iStock_000009824885_ExtraSmallAnother year has arrived and I have to admit that though I’m looking forward to it, I know that there are monumental challenges ahead, but with the events of the last couple weeks… All I can say is “Wow!”

I’m always blown away by how busy I tend to get between Christmas and New Year, but this year I wasn’t even trying or looking for more to think about. It just happened.

I’ve been approached about consulting, being a blogging ambassador, and speaking, again. I haven’t said much about these because I haven’t wanted to jinx anything (and basically, my head is still spinning at it all). I’ve had to apply for one of these, but they did approach me, so that is a good thing. There are a couple of other opportunities that I’m still looking at to decide if they are as good as they sound and will announce them as I know more.

Blown away is an understatement, as well as a little gun shy about all of this, but excited at the possibilities. It’s hard not to jump on them all, but in this day and age, you have to check things out before making any sort of decision. I still believe that surviving cancer has put me in a position that I feel I have a responsibility to help others with cancer and these could be a wonderful way to do more of this.

So, I’m sorry for not posting sooner, but have been trying to show self-control with my excitement. One of these opportunities could allow me to share new advances in treatments and this just blows me away! I want to offer hope to those of you that need it.

Over the next week I’ll be posting a couple times to catch up a bit on hope and fun.

Hope everyone has had a lovely New Year and holiday season!

See you soon! 🙂

Thoughtful Gifts for the Cancer Caregiver

The holiday season is a wonderful time to thank our incredible support teams. Let’s face it, they can make your life and treatments go a lot smoother (even if we don’t exactly make their lives easier, at times). There are countless ideas for thoughtful gifts that will bring a smile to any caregiver’s face, but I’ll just share a handful…

1) For the female or enlightened male caregiver, a massage gift certificate is awesome! A chance to take care of them with a little pampering.
2) For the male caregiver (or far more patient female than I am), a gift certificate for a round of golf is a much needed get away.
3) Books for the readers or gift cards for the virtual readers. 😉
4) Even something as simple as a coffee mug can be a wonderful gift. Fill it with either gourmet coffee, tea or cocoa. Heck, I’d like that!
5) A gift card to a great restaurant is another great idea and wonderful way to relax.

These are little things, but they count. You don’t need to do something monumental, but caring enough to do something is monumental.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful holiday season!

Surviving Cancer and the Holidays

When dealing with a cancer diagnosis, life is hard enough, but toss in the holidays and the stress that comes along for the ride it can seem insurmountable. You need to face that your energy needs to be focused on getting well and those around you need to be equally aware. A challenge, yes, but doable.

I was dealing with surgery complications, a second surgery (actually third) and three different infections, but somehow found a way to do the shopping and give the kids a great Christmas. I looked like “heck” and couldn’t leave the house most of December, but thanks to the internet pulled it off.

There are things that you can do to make life easier….

1)      Get help! Don’t be a martyr. You shouldn’t go it alone. I never asked for help, when I should have and it made things harder than it ever needed to be. Whether we want to believe it or not, there’s usually someone willing to step in.

2)      Fall in love with your computer. You don’t need to be out on Black Friday to get deals. There’s always wonderful bargains online. ALWAYS!

3)      Learn to say “No.” You have cancer, you have a reason to say no, without guilt. This became the time I cleared my list of commitments and NEVER allowed it to get that full, again.

4)      It doesn’t have to be perfect… Your family wants you well and knows that is what matters most. It doesn’t take the perfect dinner, party or baking dozens of cookies to make the holidays special; it takes being together and making that time matter.

So slow down, have a cookie, hug a child or whatever it takes to get through the day and remember that the holidays don’t have to be complicated or cluttered to be memorable. Simple is most often best.

Enjoy the moment and remember that you have an important job to do this holiday season, beat cancer.

Nothing else matters that much.