Monday, 30 December 2019

BRiC's Collective Voice: The Bitter Sweet Symphony of Christmas, Dec. 20, 2019

The bitter-sweet symphony of Christmas.
"I have mixed feelings about Christmas. I feel like I SHOULD be loving it, but that's not working."
This week our Sunday discussion focussed on the highs and lows of the Christmas season, and our experiences surrounding the joys and the sorrows that this season may bring for us.

While we acknowledged that Christmas is a time for celebrating joy and happiness, families coming together and sharing love and laughter, for many of us Christmas is a time that reminds us of the loved ones we've lost, to breast cancer, and our loved ones who could not be here with us. Many of us are reminded about the cancer anniversaries, when we were either diagnosed around Christmas time, having active treatment on Christmas day and/or waiting for scans and appointments around Christmas. These memories can put a dent on our 'happiness'. Some of us have just been told that our cancer has come back, and thus incurable. As such, Christmas is not a time to remind about what we've gained, but what we've lost.

For many, the pressures that build up with the expectations near Christmas are unbearable. If we have finished active treatment recently we are experiencing the side effects with greater intensity, and we will need 'me' time and space to cope with them.
Christmas brings emotions to the the surface, expectations that we are OK, when we are not. For many of us with a primary diagnosis of breast cancer, Christmas time can exaggerate our fears of recurrence, and for those of us with a secondary diagnosis it may trigger thoughts about whether this Christmas will be the last one we experience with our loved ones.

Some of our members said that they will keep Christmas simple and spend it in PJ's with close family watching TV. Others mentioned of plans to spend it with fewer people to manage expectations. Some of us have no particular plans, and others want it to be a time to reflect and be mindful of.

We conclude with one of our member's notes which we think is really poignant: "I think Christmas should be what you need it to be. Enjoy the parts you can and give you joy, and get rid of the parts that harm you".

Sending love to all of our amazing followers. We've made it to today, so can all of us.

If you are a woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer and are living in the UK please do contact us here and we can add you to our private support group.
Happy Holidays!

No photo description available.

No comments: