Monday, December 10, 2012

'Tis the Season... But What if You're Not Jolly?

For most people, the winter holiday season is a time of coming together with family and friends to celebrate. We share laughter and memories and look forward hopefully to the coming year. For people who are in cancer treatment or have recently lost someone to the disease, the season can be less than joyful.

Cancer patients typically struggle with exhaustion and self-image and may be hesitant to do the things during the holiday season that they would normally do like shopping or hosting get-togethers. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness even when a person seems to be surrounded by people who care about them.

Patients need to be reminded that although treatment can be a long process, there is an end in sight. For some patients, that end is only a few weeks after their diagnosis, for others, it may be a couple of years down the road.

For patients in Northwest Arkansas, emotional support is a phone call away. Our licensed social workers provide individuals and families with counseling and support to help them get through the difficulties that come with cancer treatment.

Individuals who are still grieving someone who lost their battle with cancer can find it difficult to find joy in the first holiday season spent without their loved-one. If you know someone who has experienced a loss this year, reach out to them to offer your companionship as you are comfortable. Getting out to do a little shopping, or simply having dinner and sharing some memories of holidays past can help them move through the final stages of grief.

The Schmieding Center in Springdale is hosting a workshop on December 11 that will deal specifically with coping with grief during the holiday season. For more information on the workshop and to get registered, contact Circle of Life Hospice at751-3043 ext. 228.

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