myself foodwise, but I am aware of being withdrawn and thoughtful. Firstly, there are great feelings of gratitude that my life is good today and how it has changed my life, I have learnt to manage my symptoms and it has given me the opportunity to review my life and what I want out of it and with whom. I have learnt to say ‘No’.
Then there are feelings of ‘survivor guilt’ and I remember the beautiful, special people I have lost to their blood cancers over the years.
My husband and I will be spending the festive season here, only seeing our son, and not with my husband’s family as we always used to pre Covid, it is not worth the risk personally. There are feelings of isolation, loneliness and sadness for me.
I await others thoughts and feelings.
Hi All, how are people feeling about the 2022 festive season.
Hello @Erica. Thank you so much for introducing this topic and for your openness and honesty. I identify with so much of what you have written. In some ways I am finding this Christmas harder than last year. If I remember rightly we were still experiencing some restrictions and somehow this made it a bit easier for those of us who continued to shield. For example, the in person Carol service at my church last year had to be cancelled due to many people having Covid, whereas this year there is great excitement that it is going ahead after such a long time. Obviously I am pleased for everyone, and it will be live-streamed for people like me, but it emphasises yet again how I am missing out. As the world returns to some sort of normality this Christmas, it gets harder for those of us who can’t take the risk. Also, personally it will be the first Christmas that my dear mother won’t be in her own home. Somehow I hope to visit her in the Care Home but if I am honest I will be glad when it’s over. I agree, Erica, the media presenting an image of happy families getting together and all the constant adverts for party food etc, really doesn’t help! I take comfort from the fact there must be lots of people feeling like we are. It makes me feel sad and increases the sense of isolation, as if we have been forgotten. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Warm wishes. Willow X
Hello @Erica @Willow this is the time of year I get to relax with nothing happening at work. But it’s the food that I really love (and my wife obviously). I like being at home being able to do what I want and not have to worry what others think. I’ll get see friends before the break and again after the new year.
I was only diagnosed in January so it’ll be the first Xmas having cancer and though I will feel tired and worn out I’ll still like it that Anne (wife) and I will be in the kitchen (and garden too for me as the turkey will be in the smoker) together preparing a feast for the holiday.
You word it so well @Willow the divide between them and us is so much wider this year, the world gone back to nearly how it was and we are still isolating watching the Covid numbers rising again.
You also have the first year of your dear mother being in a care home, I hope you find a way to visit her.
I also have a sister in law in residential care this year and rapidly deteriorating from Motor Neuron Disease who we would also like to visit.
At least we have our forum to support us and I will be about over all the holiday period posting. xx
Oooohh @Adw265 cooking your turkey in the smoker sounds lovely.
You and Anne really are a team.
I always overeat during the festive period and spend January on a diet!!!
Cadbury’s Heroes are my weakness.
@Erica I’m more of a Savoury person although I do like desserts. We’re planning to have trifle, carrot cake and key lime pie.
Those deserts sound absolutely yummy @Adw265
I always have mixed feelings about Christmas. I hate that itcalways seems to start in September in the shops and the over commercialisation and vast spending on Xmas gifts etc (Am I too Scrooge-like?). I’d rather keep the celebrations to a few days around Xmas and make them special. I enjoy the carol singing, but have held back from carol concerts because I have had a dry cough and dont want to make it worse by catching one of the many bugs that are circulating at the moment. I also enjoy the Xmas lights.
This year will be a little more complicated because my husband has confessed to being an alcoholic. I have now hidden the two bottles of M&S Mulled wine in my wardrobe (he wont go looking there).
It is a now a year since I first learnt that I have paraproteins in my blood. I am awaiting blood tests results for Immunoglobulins. I saw my GP about bad indigestion and poo problems last week and he added that test to the others.
I am angry that the clinically vulnerable as a group have largely forgotten.
Hi @helenfwallace I am not surprised that you have mixed feelings about Christmas, yes, you are so right that it starts in September.
It is also, as you say, been made more complicated as your husband has confessed to being an alcoholic, that is a very big step for both of you and thank you for having the courage to share it with us.
If your husband feels that he would like to give up alcohol then his GP might be his first place to go. If he feels that he would like to go to a local support group then Alcoholics Anonymous is there for him Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain (alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk).
If you feel that you might like a support group Al-Anon is there for you Al-Anon Family Groups.
Look after yourselves and please let us know how your bad indigestion and poo problems tests goes.
Thanks for posting and please keep posting.
Thanks Erica for your suggestions - I am a little lost, very much appreciated .
Last year at Xmas was a strange time…i felt i was in a bubble with all around me life went on.
Now i now what is going on and what i can do i intend to enjoy Xmas …doing some traditional stuff at Markets and Churches
I do like Xmas…i have two weeks off work and cannot wait.
Sending my best wishes to everyone on here …i know i am luckier than many.
Hi @helenfwallace I expect you do feel very lost and loads of other thoughts and emotions, but you are never alone on our forum we are always here for you.
Be kind to yourself
Hi @Willow @Adw265 @helenfwallace @Leefer, I having been thinking (whilst cleaning the bathroom) and I think that there is also a coming together of other issues making me feel stressed, fearful, scared and anxious this year
The soaring fuel/utility prices as I am very aware that I have definitely felt the cold more since my diagnosis. It is so difficult if I am still isolating at home and using the heating and all utilities more and the unknown higher winter bills that will arrive soon, I find it really stressful.
The enormous rising costs of food items and my weekly shop. I need to have a nutritious diet and the odd treat, especially if I am isolating at home.
The rising costs of getting to medical appointments.
All services and items will be going up in cost in the new year.
I find financial insecurities so, so stressful and again the media isn’t helping.
Yes its a hard time.
One of the reasons why i carry on working.
I was always cold as a kid and hate it…as a young man i slept rough for many months and ended up in the Salvation Army Hostel for a year
I was brought up in Care and when i left i had no direction or any idea.
So another reason why i hate the cold
No one should be cold …i know someone who has a child who needs electricity and warmth 24/7 because he has a special bed to keep him alive
Its very tough for a lot of people…especially the ill and old
I count my blessings i have a great family and feel so bad for thosevwho live alone with an illness like ours
Thank you @Leefer for your understanding of those of us who live alone. It sounds like you have been through an awful lot in your life. I am pleased things have improved for you these days. Unfortunately some of us aren’t able to work for various reasons which, of course, adds to the financial concerns that @Erica has mentioned. Thank you @Erica for bravely expressing how you are feeling. It helps to know we are not alone and that this time of year raises lots of issues that people who don’t have blood cancer might not fully understand or consider. Warm wishes. Willow X
Thank you for expressing your feelings, I am sure your anxieties are shared by many. I count myself lucky in that I am on fixed price energy contract until February 2023 and that I have no mortgage or rent to pay. I do worry about how my daughter will manage through the winter. I am also worry about all these upcoming strikes (nurses and ambulance drivers).
Hi @helenfwallace ,
Very courageous of you to share your feelings about Christmas and your husbands current addiction problem.
Firstly, it’s really brave of your husband to admit he has a problem. I’m sure you have been supportive and I hope he is getting the professional help he needs. As @Erica has suggested, his GP or a local support group may be a great place for him to go next.
There’s no right or wrong way to feel about Christmas. Celebrate it as much or as little as you feel is best for you and your family. Hopefully you have some time together and you can focus on that and enjoying each other’s company.
I hope you your tests and results go well.
Look after yourself.
Thanks for your contributions to this thread. Your honesty is very valuable.
I hope you find a way to spend some time with your mother. If it helps, try to take Christmas out of the equation and assess the risks and benefits (if you are able to) to maybe visit before and after Christmas when it may be quieter and less risky, rather than at Christmas itself. If you are able to see her, I’m sure she will really appreciate the visits and the time you spend together and it won’t matter that it’s not on 25 December.
Be kind to yourself. It’s hard when you feel like you’re not able to fully experience everything you want. Consider all of the virtual options that you have available to keep connecting with other people and don’t be afraid to reach out to you friends and family to tell them you need them as well as the community on the forum.
Finally, I included some ways of trying to negotiate the difficult current financial climate in the recent ‘ask the experts’ session we did which is on YouTube. Maybe some of these will be useful to us all at this difficult economical stage we’re living in.
Best wishes to you.
Thank you for your kind words NickB.
He has a little complication with using local support services in that he works in Germany and has been put off using NHS services as there is notification to DVLC. I have found contact details of support groups and therapists in the town where he works and it is up to him to contact them.