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Holiday blues anyone? Normal??

KierstenRx's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

I like to think I have been very positive since my diagnosis in September. I have come through radiation and chemo and am preparing for surgery at the end of January. I am feeling good and pretty normal. However, starting Christmas eve I became very mellow and sad. Christmas day I started having a bit of anxiety and felt very alone. I also have been having a lot of thoughts about not being around next Christmas. Is this going to be my last holiday??? I am in no way giving up and will fight to the end. The doctors are very optomistic. Have any of you wrestled with these emotions, wondering if you make it to your next birthday, holiday, etc....???? How did you deal with these emotions???? I have been praying a lot for peace and doing some meditation. My Oncologist has put me on trazodone to help me sleep and control night sweats. Did anyone have out of control hormones that may contribute to these types of thoughts.


Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Kiersten: I don't know if it's normal, but I do know that I have had the same thoughts, and I'm with you, I have absolutely no intention of giving up this fight. I think the holidays reminds us and brings to the forefront the happiest/saddest/scariest moments in our lives. We are currently going through a scary moment, but we will get through it. Keep praying. Monica

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Kiersten,
I am sorry you are going through this, especially at this time of year. Not as if there is a good time of year to be going through this. I was diagnosed in 2001 and YES, it is normal to think, "Will I be here....." I know I have looked at the Christmas tree many times over the last several years and wondered the same thing "Will I be here to see the tree next year?". I actually still did it this year too! I guess we never know if we will be around to take our ornaments out next year. As for the night sweats, I don't know how old you are. I am 36. I had night sweats before my treatment but do not normally now, unless it is really hot in the house. I am sure you will feel better after your surgery and when you get your GREAT pathology results!
Best of luck to you, I do not think it is hormones! What chauvanist said that? It is called ANXIETY!
Yes you are normal! Even when you have been cancer free for a long time you still have yucky thoughts creep in! Keeping them in check is a constant battle. So, YES you are totally normal.
-Susan H.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

What you are feeling is very normal. There are alot of ups and downs even when one is doing well. Holidays may cause the anxiety as do test times or procedures. I generally am doing very well but have times where I know I would not get to sleep unless I take something. All my life before the diagnosis I could fall asleep within minutes. It is not a hormone problem. It is one of the things we face in fighting the beast.


Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I have been where you are. I felt so bad by the time I finished radiation and chemo I wondered how I would ever make it through the surgery. Well, I did , but it wasn't easy. I then had more chemo for my stage 3 cancer and had so much diarrhea that I ended up in the hospital again and on TPN (IV nutrition). It was then Thanksgiving and I had 2 bites of Turkey and spent the afternoon in the bathroom with diarrhea. The diarrhea continued for over a year and for the next holiday season I was preparing for my colostomy surgery that was on Jan. 2005.

I thought I would never get better. I did and you will too. It will be 4 years in March that I was diagnosed. I have been cancer free since my first surgery in 6/03.

I also had the night sweats. You will get through all this. What you are feeling is normal.

Good luck and keep us posted. Sorry for the long post.

I am now preparing for my 50th birthday that is in Jan. I tell everyone bring on those birthdays.


StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003


I agree with everyone else, this is TOTALLY normal. But instead of worrying, which is negative energy, turn it into something valuable. Answer that question, "what if it's your last----(fill in the blank with Christmas, birthday, whatever)?" What would you do? I'll tell you what you would do, you would cherish every minute of it. You would hug your family, you would appreciate your life, you would experience everything in its true intrinsic meaning. Enjoy everything, worry about nothing. Events could be our "last" due to an array of things, not just cancer. So why wouldn't you make sure everyone remembers you as the incredible person you are, and not someone who was afraid or apprehensive?

It's time to LIVE, not just exist. Breathe in the air, find beauty in everything, and be assured that you can and will get through this.

Stay strong, you're doing fine!!!


Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2006

i hate to sound like a broken record but every comment made so far is absoulutely the truth. i am a stage 4 survivor told, i wouldnt be and every birthday and christmas i too ask that horrible question. "is this the last one" i have even seen my own funeral and obit. that is the devil trying to get in and work his wicked ways. throw him out!!!!! keep praying, god will always win over him. it is very normal to feel like this. however i strongly agree with stacey, it could be anyone of our last year, we could pass with nothing to do with cancer, no of us know when our time will come, however just the word CANCER, has alot of power. today people are survivig this, new treatments and medication have made it possible. cancer is no longer an automatic death sentence. hang in there and keep the faith, you are very normal sweety.

sending you prayers and hugs your way

Posts: 58
Joined: Jan 2006

As so many have said, "if it is not normanl we all seem to have those moments."
I think the best thing to do is enjoy the moment now. I just got back from taking my kids on the "best vacation" (their words). We went to Gettysburg,Philadelphia,Lancaster and New York City. Wow it was fun. I thought many times, well even if I don't make it back here again, we all have some great memories. BUT, I told them when we come back next year...I have those feelings you have, but I still plan for the future. I do not plan on giving up, but I plan on making the time I have the most memorable with my family I possibly can. This past October I took the family to Nigara Falls. Why all the trips? Because I said we will do those one day. Well, I decided after 35 radiation treatments, 7 months of chemo, and 5 surgeries, I am going while I can still walk and breathe. I am going even if people look at me and say, "Do you think you should?" Why not and why not now.
Enjoy the now. Plan for tomorrow and live as today might be your last. You will find joy in these times more than the blues. I don't know how others handle all this, but this is how I am handling it.
Blessings on you and your family. Have a great 2007.

chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Normal normal normal, I say.

Those type of feelings are what finally led me to this board and great people.

I felt this way just before dx. Then, I fought like hell after I woke up from surgery. I fought so hard I think I forgot to be scared. After treatment was over I started crying all of the time scared that I wouldn't be around to raise my baby girl... or ever hold her again.

After discussing it with these great people, I realized that it was normal to have these feelings. Then, as suggested, turn it into good energy and hug your family or do what you like to do best. It really keeps the feelings at bay and they only creep in every once-in-a-while.

I think it's called being faced with our own mortality. You suddenly realize that we aren't going to be here forever. In truth, only God knows when it is our time (if you believe in God, if not, well you still can't predict your death). So, just live.

I also find when I start thinking or feeling like this to submerge myself into something that I have to totally concentrate on. By the time my task is done, I have all but forgotten those pesky feelings. It also helps me to vent them out. Sometimes just voicing (or writing) my feelings will put them at bay.



kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Normal,normal.....that word could well break the record for the number of times it is typed on CSN.I am coming up for 3 years NED in feb. and still have the very same thoughts you are having Kiersten. I don't think there is anyone here who could say they do not have thoughts of where this disease will take us. Having said that, those of us who are winning the battle or who are already NED do find it easier to deal with as time goes on.
I had slightly raised CEA levels last blood tests and am coming up for a CT in Jan. I would be lying to you if I said I did not have some worrying thoughts.
We wish you the best for your surgery and a fast recovery....hang in there!
Ross n Jen

AnnieM939's picture
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2006

I have to say that I have had the Holiday Blues too. My birthday was in November, and of course, I cried thinking it will be my last one. Then, on December 2nd, my dad, who was also battling cancer passed away from a stroke, a heart attack and a horrible fall down the stairs. Even though my dad was battling cancer for 12 years, it wasn't the cancer that actually took him from us. So, not only did I have the blues about my own cancer, I had the blues about losing my dad. Again, though, he didn't lose his fight to cancer.

I get the "blues" for selfish reasons too, I think. Today I was getting my chemo treatment and one of the nurses had told a chemo patient next to me that her cancer had not metastisized. While I was genuinely happy for her, I also had to feel a little angry and sad for me. My cancer has metastisized to both my lungs and liver and I am at Stage IV. So, I get the "blues" at times when I hear good news about others. Selfish, I guess, but I say that I can use the "cancer card" on that one.

I will say that I am looking forward to the New Year and will TRY to keep thinking that it WILL NOT be my last one. We all have to fight this ugly monster and with the attitudes I see on this site, we will all WIN.

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