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Happy Holidays?

Yorktown Linda

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First I want to thank all of you for keeping this magnificent resource alive and well.

I am having a hard time this year as the holidays approach. Last year at this time I was recovering from an ULL (June '07), had 2 negative CAT scans under my belt and was feeling kinda upbeat.

This year the cancer has recurred twice(!), still just in the lung, additional surgery in May. I have been on chemo since June, first papaplatin/alimta/avastin and since Augst: taxotere/alimta/avastin. On a subjective level, my onc with his 30 years experience thinks I'm getting better even though my CEA is still rising and we haven't yet scheduled the next CAT scan.

I'm just having trouble with the holiday spirit. I find myself thinking things like "Will this be my last Christmas?" or "Do I really want to usher in another year?"

Physically I'm okay. I'm sure my symptoms (alternating constipation and diarrhea, nausea, vomitting, fatigue, shortness of breath and cough -- well maybe not the cough) is from the chemo and not the cancer. I go every week -- one week taxotere, the second week everything followed by neupagen the next day. Anyway I know this too shall pass but right now I'm not feeling great and I'm not sure it's doing anything for me.

All the lights, parties, forced happiness just seem like too much to face right now.

Any secrets as to how you cope. I really don't want to be The Grinch!


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Hi Linda. I certainly would never think of you as a 'grinch'. I have had some times of suffering through way too many side effects and have broken down on occasion as it just gets to be too much. And now you are in that place and trying to face the 'season' and I totally understand how that must be very hard. It is just hard to be cheerful, whatever time of year it is, when you are suffering, particularly around xmas.

Unfortunately I don't have any wise words in turning this around if you are suffering. Other than you knowing that this too will pass and you will feel better. Just keep looking after yourself in the meantime and allow yourself whatever is necessary to help with the side effects.

And maybe just knowing that there are many people on this site, who totally get it, understand and really care about you might help. All that you have written tells me that you are a beautiful, kind and caring person. And I know that you will get through the season the best way you know how. Others around you I am sure will be understanding.

Please take good care and smile when you can. I find all the lights quite peaceful and calming.

May the spirit of the season catch you when you least expect it. My heartfelt wishes that you have joy and peace.



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I am thinking of you and although I am not the patient I relate as it seems more stressful this time a year even for the healthy so for those not feeling well, its real tough I can only imagine. I know I am not the one afflicted with the cancer and can't imagine having the holiday stress, etc. on top of everything else. Don't worry your right this too shall pass with not feeling well. There is this commercialism associated with the holidays I think, that put pressures on us to do all these things like decorate, shop, etc. I keep reminding myself the real meaning behind it and say to myself whether this or that gets done this is the meaning of it all and spending it with people you love. But wow what pressure! Take extra care of yourself especially right now when stress can be unusually draining. I hope you feel better and have a wonderful holiday with your family!

Take Care and Feel Better Soon!


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Linda, I really feel for you. I was doing major chemo at Christmas time last year and it was the pits. It sounds like you're experiencing side effects to a pretty extreme degree. I don't have any majic bullet either. I remember the naseau being awful but you shouldn't have to put up with vomiting. Have your doctors given you Amend? There are probably other things too that they give today to prevent vomiting. And honey, when push came to shove I went for the Ativan. I'm not normally a pill popper but my husband and I came to appreciate my happy pills while I was going thru what I called the "big chemos."

I don't know how good you are at reporting side effects. I know I was lousey at it but if I had to do it over....COMPLAIN until they give you something to make you feel better.

Forget about the holiday, chalk it up or enjoy it only to the degree that doesn't stress you. My thoughts are with you.

Judy in Key West

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Thanks for all your kind words.

One of the things I have done this year as I don't get out as much as usual is shop very carefully online. I'm thrilled with my choices, and the amount of money I saved, and am looking forward to exchanging presents.

I missed chemo this morning as I had to pull of the road to vomit. What an embrassment. Don't do it often, maybe once or twice a week but there's never any warning, no nausea or anything. Onc did mention the possibility of reglan but I'd have to take it regularly as I've said I get no warning. I really don't want to add any more drugs to my regimen. Also my daughter had a very scary reaction to reglan a few years back -- muscle spasms every where -- and I had to take her to the ER by amublance. Certainly don't want to go through that.

Guess I'll just smile, tough it out, say the right things and then go have a nap.

As long as I keep the tree and cards far enough away form the menorah, we should be okay.

Please enjoy your holidays as best as you can.

I hope this current economic situation has not put a damper or worse on your holiday spirits.


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