Celebrating Thanksgiving as a cancer patient can make things a little different. Depending on how you feel and where you are in your treatment, you may have to tweak your traditions to fit what is best for you. Below are four tips to navigating the holidays this month.
Talk to Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor about any upcoming travel plans you have to see if there are any new restrictions. Depending on your oxygen levels, it may not be safe to fly. If you’ve been feeling nauseous, a long car trip probably isn’t ideal. Listen to your body and your care team, about what you’re able to accomplish. This is also a good time to discuss any other precautions you should take, including foods to avoid or ways to help make the day easier. For instance, if your mouth is sore, eating your dinner cold may be more enjoyable.
Don’t feel obligated to keep up a busy holiday schedule. If you’re not feeling up to your usual plans, politely let friends and family know that you may have to leave early or won’t be able to make it altogether. Likewise, if you’re used to hosting the big event by yourself, consider parring back festivities or letting others help. Build in time before the meal to sit down and rest and don’t push yourself too hard.
Make the First Plate
Navigating social situations when you have a weakened immune system can be tricky. Ask your host to make your plate, or set aside your own servings before passing bowls or serving any dishes. This will cut down the number of germs you may contact in a buffet-style environment.
Food to Go
Depending on how you feel, you may not be up to indulging a Thanksgiving dinner. Eat what you can on the big day and grab leftovers to go. You’ll still get to indulge and have smaller portions throughout the week.
Prepare ahead of time for any changes that may make this Thanksgiving a little different than most. Beyond the food, Thanksgiving dinner is a great time to reconnect with friends and family.