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BCNA News 18 Dec 2017

Tips to help you through the festive season

Tips to help you through the festive season – words of wisdom from our online members.


We asked members of our online community to post their thoughts on Christmas and how they manage the ups and downs of the silly season. We received many varied responses which highlighted just how individual the experience of the Christmas period is and the importance of finding your own path during this time. 

For some, Christmas is their favourite time of year and they love to celebrate big!

I love Christmas … once the shopping is done that is. So last year Xmas was exactly 14 days after my first round of chemo. I decided to ignore cancer for Christmas and pretend it wasn't happening.
I did everything exactly the way I always do.  I put a ‘No cancer talk’ rule in place. Put on a nice outfit, some sparkly stilettos and glittery Santa hat.
I had a fantastic day with great food (and probably too many wines) family and friends and just forgot about everything else for a while.
Can't wait to do it again this year!

For others, Xmas has taken on new meaning since their breast cancer diagnosis. As one of our members beautifully put it.

I'm absolutely overjoyed to have health enough to thoroughly enjoy myself. 

Others saw it as a time to rethink how they celebrate Christmas and what is important to them.

Since then we’ve mixed things up a bit, dropped the gift giving and the shopping and we are starting to get back to a sense of celebration. We appreciate each other more, although feelings are still quite raw. 
It’s about doing what makes you feel good, changing things, or keeping them the same. It’s just one day of the year and I try not to stress. Fresh salad, seafood and ham help make the day low fuss.

It seems that regardless of our members’ thoughts about Christmas, it was agreed by all that this should be a time where you do what you want to do, how you want to do it!

We should be able to manoeuvre this tricky period as best we can. The logic is ours. We don't have to explain it to anyone.

And some final words of wisdom …

Christmas tips? Whatever makes you happy, keeps you safe and above all brings enjoyment to your life.

We think that’s a fabulous mantra for Christmas and for life!

However you choose to spend the holiday period or whatever meaning it has for you, we hope it is a special time spent just the way you want to spend it with those who are special to you.

If the holiday period does prove to be difficult for you, however, and you need some additional support during this time, the following resources are available:

Breast Cancer Network Australia
1800 500 258 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday AEST and 9.00am to 9.00pm Tuesday and Thursdays).
BCNA will be closed from 5.00 pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and will reopen at 9.00 am Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Cancer Council
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Cancer Council’s free, confidential telephone information and support service is available 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.
Saturday 23 December – Tuesday 26 December – closed
Wednesday 27 December – Friday 30 December – 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Saturday 31 December – Monday 2 January – closed

1300 845 745 or (03) 9935 7400 (Midday to 3.00 am AEST)
GriefLine provides free, confidential telephone counselling every day of the year, as well as online counselling via email.

13 11 14
Lifeline offers confidential 24-hour telephone crisis support every day of the year.

BCNA has a range of resources available to download. If you’d prefer to order a printed copy, your order will be sent as soon as possible after BCNA reopens on Tuesday 2 January.

You can also connect with others at any time through our online network.